25 Red Flags In A Relationship You Should Look Out For

Written by Harini Natarajan

Any new relationship brings with it all kinds of positive emotions and a feeling of elation. However, this kind of match can sometimes make you lose the sense of right and wrong, and you become a victim of negative behaviors. While people may have their quirks, if you do not feel comfortable with certain behaviors, they are major red flags indicating something is not right.

If not addressed in time, these relationship red flags can quickly snowball into something big and threaten the relationship. To help you get out of the mess before you get too deep into it, we have highlighted 25 early red flags you should look out for.

25 Relationship Red Flags To Look Out For

1. Disrespectful Behavior

Disrespectful Behavior

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Does your partner treat you with disrespect and often put you down? Do they make most of the decisions without consulting you? Do they check out other people openly in your presence? Do they embarrass you in front of others?

If yes, you are dealing with a partner who does not prioritize you and disrespects you. While no relationship is perfect, this one is a definite red flag as mutual respect is crucial for a healthy relationship.

2. They Are Manipulative

“I want you to listen to me. Do you not love me?” 

“If you love me, then you will do as I say.”

If you keep hearing such things from your partner, it indicates that they are controlling and manipulative. They may also make every effort to use your emotions as a weapon against you and make you feel miserable. They may frequently manipulate and convince you to change your mind to match their thinking.

If your partner starts to manipulate and control everything you do, from what clothes you wear to how you socialize with friends, making you feel guilty about the little things, it may signal a serious issue.

3. They Are Never Ready To Compromise

There can be differences of opinion in relationships, and both may not agree on the same points. Finding a middle ground is crucial for a healthy and happy relationship. However, if your partner refuses to comply and sticks to their ground, it is an issue.

Compromising is not about giving in to each others’ demands. It is about looking for the midway. If you find yourself giving in to your partner’s demands all the time, it is a serious red flag.

4. Refusing To Talk About Feelings

Is your partner emotionally unavailable? Are they reluctant to talk about their past relationships, inner feelings, family, friendships, and future goals? If yes, it is a clear sign that they are holding back important information about themselves.

In a healthy relationship, both should be able to express themselves freely. Both should feel comfortable being transparent about issues, past relationships, and vulnerabilities. However, if the other person shuts down when you bring up such discussions or just changes the topic, it is a red flag.

Take your time to re-evaluate your relationship. If you are dating, analyze if this relationship is worth fighting for. They might be trying to hide their past, have commitment issues, are not clear about their intentions, or concealing some ongoing issue.

5. Not Introducing You To Family

Not Introducing You To Family 

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If you have been dating for a while now and your partner is reluctant to introduce you to their close family and friends, this is a definite red flag sign in your relationship. While it could just be anxiety or their desire to keep the family away from interfering in your relationship, it can also indicate that they are not serious enough for a long-term relationship.

6. Taking Forever To Return A Call Or Text

Do your calls and texts go unattended or unanswered for days at a stretch? If yes, this is a red flag in the relationship. If you have just started dating, this could mean you are not a priority in your partner’s life. Moreover, if your partner is hiding behind the work issues to cancel a date last minute and often cites work meetings as a reason to not revert your text or calls, that means something is wrong.

7. There Is Always A Power Imbalance

A relationship is a two-way street where both have to support each other to grow and make the bond thrive. If it does not happen, and if one is constantly trying to exert control over the other (the submissive one), consider it a red flag.

Although the best way to handle it is by expressing your concerns loud and clear, if nothing changes your power equation, it is time to re-evaluate the pattern of your relationship.

8. They Keep Secrets

If your partner is hiding things from you constantly, it is a definite red flag. The idea here is not to share every little thought with your partner. But if they are hiding major issues like unresolved addictive behavior, financial issues like debts – that is a cause of concern. Do not ignore anything that appears strange to you.

9. Everything Is Just About Them

Everything Is Just About Them

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One major red flag in a relationship is when everything revolves around your partner. This includes conversations, day-to-day life, and everything in between. It shows clear signs of narcissism, and things can worsen with time.

People with an inflated sense of their importance are often not concerned about other’s desires or concerns and are devoid of empathy in general. Spending more time with such people can make you feel lonely, guilty, and doubt your self-worth. The earlier you distance yourself from such a person, the better.

10. They Never Apologize

If your partner finds it hard to apologize to you even though they might have hurt you, it is a bright red flag that you should not ignore. They never take ownership of their actions or words and make you feel guilty for feeling the way you do.

11. They Try To Belittle You With Disparaging Humor

Humor is the best way to bring people closer. However, there is a very fine line between funny and offensive humor. Does your partner say hurtful and insulting things framed as a joke? Do they use humor as a disguise for anger and ridicule? If yes, this is a red flag, and you should voice your concerns.

12. They Are Still Talking About Their Ex

If you are in a relationship with a person who just had a breakup, you may be their rebound or distraction. Rebound relationships hardly work because they might still be hanging on to their ex.

While it is all right for your partner to talk about their previous relationships once in a while, consider it as one of the new relationship red flags if:

  • They are still holding on to the pictures or texts of their ex on their phone.
  • They always and continuously talking about their ex.
  • They check out their social media profiles quite often.

At any point, if you feel like you are just a substitute, it is time to re-evaluate your status as a couple.

13. They Are Always Critical Of You

They Are Always Critical Of You

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There is no harm in being honest with the person you are in a relationship with. But if your partner is over-critical of you, there is something not right here. If your partner constantly scrutinizes you about the way you look, speak, or behave and never compliments you, it is not healthy for any relationship.

In such cases, the chances are that they will never be satisfied with what you do, and it is better to think these issues through before they get too challenging to handle.

14. You Keep Justifying Their Bad Behavior

If you find yourself always justifying your partner’s behavior even after knowing that they are wrong, it is a surefire red flag. Sometimes, it is not possible to justify undesired behavior. If you often find yourself giving excuses to others for your partner’s mistake, it is time to re-evaluate everything.

So, instead of rationalizing everything they do or say and discarding all other evidence that does not align with your views, take time to pause and think if this relationship is worth your time.

15. They Are Rushing Everything

If your relationship feels like a marathon race where your partner rushes everything, take your time to assess the situation. For instance, within a few months of dating, they insist on moving in together, or some may even push you to get engaged within a year.

Usually, such things are not time-bound. However, if you feel you are not ready yet and your partner rushes to jump to the next stage, this is a red flag you should not avoid. This generally happens during a rebound but can occur in other situations.

16. They Keep Crossing Boundaries

When you are in an early stage of your relationship, some boundaries may probably be crossed as rules may not be fully set. However, if you have already spoken about it with clearly set boundaries and yet your partner tries to push or cross them, it is a clear sign of a bad relationship.

For instance, does your partner try to touch you innocently (like repeatedly poking your arm, rubs against your shoulders, and hugging) even when you ask for personal space? If yes, they do not respect your need and constantly try to push the boundaries.

17. Have Contrasting Values

. Have Contrasting Values  

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Having different value systems is not an issue as long as both value the contrast and learn something new. However, differences in the core values can be a red flag. For instance, views on core matters like religion, wanting children after marriage, and working spouse may not align.

If neither of you is willing to compromise a bit, it may become a subject of constant conflict. It is important to be on the same page as your partner. Else, power struggles will be a common concern in your relationship.

18. A History Of Failed Relationships

A person may have failed relationships. However, consider it a red flag if they cannot evaluate the reasons. If they constantly blame it on their ex for creating all the issues and if they have a long history of failed relationships, it is time you should be reevaluating your relationship.

19. Overly Jealous

Do you often find your partner searching through your phone or reading your emails without your permission? Do they get upset when you spend time with your family and friends? If yes, it is a sign that your partner gets jealous when you do anything that does not involve them.

While jealousy is often passed off as being “protective,” sometimes, it can go to the extent of controlling your movements. Jealousy is often the initial sign of emotional abuse, which may worsen further. If your partner shows obsessive jealousy, it is not normal and should be watched out for.

20. Abusive Behavior

This is one relationship reg flag that should never be overlooked, rationalized, or tolerated. Abusing is not always about hitting or humiliating you. It is characterized by a wide spectrum of behaviors.

For instance, your partner does not respect the boundaries, detaches you from your friends and family, wants you to quit your work, criticized you for everything, takes your money, and wants you to be completely dependent on them, accuses you of cheating, and keeps track of your whereabouts. If your partner shows any of these behaviors, it is a clear alarm that you should get out of that relationship.

21. You Are Constantly Unhappy

You Are Constantly Unhappy 

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All relationships have their ups and downs. However, if all you can recollect is a bunch of sad and unhappy memories, that means the negatives in your relationship have outweighed the positives.

We usually think of happy memories to cheer ourselves up during tough times. But if you are always feeling unhappy, dissatisfied and there is no shared joy between you and your partner, it is time to reconsider the relationship.

22. You Live Parallel Lives

If you are continuously questioning your compatibility with your partner and finding that you are leading separate and parallel lives, that is a red flag.

When you are in a relationship, your lives should be weaved together in certain ways, if not all. However, if you see that none of your lives are intersecting at any point, it is a sign that something is off. For instance, you have nothing to talk about to each other, you barely spend time together, and do not even check on each other, or just having one-sided conversations – these are signs that both of you are not “together” anymore.

23. You Do Not Trust Each Other

Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and if the foundation is weak, it is a clear sign of a problematic relationship. Lack of trust between the partners can give rise to tension and constant stress. If you feel there are many missing pieces, your partner is hiding some major information, or is not completely truthful to you, it may affect the integrity of your relationship, and you may lose mutual respect.

24. Irresponsible And Unpredictable Attitude

If your partner is consistently struggling to master essential life skills, such as managing finances, taking care of their daily needs, holding onto a job responsibly, and planning their life and future, it is a red flag to avoid. In such scenarios, you will find yourself always busy taking care of their issues, and your issues will go unaddressed. You may not rely on them for anything, which may leave you exhausted and emotionally drained.

25. Your Family And Friends Do Not Like Them

Your Family And Friends Do Not Like Them

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You may be blindly in love with your partner and ignore any red flags. However, your family and best buddies will notice if something is off. Listen to them. While you may not feel good about the criticism initially, try to evaluate their opinion from a third person’s perspective. So, if your best friend or the closest family member does not like your partner, that’s a red flag you should consider.

Takeaway

All relationship goes through a tough phase. However, there is a difference between small tiffs and a constant ennui – where you find yourself questioning your happiness, satisfaction level, and the worth of the relationship. So, before committing yourself to a relationship, it is wise to keep your senses open to the red flags. If you notice any, have a conversation with your partner to find out whether the issue is fixable or not. This will help you avoid an unhappy relationship.

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As Chief Editor, Harini sets the tone and editorial direction for StyleCraze to deliver engaging, interesting, and authentic content revolving around women's health, wellness, and beauty. She has over 14 years of experience in content writing and editing for online media. She specializes in the areas of Beauty, Lifestyle, and Health & Wellness and is proficient in Medical Sciences (Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Biochemistry). Her background in Biomedical Engineering helps her decode and interpret the finer nuances of scientific research for her team. Harini is a certified bibliophile and a closet poet. She also loves dancing and traveling to offbeat destinations.