How to Be Mindful of Relationship Red Flags
Empower yourself against unhealthy relationships.
Human beings are social creatures. It is essential for us to engage in personal relationships.
When a relationship first starts, it can be very exciting. The world seems brighter. You get excited every time your new crush messages you to tell you that they are thinking about you.
Most of the time, relationships start great. But as they go on and the excitement dies out, it is important to pay attention to certain red flags.
By paying attention, we can get out before it gets worse. No one wants to find themselves in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.
It is important to talk about red flags because some red flags left untreated can lead to bigger issues. Bigger issues can include serious things, such as domestic violence or sexual abuse.
This list is not exhaustive, but you should be mindful of these red flags.
You don’t really communicate
Yes, we all know that in the beginning relationships can be very physical. It might sound cliche to say, but communication is a necessary and important part of every relationship.
It is impossible for a relationship to grow if you never communicate about anything. It is especially important to pay attention if the person you are with can only express themselves to you through isolation, mood swings, or even the silent treatment.
You shouldn’t have to deal with every situation on your own. In a healthy relationship, your partner should be able to communicate themselves to you emotionally and verbally.
There is no trust
If the person you are with doesn’t trust you, it can lead to some serious problems in the relationship.
If you feel like you can’t spend time with family or friends because your new partner expects you to spend all of your time with them, that is a red flag. It is normal to spend a lot of time together at the start of a relationship. But it isn’t something you continue to do. And it isn’t okay if you feel that you can’t spend time with anyone else.
It can start off small, such as them booking date nights when they probably knew you already had plans. It may seem innocent. But when things like this continue to happen, you are being manipulated into only spending time with them.
They may try and claim your friends and family do not like them. That is another attempt to get you away from your friends and family. It is not okay for someone to make you feel guilty for wanting to spend time with your other loved ones.
It can also come out in the form of feeling like you need to justify everything you do. Or having to explain your past. The person you are with should trust you. You shouldn’t have to explain every last thing you do. You also should be able to share information with the person you are with without fear of judgment.
Pay attention to controlling and manipulative behavior like this. If it comes up frequently, don’t be afraid to end it. Human beings aren’t perfect. We do sometimes participate in some bad behaviors, but when these behaviors become a habit, it is a problem.
They are super needy and don’t respect your boundaries
In a relationship, it is healthy to spend time away from one another. This can be time spent with other people or alone. There is nothing wrong with asking for this space either.
It is not healthy for your significant other to require your attention 24/7. This can be a red flag for many reasons, but it falls back into the “lack of trust” category.
If your partner feels the need to be around you 24/7, they are probably trying to control you because they are insecure within themselves. You being around them 24/7 is how they go about keeping a close eye on you at all times.
Just because you enter into a romantic relationship doesn’t mean your boundaries no longer apply. In fact, your partner should be the person who respects you the most. You shouldn’t feel bad for wanting your boundaries to be respected.
If you do feel bad, talk about it. If it doesn’t change, you should get out quick.
A few other things to pay attention to as well:
- They can’t stop telling you how perfect you are.
- They try and push the relationship forward immediately.
- They don’t have a work ethic at all.
- They blindly worship their parents or are unjustifiably cruel to their parents.
- Their attitude jumps from rude to charming quickly.
- They cheated on their ex with you.
- They expect to have access to all of your social media accounts.
- They want your phone password.
- They constantly guilt trip you.
- They make you feel stupid a lot.
- They require you to constantly reassure them.
- They never apologize for anything.
I am not saying that people cannot change because I know firsthand that they can. I never saw a proper man and woman relationship growing up. Most of my relationships were very codependent. I speak from experiences when I say to pay attention to these behaviors. I participated in some of them growing up. It caused many of my relationships to fail because they became toxic. It was my fault.
I was unwilling to get the help that I needed.
When I got the help that I needed, I was able to change. I have now been in my first healthy relationship ever for over a year now. There are ups and downs, but we respect each other. We argue sometimes, but that is normal and to be expected. But we don’t take advantage of one another or gaslight each other. Nor do we try to control one another.
I think it is important to note that not all of these signs mean you have to run for the hills, but you just need to be mindful because it can get bad. If you love the person you are with, it may be able to work. But love isn’t always enough. People who suffer from some of these behavioral issues need to be willing to seek help. If not, the relationship is not going to work and can result in terrible consequences. Don’t enable people to continue their bad behaviors.
It is very important to pay attention to red flags early on in relationships. If someone has controlling and manipulative behaviors or lack of communication and trust, it can very easily lead to abusive behaviors.
Don’t be afraid to seek help if your relationship has become abusive. Abuse can start verbally and emotionally, but very easily lead to physical and sexual abuse.
You are not alone.
This post was originally published on Medium.