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.
Your heart pounds when you are together. You can stop thinking of the person when you’re apart. So far, the relationship is incredible, and you are beginning to think about wedding bells. Are you moving too quickly, or not quickly enough?
Here are five ways to be sure that the person you are with is "The One.":
Number 1: You Can Be Yourself
Everyone tries to be the best version of themselves when dating someone new. But that can’t last forever. Before committing to a life together, you should feel comfortable dropping your mask of perfection around the person without worrying about the consequences. Remember, "the one" will accept you for who you are and never ask you to change.
Number 2: You Would Choose the Person as a Just a Friend
Yes, physical attraction is vital to a long, happy marriage, but it is just one puzzle piece. After all, intense attraction can become a problem, leading you to make poor decisions about making a long-term commitment. The person you marry should be someone you would choose to spend time with as just a friend. If you can only connect in the bedroom, you probably don’t want to commit to a lifetime together.
Number 3: The Person Supports Your Goals and Dreams
People desire different things out of life. And that is okay. You and your partner don’t need to want precisely the same things, but they should be compatible. Anyone who belittles your goals or discourages you from going after your dreams isn’t for you. But that special person will not only encourage you to reach for the stars but will make you feel like you can be successful in reach.
Number 4: Your Friends and Family Adore the Person
Sure, you should marry whoever you want at the end of the day. However, it is much easier if all the people in your life like each other. Expecting those around you to adore your future spouse as much as you do may not be realistic. However, everyone should all be able to spend time together on a holiday without a fight breaking out. Remember, it goes both ways. You should have a good relationship with your future spouse’s friends and family as well.
Number 5: You Figured Out How to Resolve Conflicts Successfully
Marriage is never easy. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you. But it is not the difficult times or the conflicts that break people up. It is the couples’ inability to resolve disagreements without creating even more damage. Until you are confident you have the type of relationship that can survive serious quarrels, it’s a good idea to postpone any wedding plans.
When you’re ready to add a partner to your life, it can feel impossible to find the right person at the right time. Perhaps you’ve even wondered if good, single people still exist in the world. The answer is yes! While no potential partner is perfect, there are many single people out there who are emotionally healthy and ready to commit to the right person.
Looking for green flags is one way you can evaluate a potential partner. While there are dozens of green flags that can signal a person is ready for a relationship, we’ll review five of the most important here.
Green Flag #1: They show an interest in you.
A good candidate for a long-term relationship shows an interest in your feelings and hobbies. The subject of the conversation naturally shifts between you and them. They ask how you feel, what you’re working on, and what you’re excited about. They’re curious about your goals and ambitions. They listen intently when you share.
Ideally, they’re willing to engage in activities that interest you, too. You might even have some interests in common – things you can enjoy doing together.
On a more surface level, it’s also important that your level of attraction is comparable in intensity. If one party’s feelings are much more intense than the other’s – or you’re attracted to somebody who doesn’t feel the same way about you – it isn’t the right fit.
Green Flag #2: They’re open to feedback.
Throughout the course of relationship, both partners will need to provide and receive feedback in order to be successful. If one or the other is not receptive, the relationship can be destined for failure before it even begins.
You’ll know the person you’re seeing is open to feedback if they listen openly when you have concerns, apologize when they make a mistake, and demonstrate changed behavior going forward.
Green Flag #3: They take personal accountability.
The right partner demonstrates a high level of personal accountability. That means he or she takes responsibility for their own life, their own feelings, and the consequences of their own actions without blaming others.
Accountability is one of the most important components of a healthy relationship. In many cases, each partner’s level of accountability ultimately determines whether a relationship can be saved. Looking for this personality trait early in a relationship can help you get through hard times down the road.
Green Flag #4: They have the basics under control.
The basics might sound small, but they quickly become big when you share your life with someone else. Somebody who has the basics under control is financial stable, is reliable, and takes good care of themselves. They wear clean clothes, practice good hygiene, nourish their body, and exercise regularly. They care for their mental and emotional well-being and don’t abuse drugs or alcohol.
