From the outside, it can appear to be extremely simple to identify whether a relationship is toxic or not. While we’ve all been by our best friend’s side whenever they’ve been with a toxic partner, it is difficult to identify relationship red flags for one’s own self. For this very reason, I have taken the responsibility of breaking down these 10 dating red flags that should send you running!
Before we proceed, what is a red flag, and what’s the need for a dating red flags checklist? Well, red flags are early signs that point out that something about the dynamic of the relationship/person has to be addressed or questioned. Red flags are deal-breakers or negative qualities that a romantic partner displays that can act as trigger warnings for you in a relationship or even before you get into one.
Now I understand that relationship deal breakers vary for each individual. However, this is a list of relationship red flags that are common and have to be acted upon. If your relationship shows any of these signs, you can safely assume that it’s a toxic relationship (and that your best friend has been right all along).
These 10 Dating Red Flags Should Send You Running NOW!
They say “love is blind” for a reason. It’s easy to get blinded by the good over the bad when you are in a relationship with someone. Love does that to you; it makes you ignore their flaws. It makes you see a person through a lens of what you’d like them to be, instead of who they actually are. The few who can see them, are unwilling to recognize them as problems.
Very few situations warrant a person escaping through the bathroom window during a date. If you spot any one of these 10 dating red flags during the initial stages of the relationship, run! You will be saving yourself a lot of time, effort, energy and eventual heartache if you spot these red flags in the talking stage with a potential partner.
I have written this article with the intention of handing you the power to spot these signs early on. Use this article about 10 dating red flags that should send you running, to make an early exit if you can foresee turbulent times ahead. After all, it’s better to cut and run well in advance before you invest any of your precious time and energy into someone new. These signs are something a relationship with healthy boundaries would never have, so be open to accepting the fact that the person who’s made you Google these signs is just not the right one for you.
Honor your well-being by walking away from an unhealthy relationship sooner rather than later if your partner disrespects you. Here are 10 dating red flags that should send you running:
Related Reading: 8 Habits Of Couples In Strong And Healthy Relationships
1. Red flags not to ignore when dating someone new: A pattern of inconsistency
Relationships are supposed to offer us company during the highs and lows that life puts us through. When you’re in a relationship you want to be able to rely on your partner at all times, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. The word you’re looking for is consistency. It’s the foundation for a sustainable and strong relationship. The words, “I am here for you” relay a sense of safety and reliability in a relationship. If there is a lack of commitment, there is a good chance you are in a situationship.
Ladies, if a guy you’re seeing is telling you all the perfect things but rarely acts on them, it’s one of the most obvious red flags a guy is playing you with his sweet words. When their words don’t match their actions, that right there is a sign of inconsistency. It is easy to wonder if you’re asking for too much, but I am here to tell you that you are not. You are just asking the wrong person.
Experiencing inconsistency in a relationship is detrimental to your emotional and psychological health. It’s not easy to deal with being ignored by someone you love. I speak from experience; in one of my past relationships my ex would constantly send out mixed signals about ‘being there’ for me. It was only after we split, I realized that she was selectively supportive of the things that were convenient and mattered to her.
2. Dating red flags checklist: Emotional unavailability is their forte
Dating an emotionally unavailable person is like rowing a boat against the flow of the river. It’s never going to get you anywhere because of the serious intimacy barrier that’s present which prevents a relationship from maturing to its full potential. As stated before, no sign from this list of dating red flags checklist should be ignored if you are seeking a happy and sustainable relationship.
Out of these 10 dating red flags that should send you running, this second one is the most exhaustive in nature. The push and pull that comes when you are in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable person will test your tolerance levels. While all of them are important as each one acts as a pillar for a healthy relationship, emotional unavailability is the one I fear the most, and with good reason too.
It’s not easy to spot and come to a conclusion if an emotionally unavailable man loves you. However, there are a few signs that you can be on the lookout for – check if they actively steer away from deep conversations, if they fear commitment and if they get defensive easily. Their emotional unavailability can be linked to their attachment styles.
