When it comes to relationships, we’ve all ignored a red flag or two. In some cases, things work out all right and, in others, we learn the hard way that there are some red flags you shouldn’t ignore.
They Bad-Mouth Their Ex
How you talk about your ex says a lot about you. It’s no secret that breakups can be messy, but that’s not a lifelong excuse to talk badly about your ex.
If you are dating someone who has nothing but negative things to say about their ex(es) or who uses trigger words like “crazy,” “psycho,” or “clingy,” pay attention.
This kind of behavior usually means one of two things: (1) they are not fully over that relationship, or (2) they are refusing to take responsibility for the part they played in the relationship’s failure. Playing the blame game or only speaking negatively about an ex (or worse, multiple exes) is a huge, neon sign that you’re with someone who’s not mature enough for a serious relationship.
They’re Rude to Others
If you’ve ever been on a date with someone who’s rude to a waiter or waitress, you know where we’re going with this. Still, being rude to others goes beyond simple interactions with strangers.
If you are dating someone who doesn’t care about how they treat others or who doesn’t make an effort with your friends or family, it’s probably time to cut your losses.
Your close friends and family don’t have the final say in relationship approvals, but their opinions should be considered. They care about you and are probably better objective judges of your partner’s character. When most of your group doesn’t like someone, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. It’s only a matter of time before that negativity is directed towards you.
They’re Possessive or Aggressive
Domestic violence is too prevalent an issue to ignore the warning signs. Not all domestic violence is physical. The vast majority of abuse in relationships is emotional and, therefore, much harder to prove. If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s physically or emotionally aggressive, it’s time to get out. Be alert to the warning signs of abuse—some manipulative behavior can be subtle if you don’t know what to look for.
For example, if you’re dating someone who gets mad when you spend time with friends or family, they could be trying to isolate you so you’re entirely reliant on them. If they disappear for hours or days with no explanation and get angry when you check-in, they could be undermining your self-worth and setting up a power imbalance. Regardless of the sign that clues you in, if you feel your partner is routinely possessive or aggressive, don’t stick it out. Walk away.
Red flags can derail a relationship, though it’s usually for the best. While nobody is perfect and every relationship takes compromise, these red flags need to be taken seriously. When one pops up in your relationship or a friend’s, don’t ignore it.