Almost every couple starts off all sunshine and rainbows without any of the top red flags to look for in a relationship. After all, if the relationship was bad from the beginning it would probably never come to be. All too often, a partnership can sour slowly without us even taking notice.
Because of this, it is important to take note of the warning signs that might point to problems in a relationship. Since relationships start so wonderfully, it can be hard to recognize when reality takes over. Many are so busy chasing that first high that they don’t realize the partnership has turned toxic for them.
In order to avoid these dangerous situations, it is important to know these top red flags to look for in a relationship.
1. Never Tolerate Physical Abuse…EVER – While some couple may be able to work through one or two of the red flags on this list, physical abuse of any type should never be accepted. Not even a little, not even for a second.
There is no situation where it is okay to accept another human being causing physical pain to you, no matter their age, gender, or background. This red flag is so dangerous that a couple of subsections will be included:
A. What is Physical Abuse?
Abuse could be something as simple as pushing you, or as terrifying as using a weapon such as a gun or a knife against you. No matter how mild it may seem, any sort of altercation to try and impose their will on you is abuse. Never, ever stay with anyone who has purposely harmed you in any way physically.
B. Do Not Fall for Their Tricks
Abusers will try many tactics to make you feel sorry for them and stay even though they have physically abused you. They may share with you their painful childhood in an attempt to gain your empathy. They may make you feel that it was your fault and that you deserved it. They may buy you gifts as an apology and promise to never do it again.
None of these tactics should deter you at all from getting as far away from an abuser as possible! Physical abuse is not just a red flag, it is absolute grounds to end a relationship immediately.
2. Words Hit as Hard as a Fist – Other than physical abuse, one of the first and most important red flags to look for in a relationship is when someone says hurtful things with no remorse. While everyone can make mistakes when they are angry and say things that they don’t mean, verbal abuse is still abuse.
No one ever has the right to degrade, humiliate, or be verbally abusive to you just to prove themselves right or make you feel inferior. If a romantic partner begins using words to hurt you regularly, it might be time to run.
3. Lack of Communication – The inability to communicate is one of the main reasons that couples break down. It is important in any relationship that both parties can talk about and share how they feel. Instead of words, they often try to get their way through moodiness, abandonment, and silence.
If you find yourself with someone who cannot seem to open up and share their emotions with you, this could be a sign that there could be serious issues later in the relationship. People who are not able to communicate tend to be emotionally distant, often giving the “silent treatment” when they are angry and leaving you alone in your pain when you face major life issues.
4. Extreme Immaturity – While many people can show signs of being immature, in many cases it can be a huge red flag. If your partner is consistently irresponsible or shows unpredictable behavior, they may have issues handling life and may not be ready for a relationship.
For these people, even the smallest crisis can cause a total meltdown. This leaves you responsible for handling everything from how to calm their temper tantrum to how to keep a roof over your head. If you ignore this red flag, you could easily end up with someone who you have to take care of like a child instead of a partner to build a life with.
5. Extreme Possessiveness – A very possessive person can make for a very bad relationship. Some jealousy in a relationship can be a good thing, but when someone crosses a line and becomes too possessive, you may end up feeling like a thing instead of a person.
People need to be loved, but they also need their freedom to be themselves. When someone is possessive, they are often restrictive and refuse to allow you to grow and be yourself. Possessiveness that stems from a fear of losing you can become abusive, frightening, and unhealthy.
6. Being Placed on a Pedestal – This may seem like a strange thing to be considered a red flag. It could even seem to be a compliment for someone to treat you as some sort of royalty instead of like a relationship partner. Being worshipped can be quite exhilarating for a time. So why is this a red flag?
There are a couple of issues that could come from being placed on a pedestal in your relationship. Some abusers will lift you up so that they can simply crush you down and break your spirit. Others may be sincere in their worship of you, but the relationship will shatter once they see that you are merely human.
No one needs to stress of trying to live up to the pressure of being perfect.
7. Isolation is Never Good – In a new relationship, it can sometimes seem very exciting to spend every breathing moment together. Time with friends and family can fall to the wayside, and the two of you may become quite isolated. This is often normal when the relationship is brand new and is not always cause for alarm.
When the newness of the relationship wears off, however, friends and family should be a large part of your lives. If your partner continues to expect isolation for the two of you, keeping you away from your loved ones, this could be a serious red flag.
Beware of anyone who doesn’t want you to have contact with those who love you.
8. Using Humor to Mock You – Teasing and joking with each other is a normal and even fun part of most relationships. A light joke or lovingly poking fun at each other can relax a tense mood and draw you closer together.
All too often, however, someone may use humor as a way to mock or ridicule. By making their disrespect of you seem like a joke, a partner can feel as though they can get away with it. It is never okay to be constantly ridiculed or belittled by anyone, not even your romantic partner, and not even as a joke.
9. Justification of Bad Behavior – This red flag is more of an example of issues with yourself than with your partner, although it shows problems with both of you. If you find yourself constantly justifying bad behavior in your partner, it could be possible that you are an enabler.
Enabling bad behavior is bad for both parties in a relationship. By making excuses for your partner, you never encourage them to grow or overcome their own issues. You also set yourself up to be stuck as their caretaker and victim throughout the entire relationship.
Bad behavior should not be excused but dealt with appropriately.
10. It Just Doesn’t Feel Right – This may seem a bit silly to some, that a gut feeling can be a red flag, but it is very true. No article, advice column, therapy session, or chat with a friend can be a better judge of what is best for you than your own instincts.
If the person that you are becoming involved with causes your intuition to feel that something “just isn’t right,” odds are that something isn’t right. It may seem extremely simple, and truthfully it is. Never ignore that inner voice when it tells you to stay away from someone.
Those are just a few red flags to look for in a relationship. As mentioned above, some of these red flags are issues that can be worked through in any relationship with communication and patience. One should never ignore abuse of any type, however, and should always listen to the voice in their heads and hearts when it says, ‘Beware!”