Green Flag #5: They’re secure.
An insecure partner may need the attention and approval of others, regardless of the fulfillment that comes from your relationship. A secure partner is comfortable enough with themselves to be satisfied with the attention one partner can provide.
While you’re looking for green flags in your partner, be sure to evaluate yourself, too. There’s always room for growth!
Arguments are unavoidable in a relationship. Inevitably, you and your partner will face situations in which your viewpoints differ and you have to find common ground. In these moments, it’s important that you communicate respectfully and with the end goal in mind.
Here are some tips.
First, keep an open mind. Stop and ask yourself if your goal is to be right or to resolve the conflict. If your goal is to resolve the conflict, than it will be important to not only hear your partner but really consider what they have to say.
If necessary, establish boundaries. Never swear at your partner, call them names, or make fun of them. If they swear at you, call you names, or make fun of you, let them know that in order to continue the discussion, it’s important that their communication is respectful. If it happens again, let them know that you won’t continue the discussion until they’re ready to communicate respectfully and walk away.
Then, work to identify the root cause. Most arguments arise over seemingly little things and the root cause is never identified. Rather than focusing on the details that led to the argument, shift the focus to what your partner might be feeling in order to better understand the root cause. Ask yourself, "What is my partner really upset about? What am I really upset about?" For example, an argument about housework is almost always about feeling unappreciated or undervalued and almost never about housework.
When sharing your perspective, make "I" statements. For example, instead of saying, "You left your clothes on the floor next to the hamper again," say, "I feel like don’t care about me when you leave your clothes on the floor."
Look for opportunities to compromise. Instead of hashing it out until somebody wins, look for solutions where each party gives a little and gets a little. Compromises can prevent resentment later on and help you build a skill set for resolving more difficult conflicts as they arise.
Next, agree to disagree. When you find yourselves in the middle of an argument that you can’t resolve, it’s okay to let it go. If the issue was inconsequential, like who was remembering a conversation accurately, move forward. If the issue is big, like whether to have children or not, you may need to evaluate your compatibility. While ending a relationship is hard, continuing a relationship when you don’t agree on foundational issues is even more painful.
Most importantly, remember that conflict is an opportunity to grow in your relationship and to hash out difficult issues as a couple. Instead of shutting down when arguments arise, use the opportunity to listen, share, and strengthen your relationship.
Friendships enrich our lives with companionship, support and love. The wrong friends bring us down, though, and affect our physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing. Because friends are crucial, here are a few ways you can cultivate better quality friendships.
Choose friends wisely.
Look for friends who share your interests, balance your personality and uplift you. And remember that it is okay and healthy to break off friendships with people who are toxic or no longer involved in your life.
Make time to connect.
Quality friendships require intentional relationship building, which takes time. So, be available for your friends and participate in their lives. Send and reply to texts, schedule face-to-face meetings, and plan fun outings. Also, meet their families, celebrate important events like birthdays and learn about their interests.
Maintain your own standards.
Commit to being who you genuinely are. Real friends will like, accept and enjoy the real you. And you can expect the same authenticity in return as you commit to building quality friendships that last.
Practice trusting behaviors.
True friendship means you have each other’s backs. So, choose friends and become a friend who practices trusting behaviors like dependability, responsibility and integrity. For example, keep your word and refuse to lie to or about your friends. Likewise, defend friends when they’re criticized. And protect secrets and resist sharing or listening to gossip.
It’s easy to do all the talking when you are excited about a topic or need to process a challenge. But also give your friends time to talk. Then, listen carefully. Pay attention to their words and body language, and reply after they finish sharing.
Give and receive help.
Asking for help and sharing deep feelings requires vulnerability. These features are essential in quality friendships, so become willing to give and receive support and help.
