It’s common knowledge that we should avoid people who show red flags in relationships, but what specific warning signals should we be on the lookout for?
These warnings are not so apparent when you’re with someone irrespective of the duration. Consistent insults are a red flag for emotional abuse, which is relatively prevalent.
Knowing which warning signs to watch out for might help you move cautiously or, if required, stop things. Continue reading to learn all about it.
What are the relationship red flags out there?
Relationship red flags are cautionary indicators that you and your spouse may have harmful patterns or behaviours.
Often, particularly in new relationships, lust and love can cloud your judgement and make it challenging to spot warning signs.
Aggression and abusive behaviour are some clear indicators. Some relationship warning signs, meanwhile, are easy to overlook. Narcissism, manipulation, and gaslighting are some toxic behaviours that can go unnoticed.
To discover more about relationship red flags, why they’re easy to overlook, and what to do if you spot them, we have provided below a few pointers that will give you an idea of whatever is going on.
It’s not a good indicator if you have to catch your partner lying all the time. These lies can be tiny, like lying about where they’re going, or huge, like withholding their debt burden from you.
Being lied to often can make it challenging to establish a strong foundation for the relationship or tear down one that you’ve already established, which can result in an unstable future.
Even if it’s done subtly or passive-aggressively, a partner who constantly criticises or berates you might have an impact on your self-esteem.
Some typical examples might sound like:
“You’re fortunate that I’m still with you because you can never succeed in my place.”
“When you attempt to be humorous, you sound so silly.”
This warning sign should be taken very seriously because a study from 2013 found that emotional abuse may be just as harmful as physical abuse, leading to depression and low self-esteem.
Discussing this behaviour with your partner is crucial, as is determining whether or not they accept responsibility or show a desire to improve. You have complete liberty to walk away from the relationship in such cases.
A resistance to making concessions
If your partner isn’t willing to give in, even on small things, you should be careful.
According to Emily Simonian, the director of learning at Thriveworks and a registered marriage and family therapist, “If you’re in a relationship with someone who seems to make everything one-sided, you may end up over-compromising and end up feeling angry, hurt, misunderstood, and unsatisfied.”
It’s critical to take into account each other’s needs and preferences in a successful relationship, and compromise shouldn’t be one-sided.
A propensity to avoid challenging conversations
Relationship damage can result from a partner who lacks the emotional or behavioural capacity to deal with the issues in the relationship and chooses to avoid them.
When things get difficult, examples include leaving arguments without listening to you or ignoring you for days on end when they are upset.
Studies have claimed that those who have problems coping with strong emotions have a tendency to lash out or run away when things get rough. Even healthy relationships may go through difficult times, so you want to be certain that your spouse will communicate with you properly rather than leaving you when things get difficult. These kinds of situations also lead to emotional damage, as they feel they are not even important enough to have an argument with or even communicate with. Never let yourself feel shut down in a relationship.
Excessive jealousy and controlling behaviour
Intense jealousy might result in dominating behaviour in your relationship.
For instance, studies claim that if you have a social life outside of your partnership, they can become envious. A jealous partner may also try to control your behaviour by repeatedly calling or texting you.
According to Simonian, attempts to control normally begin gently but soon get more intense, leaving the person feeling as though nothing they do is “good enough.” “It could be an indication of worse problems to come if you see yourself feeling overwhelmed or continually changing your behaviour to appease their envy.”
According to a 2010 meta-analysis, envy hurts romantic relationships because it causes the relationship quality to decline as jealousy levels rise. A 2014 study also found that those in partnerships where one partner exhibited excessive possessive behaviour early on were more likely to have poor communication patterns later on.
A dearth of constructive, honest dialogue
A partner who blames the other person, uses passive aggression, or shows angry feelings is not communicating well.
Since healthy, open communication is the key to a good relationship, problems will arise if you and your partner can’t do it.
A good relationship offers a secure environment where both parties may express their emotions without worrying about being judged or criticised.
A study from 2017 found that how well two people talk to each other at the start of a relationship may affect how happy they are with each other in the future.
They don’t socialise with anyone.
If your spouse doesn’t have any friends of their own, it can be a red flag for a variety of reasons.
They could find it difficult or impossible to make and keep acquaintances. This could indicate that they are socially awkward, have a challenging personality, or have a pessimistic attitude toward other people.
Another problem with a partner who doesn’t have friends is that they could be needy or take up too much of your time, if not all of it. They will have difficulty comprehending your need or desire to spend time with your pals, which might cause you to feel resentful.
They don’t show you or your relationship any support.
According to a 2014 review of nine studies on couple relationships, in order for your relationship to be stable, you must be committed to your partner and support your relationship.
It appears that merely “wanting” the relationship to endure won’t cut it. Instead, individuals must actively engage in actions that demonstrate support for both their partner and the union as a whole.
A warning sign can be when your partner doesn’t aggressively express support for you and the relationship. This lack of dedication might lead to issues later on.
Red flags versus yellow flags
Yellow flags can sometimes be an indication of impending trouble. They might not be as obvious or sneaky as red flags, though.
With the correct communication, yellow flags might be problems that can still be fixed and avoid turning into red flags. But you shouldn’t ignore yellow flags because they can lead to relationship problems in the long run.
The various yellow flags in a relationship include:
Poorly handling criticism
They don’t frequently express their emotions.
Although they can be inconvenient, yellow flags generally aren’t a deal-breaker.
What should you do if there are red flags in your relationship?
The best course of action for dealing with relationship red flags is to act swiftly, openly, and fairly. Open a direct line of communication with your partner, share your worries and emotions, and allow them to do the same. You must both be aware of the shortcomings in the relationships in order to take the best course of action.
Keep your needs in mind, talk openly and frequently, and make an effort to control your emotions. In such circumstances, you might wish to look for a specialist’s assistance, such as a marriage counsellor or therapist.
Being honest with yourself is crucial at all times, and you should never hesitate to ask for support from loved ones. In worst-case scenarios, sometimes the best decision is to walk away from the relationship, no matter how hard it might be.
Early warning signs of trouble in a relationship should be noted.
Whether you’re being lied to, treated as if you don’t matter, or put down, you should take the situation seriously and consider how it might affect not only your relationship but also yourself and other relationships in the future.Be calm and assertive when discussing the problems a relationship is going through. Nothing comes easy in life; everything needs work, and that includes relationships as well.