Finding a like-minded guy or girl that you could be happy with seems like the easiest thing in the world until you actually start dating. Then you realize the search for love is often a long and complicated one. Even when you finally meet someone special, how do you know they’re the right person for you? Relationship red flags can be evident to everyone but you; looking at the world through rose-colored glasses just makes all red flags look like normal flags.
You could try to convince yourself that your relationship is going to be a happy one, but if that gut feeling is telling you something’s not right – trust it. Don’t try to avoid the truth just because you’re hoping it will get better. Save yourself the time and heartbreak by taking a look below.
Early Relationship Red Flags
If you’re having fun with the person, but you notice they have trouble talking about how they feel, you should definitely think about moving on. Even though this doesn’t seem like an issue now, it’s definitely a red flag that’s just going to get more difficult to deal with over time.
You shouldn’t have to rack your brain trying to figure out how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. Being honest and open is the number one sign of a happy relationship with a future partner. The dating red flags checklist for people who can’t express their feelings includes emotional distancing from their partners, not dealing with feelings on their own, and often leaving their partner hanging. They also might give you the silent treatment and resort to passive aggression when they don’t like how things are.
Carrying troubling behavior to the present
People who have had dark pasts tend to hide them from new partners to avoid rejection. Addictive behaviors and illegal activities that continue to happen even as your relationship starts are definitely some of the biggest relationship red flags and deal breakers. Don’t think that they’ve changed and grown out of certain behaviors if they’re still hiding things from you or acting suspiciously.
If any sort of behavior they indulge in is making you feel uncomfortable – don’t let it slide. Don’t ignore something that you feel is strange or look for excuses. The fact that they’re continuing the harmful behavior from their past shows that they aren’t going to change any time soon. More importantly, though, you aren’t going to be the one to change them – recognize these behaviors as red flags in a relationship, and walk away.
Blast from the past
Another red flag from their past might be an unresolved relationship with their ex. They could still be too close with their ex, talking to them every day, and hanging out with them. It’s not just that, though. If they keep talking about their ex, blaming them for their problems, and badmouthing them, they are definitely still hung up on them.
This kind of behavior can be applied to other relationships in their life, too. Some of the most obvious red flags in relationships are constantly avoiding responsibility and blaming other people for their problems. You don’t want to be the rebound or the constant bad guy in your relationship.
Acting immature or unpredictable
Some people can have trouble being adults. In other words, it’s hard for them to manage their personal spaces and finances, they can’t hold onto a job, and they don’t really have any plans for the future. If this sounds like your partner, you ought to rethink the relationship. Some definite red flags in dating an immature person include them having no ambition, stability, or future plans for themselves. If this is the case, how do you expect your relationship to have a strong future?
They may also have small problems that take up all of their time and energy. This means that they’ll often be too involved with their own lives to have the energy for you and your needs. All of these are signs of a person who needs to grow up. If you continue dating them, you’ll have trouble relying on them for basically anything.
Controlling Relationship Red Flags
Criticizing everything you do
This is something that can start small, then build up to something huge. It can start by them criticizing the way you do something, then it can escalate to criticizing every little thing you say, do, or even think. Many people try to convince themselves that this is just their partner trying to help them become better. However, it is definitely a big deal if someone doesn’t like the way you eat, dress, speak, or decorate your own home.
No matter how insignificant and small a comment may seem, it’s definitely one of the biggest red flags in an abusive relationship. It’s part of a bigger and constant pattern that is going to ruin your mental and emotional health over time. If your partner can find faults in everything you do, they simply don’t value or accept you as a person. How can you expect unconditional love from such a dynamic?
They seem to be your only friend
Isolating you from your friends and family is also something that will usually start subtly. Red flags of dating a controlling partner include finding faults in your friends, complaining about how often you talk to your family, and discouraging you from hanging out with the people you care about.
It will all be done under the false pretense that they want you to be happy and away from the bad people in your life. The scary part is, you may actually start to believe that your partner is right. If you notice that’s starting to happen, you’re definitely dealing with some of the worst dating red flags.
The real goal of this kind of emotional manipulation is to get rid of your support network. That way, whenever they want to overpower you and get their way, you’ll be less likely to stand up to them. In many cases, this can also be the start of controlling other aspects of your life.
