15 Red Flags To Look For In Any Relationship

Unhappy Couple Relationship Red Flags Tracy Chen

There’s no doubt about it — relationships aren’t always easy. After all, you’re essentially combining your life with someone else’s! Sure, you have your own individual identities, but you also have to work together as a team. When you have different perspectives on a lot of things in life — as many people do — it can be tough to keep your relationship strong and healthy.

And, the trickiest part is that often relationships can change — and not always for the best. Sometimes, the person you started dating seems to disappear and transform into someone else entirely. Sometimes, little things that bugged you at the start of the relationship become deal breakers as things progress. Since you deeply care for the person, and perhaps even love them, there are times when you don’t really see the change as it’s happening. That’s why it can be invaluable to have someone else’s perspective, like a close friend.

At the end of the day, while a relationship can be a positive addition to your life, it’s not something you need. So, if you find yourself in a relationship where you’re not happy, just stop! Find a partner where the dynamic isn’t quite as toxic. Or, just take some time to focus on yourself and live your best single life!

There are some areas in a relationship where you need to compromise. There are others, though, where you absolutely never should. Here are 15 relationship red flags that you need to be aware of.


They Don’t Want To Acknowledge Your Relationship In Public

Couple in public not happy
Martin DM/Getty Images

This cliche has been done to death on many sitcoms, but for good reason — it happens all the time!

Perhaps your partner is dating someone else, and you’re just a side relationship he doesn’t want anyone to know about. Perhaps your partner is for some reason embarrassed about you, and doesn’t want anyone to know the two of you have a romantic relationship. Whatever the reasoning, it’s never okay.

You don’t need to be all about PDA, but it’s not unreasonable to expect that your partner will acknowledge you in public. It’s even fine if they don’t want to disclose their relationship status on social media. It just becomes an issue when they flat out deny your relationship to their friends when you’re hanging out together.


They Make You Feel Bad About Yourself

Woman Unhappy

Sometimes, your partner may give you a little tough love. They may even say a few things they don’t mean in the heat of an argument. The real issue, though, is when your partner makes you feel badly about yourself on a consistent basis.

After all, your partner should be a positive addition to your life. They should be someone who builds you up and makes you feel like you can tackle the world.

Making you feel badly can involve everything from your appearance to your career. If your partner in any way makes you feel badly for some facet of yourself, you need to dump them ASAP.


They Have A Totally Different Attitude Towards Money

Couple Out Downtown Shopping
Happily Mag

When you’re in the early stages of a relationship, you may not really be thinking about money. After all, it’s not as if you’re going to open a joint account after a few months of dating! However, the fact that money is one of the number one reasons couples fight means it’s an area of your relationship you want to take a closer look at.

There’s a very real chance that you’ll have to compromise in some way when it comes to your attitude towards money. However, if you’re coming at it from insanely different perspectives, it’ll be an issue sooner or later.

For example, if you’re a devoted saver who is super frugal, but your partner spends money like it grows on trees, that’s going to drive a major wedge between you.


They Don’t Trust You And Are Always Suspicious

Couple Arguing

Trust is one of the biggest parts of any healthy relationship. Simply put, if you don’t trust your partner, the foundation of your relationship is faulty.

No one wants to be constantly on the defensive when they’re not doing anything wrong. And, that’s exactly what happens when your partner doesn’t trust you. They’ll question every move you make, even if it’s nothing suspicious. All of a sudden, you’ll find yourself having to explain how you went for drinks with your girlfriends. That’s not something you should need to do.

And, it’s also totally okay if you don’t share every single thing with your partner! You deserve privacy, and you deserve to be trusted, plain and simple.


They Badmouth All Their Exes

Couple Talking On Couch Unhappy

Obviously, you don’t want to be with someone who is clearly still in love with their ex. After all, if their ex is so amazing in so many ways, why on earth did they break up with them?

However, it’s also a huge red flag if your partner trashes every single one of their exes. We get it — sometimes, things end poorly, and you don’t have a lot of good things to say about that person.

If it seems to be a pattern, though, it’s not the fault of the different relationships — it’s your partner. If they can’t seem to part ways without major bad blood, that’s a sign that it’s a problem with them.


They Don’t Respect Your Physical Boundaries

Couple Unhappy Backs To Each Other
Medical News Today

Physical touch is an important part of a relationship. Most healthy couples will do things like hold one another’s hands, give one another a gentle poke from time to time, a tickle here or there, etc. If both people are unbothered by it, that’s totally fine.

However, it’s a major red flag if your partner isn’t respecting your physical boundaries. It may seem like a minor thing that they keep tickling you when you ask them to stop, but it’s not. It’s a pretty serious sign that they’re not respecting your boundaries and that’s a big issue.

If you repeatedly ask your partner to stop doing something and they don’t listen, that’s not okay.


They Try To Keep You From Your Friends Or Family

Couple At Home Ignoring Each Other
She Knows

When you’re in a new relationship and everything is exciting, it can be tempted to cancel plans to hang out with your new partner. After all, you see your friends all the time — and family dinner isn’t really such a big deal, right?

Well, while it’s fine to make your own decisions when it comes to your schedule, your partner should never do that for you. It’s a huge red flag if your partner even suggests that you shouldn’t be spending time with your friends and your family.

