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Red Flags: How to Spot the Wrong Partner Before It’s Too Late

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Relationships are already hard, but when you’re with someone littered with red flags, they can become a lot more challenging. For this reason, it’s important to know how to spot warning signs and red flags early on in the relationship, before moving in together or even getting engaged. 

There is nothing worse than being stuck in a toxic relationship that makes you unhappy and holds you back in your personal and professional life. We all are deserving of love and a healthy romantic connection. 

Familiarize yourself with these common red flags and you’ll be headed toward a supportive, long-lasting relationship:

Red flag #1: Controlling tendencies

Relationships should always be 50/50 but if you’re realizing that your new partner is constantly trying to control situations and how you act, it’s time to get out of there! In healthy relationships, both people should be making the decisions and a partner should never tell you how to dress, what to do, or criticize things you’ve said or done after returning home from a social event. Those who act controlling in relationships often suffer from a lack of self-esteem and jealousy, which are two things that are not associated with a loving partner. 

Red flag #2: They don’t respect your privacy

No matter how you spin it, peeking at phones when your partner leaves the room or trying to login to their social media accounts is bad news. This shows a lack of trust, which is a pillar in all healthy relationships. Your partner should trust you without having to investigate the people you are connecting with through your phone or social media accounts. 

Red flag #3: They are critical of you

The right person for you should never pick you apart. Whether they have something negative to say about your appearance, how you’re acting, or what you do for a living, this is not a trait of someone who deeply cares about you. In a healthy relationship, both partners treat each other with respect and work hard to build their loved one up, not tear them down.

Red flag #4: They are too dependent on you

It is incredibly important that even in a relationship, both partners have their own set of friends and hobbies, otherwise you could wind-up in a co-dependent situation. If you feel as if your partner can’t do anything without you, it’s definitely time to bring it up with them. Your partner should also let you hang out with your friends and family solo, without them tagging along. If they insist on joining every single time, this is a massive red flag. 

Red flag #5: They don’t like to communicate

Without clear and open communication between partners, the relationship is doomed to fail. If you don’t feel comfortable telling your partner how you are feeling, it’ll be tough to grow into a flourishing relationship. Because relationships take a lot of work and have a lot of ups and downs, it’s crucial that you both feel comfortable speaking openly about your feelings with each other. If you bring up an issue and your partner immediately tries to change the conversation, this is a red flag and shows that they don’t feel comfortable communicating or don’t care enough to communicate with you. 

Red flag #6: You’ve caught them lying several times

Healthy relationships are built on a foundation of trust, not lies. There can be big lies, like your partner not being upfront and honest about their debt or not telling the truth about why a previous relationship ended, or small lies like leaving certain details out when telling you about how their night out went. Both of these lies matter because when you’re lied to over and over in a relationship, trust is diminished and this will lead to a shaky, uncertain future. 

Red flag #7: They don’t have friends or let you around their friends

Either way, this is definitely a big red flag. If your partner doesn’t have friends, there’s got to be a reason. They could have difficulties maintaining friendships, have a difficult personality, or lack the necessary social skills to keep friends around. If they have friends but don’t want you hanging out with or meeting them, they could be hiding something from you and are worried their friends might spill the beans. 

To learn more about creating a meaningful life and building healthy connections, sign up for a 3-day Self-Ish Retreat with like-minded women in June 2023.

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Rachel Moore
Rachel Moore
As a passionate word wrangler, Rachel finds too much joy when writing about food, wine, health and wellness, dating, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content. If you’ve got a story to tell, she can help you find the words. When she’s not working, Rachel can be found hiking with her dog, practicing yoga, or getting too emotionally invested in a dessert from Whole Foods. She is a born and raised Vancouverite, which means she loves the mountains and wears a lot of lululemon.
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