Relationship Red Flags That Mean Trouble

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to Linda Rodgers of The Healthy about red flags in relationships.  I was happy to share my thoughts on this topic because I believe many of us tend to ignore red flags at the beginning of a relationship simply because we are excited to have that “new relationship” feeling. In many situations we are blinded by the novelty of the relationship that we choose to ignore the red flags that could be damaging to the relationship and our well being. Ignoring red flags can cause damage to our self esteem and our future outlook in relationships. Here are some red flags to look out for while in the earlier stages of your relationship.

The first red flag would be that things are moving way too fast. Interestingly enough this can be misinterpreted by many as finding “the one” or their “twin flame”. That initial connection and spark is there. Maybe they are very funny, intelligent, interesting, or all of the above. This shouldn’t cloud our judgement but the reality is that it does. It’s probably a good idea to slow down and take a step back to analyze the behavior being shown by your new love interest.

We all love that new-relationship energy, but where’s the fire? If somebody doesn’t want to take the time to know who you are before they decide if you’re a good fit for them, or if they’re a good fit for you, are you just trying to lock and load a relationship, regardless of who it is?

Who you date should be an accessory to an already fantastic life, so you need to recognize why you’re willing to move so fast. You should feel that you are an accessory to their life as well! You shouldn’t have so many voids in your life that you’re looking for this insta-person to come in and make your world feel whole. This is a red flag for you to slow down. Even if you feel fate has brought you two together. It’s a good idea to take time to enjoy the ride.

The next red flag would be that your date monologues without end. It’s  completely normal for someone to talk a lot on a first date. Maybe they are nervous or just very outgoing and extroverted. The difference between that and someone who may be a little too interested in themselves is that the person who shows no interest in you whatsoever is waving a huge red flag at the top of a mountain! If you are on a first date and you have learned everything there is to know about this person and you have gotten maybe two to three sentences in, you shouldn’t be considering seeing this person again. Just think about how lonely and unfulfilling this relationship can turn out to be.

The next relationship red flag would be that your partner makes plans without you. Let’s be honest, we all experience the fear of missing out once in a while. Watching our partner go out with friends, family, or simply enjoying one of their favorite hobbies without us can make us feel a little left out but it’s completely normal for them to enjoy their space. It’s when we aren’t included in any plans at all that we can feel really hurt.

People who are too independent don’t take others into consideration. It’s also a warning sign that maybe they’re not going to know how to compromise, or negotiating isn’t that important for them. This is something that is fixable if your partner is willing to change. This is another conversation about values you’ll need to have, earlier rather than later. Ideally, what we want is interdependence. I have outside interests that excite me that maybe my partner doesn’t care about. But I’m equally invested in spending time in the relationship. I’m just as passionate about this person, and the things I get to do with this person, as the things that I do individually. If your potential partner isn’t interested in that type of relationship, then it would probably be a good idea to stop seeing this person.

On the flip side, your partner may not want you to leave your side. This too can be a red flag in a relationship. This partner might make plans for you to visit every day after work or spend every single weekend with them. When you are not available, they become upset or angry with you. This is a red flag not only because it builds resentment towards you by your partner, but also because it shows you that your partner doesn’t have respect fort he boundaries you try to set in place. You are a person that created a whole life before this other person came into it. You could and should be protective of that.

The bottom line is that we have to make sure we aren’t suppressing our needs or ignoring our “gut feeling” only because we are entering a new relationship. We deserve to take our time to truly get to know someone and that includes looking for those red flags in the beginning. To read more from this article click here.


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Dr. Dana McNeil

Dr. Dana McNeil

Founder of The Relationship Place
Marriage and Family Therapist CA License #99008

certified gottman therapist

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