3. Looking for red flags before moving in together? Watch out for any insecure behavior
We’ve all felt insecure at some point of time in our life. Whether someone lets their insecurity get the better of them or not is the real question here. A vast proportion of men are woefully oblivious of their insecurities. If you’re dating an insecure man, it’s possible you might not be aware of his insecurities until a few months into the relationship.
Let’s discuss some red flags of an insecure man and a few easy ways to spot one so you can prevent getting trapped in a toxic relationship. A simple exercise is to be on the lookout for certain behavioral tendencies. When it comes to expressing emotions, does he go overboard? Is he clingy and in need of constant reassurance?
When you mention going out with your friends does your partner intentionally call you excessively to ‘check-in’ on you or with something ‘urgent’ to talk about? Be careful about these red flags before moving in together. You don’t want to be stuck with someone with relationship anxiety when you’re away and have to be assured over and over again. Insecurities in relationships look different for every couple.
Related Reading: How Can I Overcome Feeling Insecure In Relationships?
4. Red flags not to ignore when dating someone new: They don’t treat you as their equal
Ladies, tell me if this sounds familiar – you meet a guy and the two of you hit it off and you go on a few dates, then you notice that he has been mansplaining things to you all along. Yes, that awkward realization when you’ve been cut off in the middle of the conversation and “mansplained” because he thinks he knows it better than you.
Mansplaining is just the tip of the iceberg and a sign that you’re dating a boy and not a man. It’s only one of the indicators that should alarm you to be on the lookout for instances where he has made you feel less of you. There are others, such as: if your inputs in a conversation are not taken seriously and instead mocked; if your opinion is not of any importance to him; belittling your accomplishments; not valuing your inputs and opinions; and, always making you compromise. These are all red flag signs.
If your partner does not view you as their equal, it’s going to cause a lot of friction in the relationship. People reveal a lot of things about themselves during the early stages of dating. If you look at the person through your BFF’s lens of inspection you will spot several red flags not to ignore when dating someone new.
5. They want the relationship to be a secret
Phew! And now for the 5th out of 10 dating red flags that should send you running out of that relationship. The line between a relationship that is private, but not a secret is a fine one, but are two different worlds apart. There is nothing wrong with keeping your romantic life low-key. However, if you don’t even mention your partner to your close friends because you’re his dirty little secret, it is without a doubt one of the biggest red flags a guy is playing you.
I want to point out that a relationship that is private will not need any defending in your mind. The problem only begins when your partner does not want you to tell anyone about the relationship. Pay close attention here, if a guy doesn’t want to discuss you with his friends, fine, maybe he has his reasons.
Question why your speech is being censored? If the two of you willingly wish to keep it a secret, maybe one can pass on it for the time being. But just know that a secret relationship always takes a toll on you, more so if the secretive ways are one-sided. If a relationship is a secret, it’s definitely not being built on the foundation of authenticity and honesty.
6. Your friends and family dislike your partner
Your friends and family can see your partner through an unbiased lens. They can see them for who they truly are and let’s be honest, after having been by your side through your last few relationships, you already know that they’d always spotted signs you’d missed and they were right about the previous misfires all along.
Value your friends and family’s opinion of your partner; at the very least be considerate of what they point out (because they always will) and do your best to see what they’re trying to show you. Eight times out of ten they’re going to be right. I bet you are feeling grateful for stumbling upon these 10 dating red flags that should send you running.
It should be simple to be able to talk to your friends about the person you’ve started seeing. If you’re having to avoid mentioning him, because they dislike him and think you can do better, they are right. Your close ones will have an objective point of view of your relationship, they know your worth as an individual and they will ALWAYS see through your tendencies since they don’t want you making mistakes and getting hurt.
7. You’re exhausted from making the effort
In a relationship, both partners need to put in an equal amount of effort for the relationship to have balance. It is a partnership after all and it should be 50/50. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. This is the most common of the dating red flags checklist that people find themselves in.
Lack of effort will ruin your relationship, whether it’s coming from your partner or you. But because you’re the one looking for red flags, I know you’re at the receiving end of it. Fortunately, there are signs, or should I say red flags in the talking stage itself that will save you from getting into an emotionally exhaustive relationship with lopsided effort. You’re welcome 🙂
Simply put, if you’re always expected to match your partner’s schedule for a date, you always have to clean up their mess and have to go out of the way for them more than you get your own coffee, then there is a problem brewing here. Proceed with caution if you’re thinking of moving in together. It’s the beginning of a dysfunctional relationship and it will leave you feeling drained. Don’t make the mistake of avoiding these red flags before moving in together.