Friendship can help you grow as a person if you can share feedback. For example, a true friend will point out the lettuce in your teeth before you leave the table. Likewise, quality friendships allow both parties to discuss hurtful comments or problematic behavior patterns.
Set and respect boundaries.
Like all healthy relationships, quality friendships require guidelines about how you will treat each other. That means you may need to set limits on the topics you discuss or the hours you’re available. Also, agree not to use your friendship as free therapy. These and other boundaries help you create a mutually satisfying, nurturing and emotionally healthy relationship.
Resolve conflict maturely.
Every friendship will experience conflicts and disagreements. Instead of nurturing resentment and unforgiveness, talk to each other in a respectful, mature manner. Share your perspective using “I feel, want, need, see” statements. Also, be willing to apologize. Seek to resolve the conflict without guilt, shame or emotional blackmail as you build a deeper connection.
To have better quality friendships, be a good friend. Treat people the way you want to be treated, and you’ll attract the quality friends you deserve, desire and need.
When you’re striving to achieve that happy relationship, it is easy to look at other couples and feel like there’s just something missing in your own. The fact is, relationships can be a bit of a mystery, and sometimes, two people seem like they just click. Nevertheless, the happiest couples you know—the ones in a long-term relationship who seem just as happy as they were in the beginning—likely have a few secrets. Take a look at five secrets happy couples know that most don’t.
1. Arguments can be productive
If you want to know the secret to a good relationship, find a happy couple and watch them argue. This is pretty much impossible, but the thing is, arguments are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, some professionals claim that couples that aren’t arguing are usually the couples that split because a lack of heated conflict can be a sign of indifference; no one cares enough to fight. Productive arguments involve active listening, making requests over complaints, and taking timeouts when needed.
2. Autonomy is important
Autonomy is all about individual interests, values, and interests. No two people are ever going to be exactly alike, and you should never enter a relationship with expectations that your partner will be just like you. The happiest couples involve two people who retain their own individual personalities and interests and appreciate the other person in spite of their differences. In other words, you don’t sacrifice yourself and your interests to please your partner, and you should never expect them to either.
3. Never stop having fun together
The happiest couples involve fun and, well, happiness. Remember what it was like when you first met your partner? Think about all the excitement that came from doing new things together, making each other laugh, and simply enjoying each other’s company. It is easy to let these things fall by the wayside once you move beyond the infatuation stage of a relationship, but these fun times are a bond that keeps two people together.
4. It’s better to have hurt feelings than dishonesty
Trust is a pillar of a good relationship. The one thing that can ruin that supportive pillar is dishonesty. Any happy couple will tell you that being open, honest, and vulnerable is incredibly important, even when doing so may provoke an undesirable response from your partner. For example, if you’ve done something you know will cause your partner to be disappointed in you, fess up and face that disappointment head-on. Otherwise, if your partner discovers the issue later and sees that you lied, this puts a crack in ever-important trust.
5. Long-term relationships require semi-long-term work
Good relationships don’t usually happen by accident—they take ongoing work from both parties. Psychology Today lists off a handful of things most couples have to work on: committed listening, honesty, being vulnerable with your partner, and learning to let go of control. The good news is, this period of "work" may not last forever, but the same effort should always be given even in the long term. In other words, happy couples usually go through a period of working hard to achieve contentedness, and then when new issues arise, they tackle them with an open mind instead of giving up.
Ghosting is the practice of suddenly ending all communication with another person without any apparent reason or warning. It’s most often used in reference to social media or other electronic forms of communication. Although the term typically refers to dating and romantic relationships, it’s also used in Platonic or work situations. Although there are many advantages to virtual communication, the lack of face-to-face contact has contributed to an impersonal social environment. At worst, this type of social environment treats individuals as if they are disposable. Keep in mind that every time you ghost someone, you’re actually helping to normalize a behavior that’s ultimately unhealthy for society as a whole.