Teasing and ridiculing you
If your partner often complains how sensitive you are to their teasing and that you can’t take a joke, they’re actually masking emotional abuse. Telling apart abusive relationship red flags from joking around comes down to what both parties are comfortable with. Don’t keep convincing yourself it’s just a joke if it makes you feel uncomfortable or insecure.
As well as that, your partner may try to ridicule your long-term beliefs under the same pretense. They also might try to convince you that they know better and that your beliefs don’t make sense. It’s not the same when you’re having a debate and challenging each other’s beliefs and when someone is making you feel stupid. One of the strongest relationship red flags a controlling partner will show is not wanting to see your point of view or challenge their own opinions. Instead, they want you to think more like them.
Overactive jealousy and snooping
People often confuse jealousy with care and love. The truth is, jealousy is a definite red flag that stems from possessiveness and can turn into something really dangerous, really quickly. Dating red flags can also include your partner thinking that most or all of your actions are motivated by the need to attract someone else. They could argue that you’re not going out for a drink with a friend, but to cheat on them. Or, they might complain that you’re only going to the gym so others would find you attractive.
This behavior can often lead to them checking up on you and constantly texting you when you’re not together, as well as going through your things. One of the sure red flags when dating a controlling partner is that they will try to forbid you from going to the gym or seeing that friend, and they might even insist you can’t go anywhere without them.
Not giving you space or respecting your need to be alone is also a big sign of a controlling relationship. They’ll often make you feel guilty for trying to spend time without them, and they might act like you don’t love them because of it.
All of these relationship red flags are recognizable because they make you feel weak and lower your confidence. Partners like these often want you to completely depend on them so they can take charge of your life. If you keep having to explain innocent behaviors to them, often feel guilty, belittled, or like you have to report to them for everything – run. The longer you stay, the harder it will be to fight back, and the worse it will get for your emotional and mental health.
Online Dating Red Flags
They seem too good to be true
It’s easy to fall in love with someone you’ve only met online, especially when they seem to check off all of your boxes. After a while of spending your time on Tinder, Bumble, or any other dating app, you might think that you’ve finally found the one.
They respond to all your texts, their pictures seem perfect, and you share almost every interest and opinion. If something seems too good to be true – it often is. This is one of the early red flags in dating that you should consider before you start idealizing this person more without having met them. What do you actually know about them? Do they have any interests that don’t include yours, or their own opinions? Can you find a single flaw?
Their other profiles are strangely private
If you’ve only been texting this person on one app and their other profiles seem too private, you might be dealing with a catfish. One of the most obvious red flags in a man or a woman you meet online is that they’ll try to hide while still using dating apps. No one looking for something real does that.
In fact, they don’t even have to be a catfish to be hiding something. A person that doesn’t want you to know anything about their life but intends on dating you most likely doesn’t have good intentions. Don’t try to tell yourself that they’re just shy. Telling you about their life but hiding all those details on their other profiles is one of the most definite online dating red flags out there.
They avoid personal questions
Mysterious isn’t really sexy when it’s preventing you from getting to know the person. If the guy or girl you’re texting avoids answering personal questions, you can bet they’re hiding something. It doesn’t even have to be something big, but it definitely has the potential of being dangerous.
This behavior is manifested in switching conversation topics as soon as things get personal, blatantly ignoring your questions, or just asking you things without the intention of answering the same questions. To effectively deal with these kinds of early red flags in relationships and dating, be careful not to give away too much about yourself too soon. You never know who could be on the other side of the screen.
They text you non-stop until you respond
If the person you’ve only met online can’t respect your time and boundaries while you’re still just texting, they definitely won’t be able to respect them when you meet. Being attentive and checking up on you is one thing, but sending you text after text even if you said you couldn’t talk will definitely be one of the strongest red flags in a relationship with a man or woman you met online.
It’s only worse if they try to make you feel guilty for not replying. These texts could also show a range of emotions from apologetic to angry – all changing in the span of a couple of minutes. Those are definitive signs of an unstable and controlling person you should stay away from.
If you can recognize some of these relationship red flags in your partner or date, it’s definitely time to move on. It may seem painful now, but it’s better to walk away while nothing serious has happened yet. You don’t want to wake up one day in a serious relationship only to realize that you aren’t happy. Don’t let this step back strip you of confidence and disappoint you in love. The person you’re looking for is just around the corner.