Relationship Red Flags

Relationship Red Flags

When you are in a romantic relationship that you want to work, it can be easy to overlook qualities that are less than redeeming. It can be easy to justify their poor behavior or overlook signs that this person may not be great in the long-term. Below are some red flags that people often miss or overlook and while they may not be deal breakers, they need to be considered and discussed for the long-term.

Badmouthing Exes

A partner that trash talks all their exes is a big red flag. This means they have not taken time to really be introspective about their past relationships and figure out what caused the deterioration of each. No relationship ends solely because of one person’s behavior so if your partner plays the victim of their exes, then one day they will do the same to you.


Gaslighting is when your partner knows you are right about something, but they muddy the waters to cause you to question your feelings. This could be telling you to stop overreacting or that you are totally off base on something. A master gas-lighter does this in subtle ways so it is not totally obvious what is happening. Gal lighting is damaging because your partner is messing with your reality and lying to you. These can damage your overall mental health. Learn to trust your gut, if something feels off it likely is and needs addressed.

Avoiding Your Family and Friends

One concern that is often overlooked is when your partner invites you into their social circles, but refuses to be part of yours. They may want you to come to their family functions, work parties, and to hang with friends, but will not return the favor. If you find yourself making constant excuses for why your other half is missing, it is a red flag.

Mean to Strangers

Small things matter. Pay attention to how your partner interacts with strangers and those who are part of everyday life like waiters, checkout workers, and such. Treating strangers harshly can inform you about how they view others and this will eventually transfer to you.

Trouble Apologizing

We all need to be able to apologize from time to time. Being able to do so well is a sign of maturity. It means we are willing to hold ourselves accountable, admit mistakes, and try to correct the problem. If your partner does not like to apologize or never does verbally, then this is a red flag that may leave the relationship one sided.

Possessive or Secretive About Phone

Though it is an obvious red flag if you are in a relationship and the other person is always on their phone or glued to the screen, a less subtle version may be just as problematic. If someone is overly secretive or protective of their phone, like not letting you borrow it without first checking the screen, then there is likely a problem.

Unaccounted Time and Money

When time and money go missing it is a big red flag there is a problem. It may not be anything horrible, but it can damage a relationship. While not every moment needs to be accounted for to a partner, it is important that they not have to worry you have been in an accident or something when hours go by without an update.

Not Doing Nice Things

A new relationship typically has both people putting their best foot forward, while being very focused on the other’s needs. Over time, we may lose some of this motivation, but still need to do some nice things. This keeps your partner happy and will keep the relationship healthier. These do not have to be huge acts or even cost a dime, but something to show you care. If a partner is not willing or becomes annoyed when asked to help out, it is a big red flag.

Does Not Respect Boundaries

Many people can overlook boundary crossing early in a relationship because passion tends to overwhelm, but if the pattern continues over time, it is a sign of disrespect. If your partner is not respectful of your time, other people in your life, or physical boundaries, then there is a problem. Decide early on what and where your boundaries are and if you are willing to compromise in certain areas, then stick to your decisions.

Making Fun of You

Public teasing in a relationship is not a good sign, especially if you have asked them not to do so. A loving partner will not want to humiliate you in front of others, or alone. Your partner may call you insensitive, but if they continue to do so anyway, it is a red flag. This works both ways, so you should not make fun of them either. Otherwise, the relationship will never feel emotionally safe.

Constant Bad Mood

              We all have bad days on occasion, but if your partner seems to live in bad days, it is a huge deal. Make sure you discuss things and walk away if they are truly unhappy.


A relationship involves two people. In the beginning we often want to know everything about one another and even if at first they are willing to share and you aren’t, when you do open up, it should not remain all about them. Your thoughts and opinions have value and if their self-centeredness does not allow that, it is a huge red flag.

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