Why We Ghost
Ghosting happens more often when the two parties haven’t met. The typical scenario is that two people start talking through a dating app, have a few virtual conversations, and one person stops answering or initiating text communications. There is a train of thought among many people that ghosting and being ghosted as part of the dating game in the 21st century. However, a more mature approach is to be direct but kind instead of just disappearing. The other person is often left confused about what happened, and they may even blame themselves.
Many people ghost because they’ve realized that the relationship has no future. Although it is understandable to cut things off when you sense the relationship is going nowhere, you will be a better person if you resist the impulse to ghost someone. Besides needlessly hurting the other person, ghosting also makes you look bad. If you develop a reputation for ghosting, others will see you as too immature to be considered relationship material. This will ultimately be bad for your self-esteem.
Is Ghosting Ever OK?
Nonetheless, there are some very valid reasons to ghost another person. For instance, if you suspect that you’ve been texting with a predatory or abusive person, the best thing to do is ghost that person for your own safety. Those with bad intentions often hang around dating sites, and bad intentions don’t always mean sexual predation. Scammers sometimes use dating apps to connect with kind-hearted people likely to fall for hard luck stories and send them money. Others are merely catfishing for their own entertainment. Listen to your instincts if they tell you to cut off communication with someone for the sake of your own safety.
If you feel tempted to ghost someone, take a hard look at your motives. Are there genuine red flags that would justify ghosting, or do you simply want to avoid a difficult conversation? Even though ghosting someone may seem like the easy way out, you will be a better person if you treat people the way you would wish to be treated yourself in the same situation.
Some friendships are not meant to be. You may have been drawn to a person at first because you shared the same interests or had mutual friends. But over time, you’ve noticed that you just don’t enjoy being around that person anymore.
It’s possible that you may have just outgrown this relationship. But it’s also possible that you may be in a toxic friendship. As the name suggests, a toxic friendship can be poisonous to your mental well-being.
Not sure if your friendship is healthy or not? Then, please check out these 5 signs of a toxic friendship.
Number one. Everything is always about them.
You may be having the worst day ever. But don’t expect any sympathy from a toxic friend. Life is always going to be about them. So, even if you’re feeling down and in need of comforting, you can expect your toxic friend to try to make the situation about themselves.
The same will be true if something good should happen to you. A toxic friend is always going to try and upstage you or find some other way to steal the limelight.
Number two. You can’t trust the other person.
When you have a true friend, you can trust them. If you make plans, they’ll be there. And if you tell them a secret, they’ll keep it to themselves.
A toxic friend, on the other hand, will have no problem ditching you, especially if something better comes along. They also tend to be two-faced, telling you one thing. But then saying something different behind your back.
Number three. They’re always gas lighting you.
Gas lighting is a form of emotional abuse. It happens when someone tries to make you question your perception of reality. For example, let’s say that your toxic friend insults you. If you were to call them out on it, they would probably claim it was only a joke. Or they might even deny ever saying the insult. It’s also possible that your friend will try to play the victim by accusing you of being overly sensitive.
Number four. Life around your friend is a constant drama.
Some people thrive on drama and chaos. They love to create huge scenes, often making a big deal out of nothing. In fact, they’ll do just about anything to draw attention to themselves.
It can be very exhausting to be around this type of person. Especially since, you’re often the one left to mop up the messes that your toxic friend has created.
Number five. You feel worse when you’re with this person than when you’re not.
Do you cringe when you see that your toxic friend is calling? Do you feel mentally exhausted after spending time with your friend? Those are signs that your friendship is not healthy. In a true friendship, you should feel valued and happy.
There is also give and take in a true friendship. In a toxic relationship, it will feel like the other person is always taking from you — taking your time, your energy, or your resources.