8. If the ex is still in the picture it’s one the red flags a guy is playing you
*sighs* And now for the 8th out of these 10 dating red flags that should send you running. I should not even have to mention this one, but because we’re discussing red flags not to ignore when dating someone new, I have to share a few common instances that repeat themselves far too frequently. Ladies don’t make the mistake of overlooking these red flags.
It’s difficult to accept that your partner is hanging out with or interacting with their ex. Feeling uncomfortable with your partner being friends with the ex is normal. It’s only natural for you to feel threatened. For most couples, being friends with an ex never works out well for the relationship due to several factors. If you find yourself in this situation talk to your partner about this, and if your feelings toward it are ignored, be alarmed that maybe you’re in a rebound relationship.
This looks different for every throuple (it is what it is), but there are certain scenarios involving exes that should serve as red flags, warning bells, danger signs, what-have-you. First, is the friends-with-ex scenario. Too good to be true, because no two exes can be “just friends”. Scenario the second, diss-the-ex-a-lot. Someone who’s constantly bad-mouthing their exes as “crazy” or “awful”, doesn’t seem like a mature, balanced person. They lack the empathy, maturity, and objectivity to recognize why a relationship failed. And thirdly, a their-ex-your-friend type situation. No, really. If their ex is a mutual friend, run. Let’s leave that for the sitcoms.
Related Reading: 11 Relationship Qualities That Are a Must Have For A Happy Life
9. Want to know some other red flags of an insecure man? He is passive-aggressive
Out of all these dating red flags, this is the one I have had the worst experience with, in my dating life. Granted, everyone has a different way of expressing their anger, but there isn’t much you can do when your partner turns hostile toward you. I have seen instances where my friend’s partner stopped him from explaining things to her and cut off communication for weeks.
Passive aggression is a relationship killer. Being assertive is completely different from being aggressive, equally worse when it’s done passively. You can easily spot this during the initial stages of dating someone new. Ladies, these red flags in the talking stage are telling you to proceed with extreme caution.
You can’t label it a healthy relationship if you’re never going to know what your man is thinking or feeling. It is truly detrimental to your relationship because you will constantly feel like you don’t know him well enough, and you don’t. The last thing you want is to feel like your partner is a complete stranger a few months into the relationship. It’s important to know when to walk away from a relationship before you feel lost and numb.
A quick way to spot a passive-aggressive person is to look for instances where you find them verbally denying their anger or trying to avoid conflict all the time; maybe you find that they withdraw and sulk when angry. If you could relate to any of these instances, there is a high probability that you are dealing with a passive-aggressive person. And I want you to know that you don’t need to.
10. There have been instances of gaslighting
Let’s say you bring up a concern that has been bothering you with your partner, hoping for a resolution or at the least for them to hear you out. But things take a turn and instead they call you too sensitive and dismiss your feelings. Gaslighting in relationships is a way for a manipulative partner to hold the reins of the relationship so that they can assume control of it.
If you’ve had instances where your partner has criticized you or shifted the entire blame onto you, making you question your own judgment, then you were gaslighted. A gaslighter would deliberately challenge your narrative by saying, “This never happened” or “You’ve misunderstood the situation”.
A simple way to know if you’re being gaslighted by your partner is by asking yourself if you feel like you walk on eggshells around them. You find yourself always filtering your thoughts before you say them out loud so you don’t piss your partner off. That’s because they’re a ticking bomb and you’re in a constant worry about what might trigger them. So are you being gaslighted?
That wraps up all the 10 dating red flags that should send you running. This dating red flags checklist we have curated for you should act as exit points in your relationship. Remember, a healthy relationship doesn’t come with huge emotional turmoil in the package. If you found yourself relating to even one of these signs, you should consider parting ways with your partner. If you think you have a friend who needs to see these signs loud and clear, send this piece their way.