As humans, we all long for loving and emotional connections that make us feel grounded, happy, and at peace. However, not all relationships can provide that sense of comfort and security.
Oftentimes, we come into relationships that look charming from the outside but have a lot of red flags that need to be dealt with, which can cause harm and toxicity to the other person.
But what is the meaning of the popular term “red flags?”
Come with us and find out.
What are Red Flags in a Relationship?
In simple terms, red flags in a relationship are unhealthy and manipulative behaviors that can make the relationship toxic and difficult to be in.
These red flags are not seen at first, but once you enter a relationship and move past the honeymoon stage, you get to know them, and their real personalities show up. Red flags are not restricted to romantic relationships but can also be seen in friendships, workplaces, relatives, or family members.
However, when we talk about the biggest red flags in a guy in a romantic relationship, they can show up in the form of jealousy, narcissism, victimization, gaslighting, or abusive behavior. Whereas the biggest red flags for a girl can show up in the form of jealousy, constant changing, being clingy and pressuring you to do stuff, not committing, or ending up ghosting you.
These red flags won’t be visible at first, but once you settle in with your partner and move past the honeymoon stage, you may see them. This can definitely be avoided if the person is aware of their patterns and wants to get out of them so it doesn’t impact them and their relationship.
15 Red Flags in a Relationship to Look Out For
Having a sense of observation and understanding your relationship from an objective point of view is extremely important to see if there are any red flags you are dealing with.
Most people do not realize that they are in an unhealthy relationship and accept it as it is, thinking that is how relationships are supposed to be. So here are 15 red flags that you should be aware of in a relationship.
1. Controlling behavior
This kind of behavior in a relationship can be a big red flag. Controlling behavior is often misunderstood with care and compassion; however, if your partner tries to tell you what to do, how to make your decision, where to go, and how to behave in your friendship, then that can be a major red flag.
In healthy relationships, there is compromise and an understanding of differences. There is open communication, and no one controls the other.
2. Excessive jealousy
If your partner gets jealous of your social life or you hang out with someone of the opposite gender, it might be a red flag. A little bit of jealousy is fine, as that is an indication of your love and attachment. However, if it gets out of hand and leads your partner to constantly doubt you and your behavior, it is a major red flags example.
In healthy relationships, there is mutual trust and understanding. Even if your partner hangs out with someone of the opposite gender, you share radical honesty and trust with each other.
3. Anger issues
If your partner has anger issues and often shouts at you or doesn’t talk properly during a disagreement or conflict, it can be a red flag. They might raise their voice when you are trying to discuss sensitive issues or resolve emotional conflicts, which might make you feel scared to share anything with them.
In healthy relationships, there are conflicts, and a slight raising of voice also happens at times, but there is open communication, and the partner doesn’t deliberately try to hurt or demean the other person.
If your partner has a tendency to always manipulate you into believing you are at fault, then that is a case of gaslighting. Your partner cannot be perfect, and at times, even they would be at fault, but even then, if they make you feel bad for accusing them, that is a red flag.
In healthy relationships, there is open communication and no game of accusations.
Every partner is somewhat dependent on their partner, but in a healthy way. There is a thin line between co-dependency and codependency. Loving your partner and wanting them in your life, asking for help, and needing their support are fine. However, if you want that 24x7 without even thinking of making your own decisions or helping yourself, it can turn into an unhealthy relationship.
In healthy relationships, wanting your partner and their support is appreciated, but if it goes to the extent where you become overly obsessed with them, not letting them have their individual lives, or clinging on to them for every move or decision, it is important to talk about it.
6. Lack of communication
The foundation of every relationship is radical communication. There are times when you have to talk about difficult things like your fears, insecurities, or childhood patterns. Instead of running away from them, bring it up with your partner. Because if you don’t, in the long run, it will cause serious harm to your relationship.
Even if it is a small thing that is making you overthink it, talk to them so that you both get to know each other. If there is no communication and your relationship is solely based on assumptions, it will lead to conflicts, which will take very little time to become a red flag.
7. Lack of social circle
Your partner and you are best friends and important to each other. However, it is also important to have a social circle with whom you can have fun, and your partner can also have their share of fun with their friends. If you do not have anyone but your partner, it can make you feel lonely at times. Though it is quite normal to not have many friends, talking about this and how you feel about it genuinely with your partner is important for you both to be on the same page.
8. Lack of emotional intelligence
In any relationship, a basic sense of emotional intelligence is required, which includes empathy, sensitivity, listening skills, self-awareness, and social and emotional support. If your partner is unable to provide this and doesn’t give you proper love and care, then it is a red flag.
In healthy relationships, there is a safe space to share, be vulnerable, and provide each other with comfort. If you do not share that with your partner, it is important to look into your relationship.