Usually, it’s because your partner doesn’t want you to get any trusted perspective on their other red flag habits. Yikes!


Your Best Friend Hates Your Partner

Friends Arguing On Couch

There’s a very good chance that you and your best friend have different taste in men or women. After all, though you have a lot in common, you’re not the same person. You may love extroverts, while your friend prefers dating quieter individuals. Perhaps you love athletes and your friend prefers cerebral types.

However, even though your best friend has different taste in romantic partners, they know how they want you to be treated. So, usually, if your best friend absolutely hates your partner, it’s not because of who your partner is. It’s because of the way they see your partner treat you.

Since they’re not in love with your partner like you are, they have a clearer perspective on any problematic behaviour.


They Make Zero Effort

Couple Arguing Outside

It seems too basic to state, but we’ll say it — a relationship involves two people. Things definitely won’t always be 50/50, but they do need to be somewhat equal.

That means you can’t be the one always putting in the effort. Perhaps your partner isn’t really the type who likes to plan elaborate dates — that’s completely fine. However, there should be some effort being put forward. It can even be something as simple as bringing home your favourite treat when they’re grocery shopping, or some flowers on a random weekday.

It’s not fair to have the burden of planning date nights and putting in effort to fall on just one person. It’s a big red flag if your partner never takes that task on, ever.


They Won’t Admit When They’re Wrong

Couple At Table Outside Talking

No matter how good their relationship, pretty much all couples have disagreements at some point. Healthy couples know how to fight fair and to avoid being needlessly cruel to their partner, but they fight too.

The red flag arises when your partner isn’t willing to admit when they’re wrong, ever. Look, we get it — it’s not easy to admit when you’re wrong. It’s much easier to insist that you’re right and hope that your partner caves. However, that’s not the mark of a mature individual in a relationship.

It’s fine if your partner sticks to their guns every now and then. If they absolutely refuse to apologize, no matter what the circumstance, that’s a huge red flag.


They’re Way, Way Too Flirty With People

Couple Disagreement

Everyone is different, and has a different way of interacting with people. Some individuals are more reserved, and keep things fairly professional with waiters and service staff. Other people make friends everywhere they go, and are always super gregarious.

There are many people who are naturally just a bit more flirty. They enjoy that type of banter, whether it’s with a friend or a waitress. To some degree, you may have to just accept that your partner is a flirtier person than you.

However, the problem is, many people use that as an excuse for their wandering eye — and that’s definitely not okay. If your partner is constantly flirting up a storm, that could be a major red flag (not to mention disrespectful!)


You Don’t Feel You Can Share Secrets With Them

Man And Woman Unhappy

There are likely a few people in your life that you lean on for advice or during troubled times. Perhaps it’s a family member, or a selection of your very closest friends. Usually, though, your partner is one of those people — after all, you’re in a relationship! You should trust them with anything you want to share.

The red flag arises when you don’t feel like you can share your secrets with your partner. Your partner should always respect confidentiality and keep whatever secrets you tell them private.

Now, there are obviously a few exceptions, such as if your partner fears you’ll harm yourself. However, in most cases, if your partner has loose lips about your secrets, that’s a huge no no.


They Hide Their Phone Screen From You All The Time

Man Staring At Phone
Dmytro Zinkevych/shutterstock

This one is kind of an instinct type of thing. Now, there’s nothing wrong with having privacy in a relationship — in fact, it’s healthy. You don’t need to show your partner the secrets your BFF shared with you via text message. You don’t need to show them how much you spent on lattes in a given week.

However, there’s definitely a line when it comes to this. If your partner is constantly hiding their phone from you, it’s likely that they want to prevent you from seeing what pops up on their screen — because they know it might be suspicious.

We’re not saying you should demand your partner give you their passwords, but be smart about it. If their behaviour seems super fishy, it just might be because they’re hiding something.


You Haven’t Met Anyone Important In Their Life

Couple Fighting

When it comes to relationships, everyone moves at their own pace. Some people want to introduce their partner to their circle of friends and family almost immediately. Others want to ensure things are really serious before they take that next step. There’s nothing wrong with whatever pace you’re comfortable with.

However, it is a bit of a red flag if you haven’t met anyone in your partner’s life. Perhaps he’s very private about his family, or they just don’t have a great relationship — that’s fine. If you haven’t met a single one of your partner’s friends, though, that could mean a lot of things — none of them good.

Whether it’s that your partner is embarrassed by you or that they don’t think the relationship is serious enough to merit an introduction, it’s not great.


You Just Have A Bad Feeling In Your Gut

Romance Ways

Obviously, when it comes to an issue in your relationship, you want to communicate with your partner. You shouldn’t jump to conclusion and accuse them of crazy things. You should have a degree of trust built up with them.

However, there’s something to be said for that gut instinct. For many people, they just feel deep down that something is a huge red flag, even if they can’t explain why. Perhaps it doesn’t feel logical, perhaps your partner has been perfect up to that point — you just feel like something is off.

In those situations, you shouldn’t brush off your feelings. Communicate with your partner and try to get to the bottom of them — maybe it’s nothing, or maybe it’s something worth ending the relationship over. You won’t know until you explore it.

References: Self, MSN

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