Healthy relationships are important for our mental wellbeing. However, sometimes we can be so caught up in a relationship that we don’t notice the red flags. In this post, we will go through ten relationship red flags and how to spot them. (While we explain these tips through the lens of a romantic partnership, they can apply to any type of relationship.)
1- Lack of Communication
Do you find it difficult to open up or talk about important issues with your partner? This is a sign of poor communication. It’s important to note that communication is a two way street. Both partners should feel like the are able to kindly express how they feel to one another, without judgement. If your partner refuses to communicate with you or communicates in a way that is hurtful or ineffective to you, this could be a red flag.
2- Disrespecting Boundaries
If your partner doesn’t give you space when you need it and oversteps your boundaries, this is another bad sign. Boundaries are important in any relationship because they ensure that we are comfortable with certain interactions or situations. It can have a negative impact on us if any type of boundary is crossed.
3- Lack of Trust
Trust is an important foundation in any healthy relationship. If you feel like your partner isn’t honest with you or may be unfaithful, this is a major sign of an unstable relationship. Trusting one another is key form of respect.
4- Difficult to Rely On
Is your partner unreliable or unpredictable? This is another possible red flag. Couples are meant to make a commitment to one another. So, when one partner is difficult to rely on that may be a sign that they aren’t able to fully commit to the relationship. They may have other things going on in their lives that would be important to sort out before entering into a committed partnership.
5- Controlling Behavior
If your partner is trying to drive a wedge between certain aspects of your life, like friends, family or your career, this is a major sign of controlling behavior. Or maybe they try to have a final say on where you go or who you hang out with. This type of manipulative behavior often stems from jealousy and insecurity. It’s not healthy when a partner can’t accept the way your lives align and tries to change it.
6- Friends or Family Are Wary
Sometimes we may feel so invested in our relationships, that we don’t pay attention to red flags. If your friends or family members have reason for concern about your relationship, it is worth hearing them out. While criticism is not easy to hear, they likely have your best interest at heart and have valid concerns.
7- Dwelling on Past Relationships
Does your partner still talk about or dwell on their past relationship? This could be a sign of unresolved dynamics or feelings. Or perhaps your partner constantly blames a past partner for problems. This could indicate that they might not have fully moved on or learned from reflecting on their past relationship.
8- They Make You Feel Insecure
Another relationship red flag is if your partner makes you feel insecure in any way. They might leave things between both of you really uncertain, where it’s hard to know where you stand. Or they may make you feel uncomfortable or anxious by using sarcasm, gaslighting or belittling you in a joking way. You should not feel put down or disrespected in your relationship.
9- They Won’t Compromise or Apologize
It’s a major red flag if your partner won’t cooperate with you or ever admit fault. Relationships require ownership of actions and accountability. No partner is ever perfect, but they should be willing to compromise and give out sincere apologies when they are needed (Note- “I’m sorry you feel that way” is not a proper apology).
10- Abusive Behavior
Lastly, abusive behavior is the biggest red flag of them all. This includes any type of verbal, emotional or physical abuse. This type of behavior should never be tolerated and it can be extremely unsafe for the person experiencing it.
If you feel like you’re being abused, trust your instincts and know that you don’t deserve to live that way. If you need to talk or find someplace to go, call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 800-799-7233. This 24/7 hotline can put you in touch with service providers and shelters across the United States.
How to Address Red Flags
How you deal with these relationship red flags will certainly depend on the type of red flag, the severity of them and your own boundaries. If you have spotted some red flags and still want to work through them in your partnership, you can seek out our couples counseling services. But if you have tried to address these issues and are still not seeing a change in your relationship, this may be a sign to end things to preserve your own mental health and wellbeing. If you ever need someone to talk to about these issues, know that our compassionate counselors at Eugene Therapy are here to help.