9. Blame game
Oftentimes, relationships do not work out because of the blame game. Partners forget that they do not have to win a conflict; they have to conquer it together like a team. Your partner and you will make thousands of mistakes, but that doesn’t mean that you will taunt them and make them feel bad. It is important to share how you feel, but in a way that portrays your feelings and hurt properly and also doesn’t make them feel like a stranger to you. If you do otherwise, it is a red flag.
Remember, in order to make your relationship healthy, it is never you vs. your partner; it is you both vs. obstacles.
10. Lack of support
It is unsaid that in a relationship, you wish to have abundant support from your partner. However, if they keep demeaning and criticizing you and never fully supporting you, it can be a red flag.
In a healthy relationship, you get undivided support from your partner, and even if they do not support you in something, they tell you politely instead of demeaning or criticizing you.
11. Commitment issues
When you are in a serious relationship, it is important to discuss whether you and your partner are committed to each other or not. If your partner is into casual relationships and you are not, it can become a red flag in no time. It is important to talk about it or break ties with them so it doesn’t hinder your mental health.
12. Unwillingness to compromise
Any relationship has to go through a series of compromises, but if it is only you who is always taking that step and making compromises, then that is not a balanced relationship. It can be a major red flag that goes unnoticed.
In a healthy relationship, both partners have to compromise in order to make the relationship work and keep it balanced. Relationships can never work if they are one-way.
No relationship can stick if it is built on the foundation of lying. If you or your partner lie to each other and there is no trust between you and your partner, then it is not a serious relationship and is a major red flag.
14. No Boundaries
There are boundaries in every relationship, some of which are set by you and your partner and others that are unspoken. However, if your partner doesn’t respect those boundaries, invades a space that is not comfortable for you, and doesn’t listen even if you confront them, then it is a major dating red flag.
15. Arguing about everything
Arguing in relationships is common, but not to the point where all you do is fight and argue with them. If your partner and you have constant arguments about unnecessary things and there is no understanding, it can slowly become a dating red flag.
To avoid this, you can take relationship counseling and if it doesn’t feel compatible, then you both need to talk about it.
Red Flags vs. Yellow Flags in Relationships
Yellow flags in relationships are not that threatening but have the potential to become a threat if left unattended. They are not deal breakers in a relationship, but if not healed or looked after, they can become a serious problem.
Some of the yellow flags in a relationship are:
- They talk to their ex
- They cannot take criticism
- They make assumptions
- They do not become vulnerable
- They make all the plans without telling you
These are some examples that showcase that even though they are huge things, they can be mended if only you talk to your partner honestly and without any filter. No relationship or partner is perfect; we are all work in progress, so instead of breaking a beautiful relationship, talk to them and help them.
How to Get Rid of Red Flags in a Relationship
You cannot always run away from red flags in your relationship; the only way they can be mended is through communication, honesty, and strength.
Here are some steps to get rid of red flags in a relationship:
Although this might seem like a difficult step, for your mental peace, communicate with your partner and let them know all your fears and insecurities and how you wish to tackle the situation. Talk to each other radically and without any filter, so that you both can decide the future of your relationship.
2. Talk to yourself
The most important thing after recognizing your partner’s red flags is looking after your needs and priorities. Talk to yourself honestly and check with yourself if you wish to continue with this relationship or not. If you feel your partner can change, talk to them, but if you get a gut feeling that it is of no use, then do what clicks with you the most.
3. Confide in a friend
If you are not able to look at the situation objectively, talk to your friend and tell them everything without any bias. Tell them to be honest with you and guide you through the situation in the best way possible.
4. Know when to leave
Your intuition knows if you should leave or stay in a relationship. While it may be a bit difficult to accept that you will lose someone you love, it is also important to look at the bright side and see what you would gain if you left a person who doesn’t give you what you deserve. So gather a bit of strength and leave if you think that is the right thing to do.
5. Seek professional help
If you feel you are not able to understand what needs to be done with your relationship red flags. It is best to take relationship counseling and get proper guidance and support from a relationship therapist. You can consult an expert from Now&Me for as little as Rs. 30 and for 1/4th the cost of traditional therapy. You will get clarity on your relationship and be able to navigate your difficulties in a healthy manner.
How can Relationship Counseling with Now&Me Help?
Our platform, Now&Me, is a safe place that makes you feel light by writing out whatever is weighing you down. It helps you engage with like-minded people and makes you look at things from a different perspective, whether it is about you or your relationship red flags. Become a part of a welcoming community and understand your issues and how to resolve them by seeking relationship counseling.
When you are not able to understand how to get rid of your relationship red flags, sign up on Now&Me and seek counseling for it. Be a part of a non-judgmental, inclusive, and friendly community. A platform made for you to readily ask for help and let our therapists help you understand the root cause of your issues and make you aware of how to effectively tackle them.
Download the Now&Me app for free and understand your relationship red flags with a panel of qualified experts and a loving community.