12 Relationship Red Flags - Signs of a Bad Relationship
- By: Jane
Are you simply ignoring the warning signs?
Entering a new relationship with someone you love could start out as fun and exciting. You could be easily carried away and ignore the red flags in a relationship, hoping that your partner will improve or things will change.
There might be some trouble ahead if your current or prospective partner often shows many persistent red flags. This is someone you likely want to spend much of your life with, so you need to explore all areas of your bond with them because this could affect your safety, future, and well-being.
Red flags in a relationship
No relationship is perfect or lacks areas that must be improved. However, do not ignore any of these warning signs because they may hide a serious underlying problem.
1. Everything is happening too fast
You might have heard of some relationships where a partner was willing to move in and get married within a few weeks. While there is no golden rule for the timeline of a relationship, it is best to take your time to understand your partner. While some have genuine intentions to love you forever, others are simply out there for ulterior motives. People usually show their true colors over time and after the ‘honeymoon period’ has passed.
2. Conflicting core values
Both partners are more likely to enjoy lasting success together if they have similar goals or complement each other. Conflicting core values and objectives are one of the biggest red flags in a relationship. On the other hand, we all need to reach a reasonable compromise.
Examples of disparities in core values include different religions, sexual preferences, parenting styles, financial habits, educational goals, and so on. You both must discuss these issues as early as possible to prevent them from haunting you later. Otherwise, they could cause a power struggle.
3. Keeping secrets
We have all done things or been in situations that have not made us proud. However, if you are dating someone who is extremely secretive and does not want to discuss his or her past, family, or job, you might want to dig deeper.
Everyone deserves some level of privacy even when in a relationship. However, if you feel like your partner should be offering more information about their location, calls, smartphone use, and motives, they are most likely hiding something from you. This is never a good sign unless they are organizing a pleasant surprise for you.
4. Constantly talks about themselves with little interest in you
Most relationships have a predominant speaker and listener. However, that is fine as long as it is balanced. Some partners simply talk more than their better halves. You might have been listening to your lover’s stories and enjoying them, but if you would love for them to hear you much more often, that is already a relationship red flag.
If you discover that your partner does not show much interest when you talk about yourself, it may simply indicate that they are self-centered. You might have caused this problem by initially downplaying the significance of your own stories and focusing too much on theirs.
5. Obsession with an Ex
It’s okay to still think about your ex occasionally, especially if it was a long-term relationship. However, it becomes a problem when you constantly talk about them. If your partner still has several pictures of an ex on their phone or constantly talks to them claiming to be cool, you might want to consider quickly leaving this relationship.
However, you should do this after you have given them enough time to adjust. You do not have to feel like a substitute for another person as everyone is different. Similarly, if they always criticize their previous relationships and it seems that all their exes are ‘monsters’, you might have to suspect their motives at some point.
6. Not putting in enough effort
If your partner is unwilling to do certain things to make the relationship work, it reflects a lack of commitment on their part. For instance, refusal to spend time with your family, friends, and inner circle during important occasions.
We all need a certain level of enthusiasm to show our partners we are fully invested in their lives. You might need an honest conversation if excuses keep popping up each time you want to hang out with your loved ones.
The other extreme is when you are too clingy, which prevents you from spending time with your loved ones. It’s cute when your spouse misses you so much and always wants to be with you. However, don’t be fooled: Isolation is never a good thing.
7. Bad manners
Being rude to strangers or finding it difficult to apologize is a huge turn-off that should not be overlooked. This behavior usually gets worse until it starts affecting you. Good manners are a sign of maturity and your partner should not always be in a bad mood.
Both of you should respect each other even in the most frustrating situations. Apologizing is the bedrock of any successful relationship and shows accountability, so both of you should be willing to admit your flaws and move on.
8. Really bad sex
Don’t get fooled into thinking that sex is not a big part of a relationship. While shared values and overall friendship is vital, sex plays a huge role in helping couples bond. Bad sex might make your partner want to look elsewhere, and it only becomes a slippery slope from there. Many couples have found that a therapist can help them solve this problem.
9. Extreme jealousy
Note the use of the word ‘extreme’. It is perfectly healthy to occasionally be jealous, and it shows that you do not want to lose your companion. Yet, jealousy might be one of the red flags in a relationship where the partner is overly controlling or violating your space.
We need to know that our partner trusts us. If you have to spend a long time trying to prove that you are fully committed to them, you are in for a really difficult relationship. You might also need to stop doing certain things that might trigger their jealousy.
Narcissists are pretty notorious for gaslighting, which is a form of manipulation. If you constantly doubt yourself or feel crazy around your partner, then they are probably gaslighting you. For example, they might accuse you of overreacting or being forgetful. Similar forms of manipulation include the ‘silent treatment’, threats, and preying on your insecurities.
11. Poor hygiene
This point speaks for itself. No one wants to be with a companion who wears dirty socks and underwear. It’s simply gross and quite frankly shows that you are with a secret slob. Hygiene can potentially affect all areas of your relationship and is definitely not something you should overlook.
12. The good gestures stop
If your partner stops putting in effort to do things for you, it might be a red flag. Many couples gradually become less attentive to their partner’s needs. They lose their motivation to do nice things to make their companion happy, even if it means going out of their way.
If your lover starts ignoring your feelings, stops complimenting you, and seems not to notice anything going on in your life, it is a loud warning signal for you. Your partner should not be too busy for you.
A relationship becomes toxic when either your mental or physical well-being is compromised. If the arguments seem endless and you are constantly stressed, you need to take action sooner rather than later.
Lying, manipulation, yelling, belittling, anger issues, disrespect, constant criticisms, fear of commitment, nagging, and terrible financial habits are other signs of toxic behavior, and all highlight red flags in a relationship.
What’s next after you see red flags in a relationship?
You have to stop it as soon as you can. This does not necessarily mean ending the relationship outright, as they might not even know what they are doing wrong. However, it is important to recognize the danger and address it immediately. You might want to seek advice from relationship experts, read books, or talk to a more mature or experienced person.
However, the most important thing is to let your partner know that your ‘ship’ might sink if nothing is done about the situation. Not dealing with red flags is a straightforward deal breaker. All couples will deal with challenges at some point, but willingness to resolve any conflict is what makes the difference between success and failure.
Most times, it is easier to point out the red flags in a relationship if your buddy is the one affected. However, we could easily ignore these same signs when they happen to us. If we do not nip these problems in the bud, they could slowly escalate and cause irreparable damage. Thus, the warning signs are described here for you to learn and make the necessary changes without being judgmental.
Don’t justify or make excuses thinking you can easily address the red flags in your relationship. People usually do not change. Based on experience, it is best to prevent debilitating heartbreaks where possible and avoid wasting your time. It might seem tough to take, but in the end, you would be glad you dealt with the writing on the wall. Trust your gut and do what you must do. Good luck!