The Biggest Red Flags In A Relationship

Sad couple having conflict and relationship problems

Have you ever found yourself in a relationship with someone who checked all the boxes you were looking for, but after a few weeks together you start getting uneasy feelings about them? Like something isn’t right…

It’s actually fairly common for people to stay in relationships WAYY longer than they should. If you’re someone looking for true love, avoid wasting time with duds by keeping an eye out for these red flags. This advice should be taken with some intuition and a pinch of salt, exhibiting one of these signs does not mean the relationship is unsalvageable. But a LOT of these signs is a good reason to run and cut things off without a second glance.

Compulsive Lying

We all tell white lies once in a while and it’s not uncommon for people to tell each other what they think the other person wants to hear. But what we need to keep an eye out for is consistent lying, dishonesty, and falsehoods. One lie could easily be the start of larger lies or omissions.

To be honest my husband used to lie compulsively. About little things and nothing at all. He would just give me an answer he thought would be the easiest to digest. I always caught his lie and called him out on it. We’ve fought over these useless lies too. “If you can’t even be honest about a small thing, how can I trust you to be honest about bigger things.” He realized I had a point. He really doesn’t lie anymore and we’ve found his triggers and have dealt with them for the most part.

Doesn’t want to introduce you to family or meet your friends

This happens a lot in couples that are not fully committed like friends with benefits or f*ck buddies. Sometimes this happens in regular committed relationships too. If your partner isn’t able to let you hang with family or friends, consider this a red flag. Something to keep an eye out.

Partners who are committed to long-term prospects are more likely to want to meet friends and family. Getting to know you’re inner circle can give them insight into your background, how you were raised and your interests.

Gas lighting

When two people argue it can be hard to keep emotions straight or even keep to the facts but gas lighting is more insidious than occasionally bending the truth to your argument.

Gaslighting is the intentional misrepresentation or recollection of facts to make the other party feel like they are in the wrong. And doing this consistently.

Example:

“Mark, were you able to pick up my prescriptions?”

“Sally, we talked about this. You’re supposed to pick up your prescription every Friday after you go for your appointment.”

“I know we talked about running errands before that appointment but I don’t remember discussing the prescription. You had mentioned you would pick it up nearly 2 weeks ago”

“This isn’t the first time you’ve forgotten something, remember last week we talked about meeting for lunch and you totally stood me up! I don’t know how I can keep being your babysitter.”

“I’m sorry Mark, I swear I thought the time you said was an hour later. I would have met you on time.”

This systematic changing of facts to put you in the wrong is TOXIC. It requires social knowledge of the types of things you won’t remember and a manipulation of truths. This is probably the one red flag that if you see it happening, you should run without second thought. When gaslighting is done, it’s done purposely.

Nitpicking

It’s ok to have things that you like done a certain way. It’s ok to occasionally critique your partner for things that you want done in a specific way.

What’s not ok is when someone is trying to change everything you do and say into their “correct” vision of how people should act.  This kind of behavior is common in control freaks, type A personalities, and perfectionists.

They might correct how you behave, do things, speak, dress, etc.  We’ve all met that type of person:

MIB

Comic courtesy of MarriageIsBliss

Inconsistent or hot/cold

So many people are just so inconsistent or unreliable.  I think this speaks for itself in dating life.  I used to wonder why people who were inconsistent or cold would treat me that way.  It used to be a problem with me that I felt I needed to resolve.  But really it’s not an issue with me, it’s an issue with THEM.

Someone who plays the hot and cold game is just showing you how unimportant you are in their scheme of things.  It has a lot to do with their own ego and narcissism. Stay Away.

Selfish with time

People who are selfish with how they spend their time are also solipsistic, they see the world as existing from only their perspective.  These are people who won’t meet you for a date unless it’s close to them, or will only call you if their weekend is barren.  They’ll make you just through hoops just to plan a date out.

“It has to be between this time and this time.  Before I have this appointment and then after I’ll be meeting up with some friends I haven’t seen in 5 years.  Let’s meet up at this location because it’s close to the two places I have to be.  I can’t wait for our date!

Not gonna lie, my older sister is kind of like this.  She tends to prioritize her needs over the needs of others. If she’s visiting home, one of my parents will have to drop what their doing to pick her up from the train station and again to drop her off when she leaves.  Even though she’s a doctor and could easily afford a $10 Uber or cab ride.

My parents threw her a birthday party and she didn’t even help set up or clean up! She was too busy with her own appointments and catching up with friends.  Not cool! Red flag!

Doesn’t like your family

This isn’t obvious, especially when you’re young but if your partner has a big problem with your family, then it’s time to reconsider the strength of your relationship.

