Tired of getting years into a relationship and learning it was destined for failure from the start? Looking for red flags early in dating can help you determine whether a suitor is potential partner material earlier in the process, saving you heartache and opening the door for the right person at the right time.
It’s important to keep in mind that no partner is perfect. One red flag is not a reason to abandon ship. If you notice one or even two red flags, have an open conversation with your partner about your concerns. If you notice red flags in yourself, seek counseling. It’s never too late to become a better version of yourself.
Onward! Five red flags you should keep an eye out for in relationships.
The first red flag is entitlement.
Keeping an eye out for entitlement early can save you trouble later. Somebody suffering some self-entitlement believes they’re owed special treatment.
Does your partner believe the rules don’t apply to him or her? Do they often forget about the needs of those around them? Do they think they deserve special treatment when they go out, because of their title or some other reason?
The second red flag is jealousy and mistrust.
Occasional jealousy and mistrust are common and even normal. But constant or consistent mistrust is a red flag. Trust is the foundation to any healthy relationship and it starts early.
Your partner might be overly jealous or mistrustful if:
- they accuse you of cheating on them (and you aren’t)
- they remain in constant contact with you
- they prevent you from spending time with others or insist on tagging along when you do
- they search your phone, read your messages, or invade your privacy
- they check on you to see if you are where you said you would be
The third red flag is the inability to resolve conflict in a healthy way.
Observe closely when conflicts arise. Does your partner place blame, deny their involvement, shut down, or lose their temper?
Conflict is bound to arise in any long-term relationship, and the right partner can work through conflict in a constructive and respectful way. They should be able to both listen to your concerns and express their own concerns without demeaning or degrading you.
The fourth red flag is gaslighting.
Simply put, gaslighting is a form of manipulation that leads you to believe you’re crazy or losing your mind. It might involve distracting you, lying to you, discrediting you, blaming you, minimizing your feelings, and rewriting history in their favor.
A gaslighter might ask you to make eggs for breakfast, and then lose their temper when you serve them and tell you they asked for pancakes. When all is said and done, you begin to wonder if you really are losing your mind and they asked for pancakes after all.
The fifth red flag is harming your relationship with friends and family.
If your partner is hurting healthy relationships with people you love, it’s a red flag. If the people you love don’t accept your partner for reasons out of their control, that’s another topic – and begs the question whether those relationships are healthy are not.