The Biggest Red Flags In A Relationship

Sad couple having conflict and relationship problems

Have you ever found yourself in a relationship with someone who checked all the boxes you were looking for, but after a few weeks together you start getting uneasy feelings about them? Like something isn’t right…

It’s actually fairly common for people to stay in relationships WAYY longer than they should. If you’re someone looking for true love, avoid wasting time with duds by keeping an eye out for these red flags. This advice should be taken with some intuition and a pinch of salt, exhibiting one of these signs does not mean the relationship is unsalvageable. But a LOT of these signs is a good reason to run and cut things off without a second glance.

Compulsive Lying

We all tell white lies once in a while and it’s not uncommon for people to tell each other what they think the other person wants to hear. But what we need to keep an eye out for is consistent lying, dishonesty, and falsehoods. One lie could easily be the start of larger lies or omissions.

To be honest my husband used to lie compulsively. About little things and nothing at all. He would just give me an answer he thought would be the easiest to digest. I always caught his lie and called him out on it. We’ve fought over these useless lies too. “If you can’t even be honest about a small thing, how can I trust you to be honest about bigger things.” He realized I had a point. He really doesn’t lie anymore and we’ve found his triggers and have dealt with them for the most part.

Doesn’t want to introduce you to family or meet your friends

This happens a lot in couples that are not fully committed like friends with benefits or f*ck buddies. Sometimes this happens in regular committed relationships too. If your partner isn’t able to let you hang with family or friends, consider this a red flag. Something to keep an eye out.

Partners who are committed to long-term prospects are more likely to want to meet friends and family. Getting to know you’re inner circle can give them insight into your background, how you were raised and your interests.

Gas lighting

When two people argue it can be hard to keep emotions straight or even keep to the facts but gas lighting is more insidious than occasionally bending the truth to your argument.

Gaslighting is the intentional misrepresentation or recollection of facts to make the other party feel like they are in the wrong. And doing this consistently.

Example:

“Mark, were you able to pick up my prescriptions?”

“Sally, we talked about this. You’re supposed to pick up your prescription every Friday after you go for your appointment.”

“I know we talked about running errands before that appointment but I don’t remember discussing the prescription. You had mentioned you would pick it up nearly 2 weeks ago”

“This isn’t the first time you’ve forgotten something, remember last week we talked about meeting for lunch and you totally stood me up! I don’t know how I can keep being your babysitter.”

“I’m sorry Mark, I swear I thought the time you said was an hour later. I would have met you on time.”

This systematic changing of facts to put you in the wrong is TOXIC. It requires social knowledge of the types of things you won’t remember and a manipulation of truths. This is probably the one red flag that if you see it happening, you should run without second thought. When gaslighting is done, it’s done purposely.

Nitpicking

It’s ok to have things that you like done a certain way. It’s ok to occasionally critique your partner for things that you want done in a specific way.

What’s not ok is when someone is trying to change everything you do and say into their “correct” vision of how people should act.  This kind of behavior is common in control freaks, type A personalities, and perfectionists.

They might correct how you behave, do things, speak, dress, etc.  We’ve all met that type of person:

MIB

Comic courtesy of MarriageIsBliss

Inconsistent or hot/cold

So many people are just so inconsistent or unreliable.  I think this speaks for itself in dating life.  I used to wonder why people who were inconsistent or cold would treat me that way.  It used to be a problem with me that I felt I needed to resolve.  But really it’s not an issue with me, it’s an issue with THEM.

Someone who plays the hot and cold game is just showing you how unimportant you are in their scheme of things.  It has a lot to do with their own ego and narcissism. Stay Away.

Selfish with time

People who are selfish with how they spend their time are also solipsistic, they see the world as existing from only their perspective.  These are people who won’t meet you for a date unless it’s close to them, or will only call you if their weekend is barren.  They’ll make you just through hoops just to plan a date out.

“It has to be between this time and this time.  Before I have this appointment and then after I’ll be meeting up with some friends I haven’t seen in 5 years.  Let’s meet up at this location because it’s close to the two places I have to be.  I can’t wait for our date!

Not gonna lie, my older sister is kind of like this.  She tends to prioritize her needs over the needs of others. If she’s visiting home, one of my parents will have to drop what their doing to pick her up from the train station and again to drop her off when she leaves.  Even though she’s a doctor and could easily afford a $10 Uber or cab ride.

My parents threw her a birthday party and she didn’t even help set up or clean up! She was too busy with her own appointments and catching up with friends.  Not cool! Red flag!

Doesn’t like your family

This isn’t obvious, especially when you’re young but if your partner has a big problem with your family, then it’s time to reconsider the strength of your relationship.

As relationships grow more serious both families will eventually become more involved in supporting you.  K and I, we’re both are close with our families.  Over the years our siblings and especially our parents have helped us and supported us.  If he or I were unable to get along with each others parents or siblings, I don’t know how our relationship could have worked.

Family drama can be avoided by choosing partners that are compatible with, not only you, but your family too.

Of course this red flag should be taken with a pinch of salt. Not everyone is super close with their family so I would imagine this wouldn’t pose such a problem with them.

Keeps in touch with exes or has lots of girls who are friends 

This is a huge red flag.  A lot of people miss this and think, naively, that these relationships are platonic.

There are very few friendships between opposite heterosexual genders that come without strings attached.  You might disagree with this and think that your friendship is the exception, maybe it is, but most likely it’s not.

It’s even more of a red flag when there are multiple women who are in your partners life that were past love interests.

The past is in the past! Why keep them around?

In my honest experience, men and women who are keeping “friends” around, are generally keeping backup options who will fill your place once your relationship ends.  I’ve never found it to be a healthy dynamic and would generally say to watch out for people like this.  What seems innocent, can easily not be.

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That’s my list! Let me know your thoughts and own experiences with red flags you’ve found in your life.

Feel free to comment, like, share and follow!

Other Posts:

What is Love?

Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage