Often there are red flags or warning signs that this may not be the right partner for you. And learning how to spot these red flags can help you avoid a heartbreaking or abusive relationship in the future. There are three types of red flags to look for:
- Concerns about your partners behaviour, personality traits, beliefs and values. Do they treat you, others, or themselves in harmful or unhealthy ways? Do you agree with their values and beliefs?
- Concerns about the ways you interact with each other. Are there hurtful or unhealthy relationship dynamics?
- Concerns about your own mental and/or physical health. Has your mental or physical health deteriorated during this relationship?
Relationship red flags include:
- Inability to resolve conflicts.
- Controlling behaviour or a lack of trust.
- You don’t feel like you can be fully yourself.
- Your friends and family members have expressed concerns about your partner or relationship.
- You are conceding rather than compromising.
- Difficulty sharing feelings.
- Giving up your friends, interests, or goals.
- Pressure to become too serious too fast.
- Lying or breaches of trust.
- Abuse of any kind (emotional, verbal, physical, sexual, financial, gaslighting).
- Increased symptoms of mental or physical health problems.
If you notice that many of these red flags are true for you and your partner, try to be curious about them and explore them further rather than feeling like you need to defend your choices or your partner.
Talking to a counsellor can help you to work out if these red flags are putting you at risk or if the relationship is unhealthy.