Relationship red flags may not be so easy to spot at first. There's someone in your life who seems so great, someone you admire, and even love. But that person does things that make you feel awful. Relationship red flags are your own gut feelings telling you all is not well.
What Are Relationship Red Flags?
Basically, they tell you the person you think you love is not so great for your growth and happiness. Here are six that reveal the person you love may not love you back.
Say someone criticizes you for every little thing, but also lavishes love on you. Feeling bad about being criticized is the red flag. No one should be criticized. The being lavished with love after being criticized is one kind of Band-Aid that covers it up. In healthy relationships, people don’t criticize each other constantly. If you’re in a relationship with someone who who finds fault with you or blames your or criticizes you constantly, you’re going to feel small and incompetent. That feeling is a red flag to flee or do something about it.
2. Not Listening
We all know people who talk over others and interrupt. They have opinions about everything. This may not seem important at first, but people who have to put their own thoughts or ideas before you’ve even finished speaking are never going to be able to hear what you have to say. They will always put their own opinions above yours. When you feel that someone doesn’t care about what you want or what your feel, it could be they don’t even hear it. Not listening makes you feel unimportant and is a red flag to flee.
What is controlling anyway? Controlling is when the other person always has to have his own way. Whether it’s a small thing like choosing a movie or a restaurant or what you should look like or wear, or a more important thing like whose parents are you going to visit or where you’re going on vacation, the controlling person will have his or her way. Arguing you down from your position, sulking, giving you a gift, and berating you are all ways of controlling you. Controlling can seem like a little thing at first but always escalates as time goes on. If someone chooses your dinner on the first date, or tells you what to do, or where to park, or how to park, etc. that is a red flag of a controlling person. Controlling is like a spider spinning a web around you. If you tolerate it, you can get caught for life. It is a major red flag to flee.
A naysayer can also be thought of as a hater. The hater is someone who will rain on your parade no matter what. That person will shoot down every idea and hope and aspiration you have. “You, write a book, bake a cake, start a company, knit a sweater, host Thanksgiving dinner for the family? Are you nuts?” The naysayer will tell you whatever you’ve accomplished is not much after all. Naysayers can prevent you from achieving your potential by making you doubt yourself every day of every week. Anyone who doesn’t support your goals or attempts to improve yourself and get ahead is a red flag to flee.
5. Not Taking Responsibility
This can mean so many things. It can mean the other person expects you to pay the check, the rent, do the childcare, have the good job. In other words, it can be the other person’s expectation that you will be the grownup and he or she can be the child in the relationship. If you don’t want to be a parent of an adult, this is a big red flag. Not taking responsibility can mean lack of ambition. It can mean being lazy and not taking care of business. It can mean not saying you’re sorry when you’ve messed up because you don’t think you’ve ever messed up. You don’t think anything is a big deal. When another person makes you feel taken advantage of, you may well be taken advantage of. The person who doesn’t do much is a real big red flag to flee.
6. Emotional Or Physical Abuse
Of all the relationship red flags, this one is the most dangerous and reason to seek help immediately. People may be shocked the first time they experience a loved one’s rage, and they may overlook it as a one-time event that won’t be repeated. Especially if the other person apologizes. Emotional abuse can’t be seen in scars but is just as damaging as physical abuse. Whatever form abuse takes, it always gets worse over time. If someone you love erupts with anger (emotional abuse) or lashes out violently (physical abuse) and makes you feel unsafe for any reason, you need to learn more about how to take care of yourself and escape. Abusive people don’t let go easily, so you need guidance and support to get free. Here are some resources to help:
- Recovery Guidance (a free listing of counselors and therapists near you)
- National Domestic Hotline
- Safe Horizon
- Women's law