As relationships grow more serious both families will eventually become more involved in supporting you.  K and I, we’re both are close with our families.  Over the years our siblings and especially our parents have helped us and supported us.  If he or I were unable to get along with each others parents or siblings, I don’t know how our relationship could have worked.

Family drama can be avoided by choosing partners that are compatible with, not only you, but your family too.

Of course this red flag should be taken with a pinch of salt. Not everyone is super close with their family so I would imagine this wouldn’t pose such a problem with them.

Keeps in touch with exes or has lots of girls who are friends 

This is a huge red flag.  A lot of people miss this and think, naively, that these relationships are platonic.

There are very few friendships between opposite heterosexual genders that come without strings attached.  You might disagree with this and think that your friendship is the exception, maybe it is, but most likely it’s not.

It’s even more of a red flag when there are multiple women who are in your partners life that were past love interests.

The past is in the past! Why keep them around?

In my honest experience, men and women who are keeping “friends” around, are generally keeping backup options who will fill your place once your relationship ends.  I’ve never found it to be a healthy dynamic and would generally say to watch out for people like this.  What seems innocent, can easily not be.

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That’s my list! Let me know your thoughts and own experiences with red flags you’ve found in your life.

Feel free to comment, like, share and follow!

Other Posts:

What is Love?

Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

My Favorite Dating Book: Why Men Love Bitches

bitches-900x672

Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov is my number one dating book recommendation for women who feel like their not getting what they want out of their dating experience.

I will give this recommendation with a caveat. Essentially it is a book that talks about how to get a very specific type of man and keep him interested. The book doesn’t talk to much about the type of men that like bitches. But after reading, I got the vibe that this book is talking about men who are objectively attractive, somewhat respectful, intelligent, and has his shit together. Pretty much the man every woman wants when she says she wants a decent man.

When I picked up this book at 23 years old I was going through a lot of guy problems.   I was asking, “Where are all the good men?”   I just didn’t understand why guys would show interest in me and then not follow through.  Like, I was pretty, interesting and educated. What was I doing wrong? The thing was, I was also too agreeable, too available and too naggy. I wasn’t setting boundaries or setting standards. I didn’t know how.  I often wondered why some women got everything without even an effort.  And why men found certain, more assertive and confident, women attractive.   Meanwhile, I was bending over backwards to impress guys and keep them wanting more.  I wanted to learn how to attract a good man and also keep him.  I wanted to find a man who was husband material.

What I especially like about this dating book was the stories. There are some really relatable stories. There was Crystal who, after her date told her that he wanted to stay friends, stood him up when he tried to get him to booty call her. She said, sure, just wait for me outside with an umbrella so I won’t get wet when I get there. 3 hours later after thinking she was 5 mins away, he gets a brick to the face of cold, hard reality. She was never gonna come over and be that booty call.

There was also Jen who, though very pretty and confident, thought she should exercise her sexuality freely and early.  Jen gave the juju bean too early, usually within 1-2 dates and was shocked when a guy she really liked asked her, “how often she had sex on a first date.”  Sherry makes it clear, you’ve got to be perceptive about the different ways you can be perceived.  Even if it’s a one off type of one night stand, be prepared for the assumptions that could be made.

I like how Sherry just tells it how it is.  She’s not exactly politically correct, she takes a more traditional stand on when a woman should have sex.  Sex is available to women fairly easily, so using it to get a guy to spend time with you isn’t anything special.  Rather, how a a guy treats you after he’s been satisfied will tell a lot about what he thinks.

Why Men Love Bitches also did it’s homework.   She did an extensive amount of interviews with men and women to get what they thought on a lot of topics.  She discovered a lot of secrets about men through their testimonials

One of the men she interviewed admitted that men are addicted to the thrill of the chase.  Sherry uses a lot of comparisons but I think the best one is that the chase is comparable to watching a close football game.  If the score is 47-3 it’s not really exciting but if we’re talking 24-24, suddenly it’s the best game he’s ever seen.

I think her section on sex answered a lot of questions I had.  “How long is too soon to have sex?  What if he decides he doesn’t want to wait?  Am I being a tease?”  Hearing someone answer these questions for me, really helped me be confident in my choices.

Every man has an ego and Sherry teaches you how to gracefully handle the male ego while staying feminine.  She explains that men and women have masculine and feminine energy and that they kind of work as a sort of ying and yang that complete each other.  The issue most women have is that they try to use masculine energy to keep up with their men and impress them.   He likes football?   Make sure he knows that you know every single stat going on in the season.  Hoot louder than he does at the games.  Curse obscenities dirtier than him when the team loses.  Sure…that’s the way to his heart.  Not!  With feminine energy, you can get men to work with you, not against you, for a common goal.