No one likes rejection, and being ghosted with no warning is often painful and confusing. It is completely understandable why someone who has been ghosted would want to know why. Too often, people tend to blame themselves in situations like this. People who have been ghosted sometimes respond with anger and frustration. While these are normal emotions under the circumstances, it’s important to avoid acting impulsively in the aftermath of being ghosted. Here’s what you should do:
Step Away From the Screen
Even a short break from electronic communication puts being ghosted in greater perspective. Go for a walk, or go out for coffee while leaving your device behind. This helps prevent you from giving in to the impulse to lash out at the person who ghosted you and lets you take a fresh look at the situation. Keep in mind that as many as 25% of all people who use dating apps are ghosted at some point.
Don’t Pursue the Connection
After you’ve calmed down from an initial ghosting, you may be tempted to contact the person and calmly ask what happened. Most of the time, this is a mistake. The main reason people ghost is to avoid confrontation. Unfortunately, electronic communications make that an easy and convenient option. Nonetheless, you should listen if the person reaches out to you with an explanation. Perhaps a family emergency or other unexpected circumstance was the cause of the abrupt cessation of communication. In this case, you have not actually been ghosted.
Consider Yourself Lucky
One of the main reasons people ghost is that they lack the emotional maturity to have an adult conversation. They may also have a mental health condition, such as narcissistic personality disorder, that causes them to lack empathy for others. After the initial sting of rejection wears off, you’ll probably be happy that the person ghosted you so that you can move on to better choices.
How to Prevent Being Ghosted
If you find yourself being ghosted time and time again, it may be time for a good look in the mirror. It could be as simple as connecting with the wrong people. On the other hand, you could be putting unknowingly something out there that’s making people think twice about becoming involved with you. This may occur more frequently with those who are new to dating apps and to dating in general.
To minimize being ghosted on dating apps, don’t be pushy or overly needy. Keep communications short and sweet — after all, the whole point of these apps is for two people to decide if they want to meet in person. Avoid sensitive topics and be appropriate, respectful, and prepared to move on if it doesn’t work out.
Meeting people isn’t as easy as one might think. This is especially true if you’re looking to meet people outside of school or work. You’d think that with technological advances that we’d be more social, but it has actually had the opposite effect. Technology can still be used to meet people, though, as you can find local social clubs that meet up and do various activities. Whether or not you’re browsing online for them, these hobbies are the best ones to meet new people.
5. Book Clubs
One of the oldest social clubs that you can find is the book club. People will have a designated book that they all read and will discuss the meanings behind the book and the author who penned it. Book clubs are still going strong these days, and it’s much easier to find one closeby. From Shakespeare to autobiographies about reality television personalities, the sky’s the limit for your book club.
4. Dog Park Visiting
If you have a dog, that’s one surefire way to at least start a conversation with a new person. When you take your dog to a designated dog park, though, you’re opening yourself up to a large amount of people that you can chat with. If your dog makes a new friend, you might make a new friend with its owner, too. After all, people can talk about their dogs for hours on end!
Getting out into nature is one of the best ways to meet people without spending money and not feeling a lot of pressure. While some advanced hikers prefer to go solo, it’s much safer to hike with others. To add on to this, you can also go birdwatching as a similar hobby. You’ll be able to learn new things and understand the lay of the land. You don’t have to be super chatty, either, as most hikers are there to take in the sights and sounds of nature itself.
One hobby that has been exploding in popularity over the past decade is bar trivia. Because of the prizes that are given out and the potential to compete on a state or national level, a lot of people want to prove their trivia knowledge. Because of this, you can hop onto online forums to find yourself a local team, or you can even play by yourself at first. After showing your skills and meeting some of those that are playing, you could find a group where you belong, even if you don’t partake in the drinking aspect of bar trivia.
1. Team Sports
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to get out and meet people. Most cities, no matter the size, have some form of athletics leagues that are open to the public. One of the more popular options is slow pitch softball. Both men and women can be on the same team, and signing up yourself as a free agent is a great way to meet people. Though it might take some time to break in and get to know your new teammates, those that have taken the plunge will make some lifelong friends.