Why Men Love Bitches also talks about walking away and having that power. She has what she calls “From Doorman To Dreamgirl Rules.”  You always need to have a sense of independence.  Don’t talk about the relationship.  Don’t talk about fixing the relationship. Don’t talk about how to make the relationship better. She basically says that your actions will speak for the direction you want the relationship to go.  Words are empty and not worth the effort.  Your actions and what you’ll put up with will say more than words ever could.

Some of my favorite Sherry Argov quotes are:

“Being a bitch isn’t about exuding a certain kind of arrogance.  Contrary to what the media would have us believe, it doesn’t matter how hip, cool or cocky you appear to be.  Power is the control you have over yourself.”

“When a man treats a woman with disrespect and she takes it, he begins tools respect for her.”

“And if you feel like you’re going to resent something after you give it, don’t give it. Give only what feels comfortable to give.”

There are so many great quotes and great ideas here   I could talk more about it, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.  Let’s just say that this is a book I recommend to all my girlfriends, it will help a lot with your dating life.  I’ve read it a few times and have gathered so many gems.

I do wish there was an updated book on how to deal with this whole online dating/ hookup culture that is now prevalent in our society.  The book was written in 2009 but things are so much different now with Tinder, OKCupid, Instagram and all the other ways that have made dating a pain.

Overall, this is the best dating book for those who want to understand the behavioral differences between women and men.  Also a great read for those who are marriage minded and want to find their life partners.

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Check out my other posts:

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You Are Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.

and

Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 18

Carefree

 

Things I wish I knew when I was 18 just starting my adult life.

This time of year I get really nostalgic, is it really 2018?  10 years after the recession and 11 after my high school graduation?  God, if only I knew then what I know now…I would shake some sense into me!

Go to a cheap college

Either state or city school.  Don’t spend thousands and thousands of dollars on the private college experience unless you’re are getting a significant scholarship.  The experience just so you can party is a waste of time.  You’ll have to grow out of that behavior when your older and ready to settle down.  I bought into the whole college experience and literally felt bad for every one else who had to commute to their college and were unable to be “independent” and have fun.  

Now I envy their freedom from debt.  I did not think about student loans, what the interest rate would be or how it would effect me financially.  I didn’t even understand how much I was really taking. 

Don’t compare yourself so much to other people.  Stay in your lane.

I started college right before the start of the recession.  It was all about who was friends with who, what you wore, what parties you were invited to, and who you dated.   I really prioritized these things.  Facebook was just starting to take off.  (This was before it became a corporate spy for ad companies). I would literally get depressed if I saw friends having fun without me. (How dare they leave me out!)   I’d be in a state of depression and have anxiety too.

Now I’m so happy when I’m on Instagram or Snapchat.  Because everyone’s life should be awesome and it’s great seeing other people succeed and grow.  At the same time, I’ve learned how to humble and grateful.  I’m realizing how blessed I am.   This is the kind of positive thinking that fills you up and makes you a memorable person to be around.

Do you, worry about what’s in your pocket!  

I used to care so much about everyone having the same opportunity, not selling out, and being fair.  What I didn’t realize was that by giving everyone a share of my pie, I really didn’t have anything for myself left.  I mean, didn’t I earn the whole pie? 

I shared way too much; my ideas, my time, my money.  And it was all because I wanted people to like me and not view me as selfish.  And 99% of them, are not even in my life anymore.  I really didn’t have to put all that effort, because the people who  are still by my side never really needed anything from me.

 It’s about how much you save

YOLO and FOMO were pretty much one of the worst, most unnecessary  campaigns of my youth.   

Like we totally fell for it. We bought things and went on trips with money we didn’t have all for the show of it. 

If I had cut back savings just for dumb things like coffee, alcohol, fast food, and general wasteful spending and then invested that in a mutual fund….I’d have a nice nest egg for a down payment on a home.  But unfortunately 18-25 yr olds don’t think like that.  YOLO! Oh wait, I’m here another day, just broke.   Saving would have been the best financial advice to follow at that point.

Love is not a Disney story line.

I was really impractical and selfish during my early 20s.  I’m lucky was able to hold on to the man of my dreams but it definitely did not pan out like a Disney storyline.  At 21, I felt entitled like a princess.  My husband felt like he had to take me out on dates with money he didn’t have!  I sometimes felt like he wasn’t good enough. 🙁  Little did I know he was Mr. Right, my Mr. Big.  We could’ve just saved a lot of fights and bad behavior if I wasn’t sooo cringey. 

Over time, I learned that I needed to bring something to the table besides being pretty and young. Relationships are really a give and take and not so much about you changing the other person but about being complementary. 

At 28, I’d say I feel more matured but if only 18 year old me knew these things.  Life would have been so much easier!

 

Any thoughts? Or anything to add?  Feel free in the comments below.  Getting older is great as long as your also getting wiser!

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Check out my other posts Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s andDear Single Friends, This Is Why You Are Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.