It happens all the time… You meet someone you are interested in developing a relationship with, and throughout that courting/feeling-out process you start to see signs of what is to come. The problem is that when we meet someone we really, really, like we are way too quick to ignore certain warning signs that would be going off like a wailing klaxon otherwise. I think we can all admit that in the wake of a terrible break-up, it is so easy to go back and look at those warning signs and say, “I never should have dated this person.” I know I certainly can. I could write a book about all of the ignored red flags that lead to future heartbreak. In a personal effort to keep someone else from making my same mistakes, I’ve put together this list of relationship red flags that should NEVER be ignored.
CONSTANTLY BRINGING UP THE “EX”
This is a red flag that I’ve ignored just as many times as I have thrown it up. If someone is constantly harping on their ex or exes, that a pretty blatant sign that they aren’t over that relationship. A lot of times, “ex-bashing” is a defense mechanism that people resort to as a way of saying “I did nothing wrong in my last relationship.” Either way, you look at it, it’s not the healthiest of projections. It’s one thing to reference past relationships in general but when the conversation is always about how bad of a person the “ex” was, that should raise eyebrows at the very least.
YOU NEVER MEET THEIR FRIENDS
This is a touchy subject for some people. Sometimes when we first get into a relationship, we don’t immediately bring our potential other half around our friends right off the bat. I know I personally don’t. Meeting my friends is like meeting my parents for me. The relationship has to get to a certain point where MY life becomes OUR life. That being said, if you’ve been dating someone exclusively for an extended period of time and still have never met their friends, that should raise a red flag. Mainly because that means they don’t have any friends or simply don’t want them to know about you – either of which iis a sketchy situation. This is a red flag that needs to be raised accordingly, but when it is raised – should never be ignored.
YOU START TO FEEL “CRAZY”
Have you ever been with someone who makes you feel like you’re losing your mind? It’s not things they do that annoy you speciffically, like chewing their food loudly or a weird laugh. I’m talking about going crazy in your own head. Unwarranted suspicions. Self-doubt. Dread. There are people that we are going to encounter in our dating lives that make us a little nutty, and there is a perfectly normal explaination for it. Those feelings of suspicion, doubt, and dread are the result of some type of validation that is lacking in the relationship. Like when you really like someone and they keep you at a distance. That lack of validation or confirmation is the reason that this flag needs to go up, becasue there is obviously something you want from the relationship that you’re not getting.
FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES IN THE BEDROOM
Sex is an important part of any successful, long-term, romantic relationship. More importantly, sexual compatibility. If you are fairly conservative in the bed roo, and you are with a partner that makes you feel like you just walked onto the set of an adult movie production every time you are behind closed doors isn’t a good situation. We have boundaries in life and in the bedroom for a reason. If someone is constantly pushing you into sexual situations you’re not comfortable with, get that red flag up.
EVASIVE TO QUESTIONS OR VAGUE WITH ANSWERS
Not that dating should be a long-term interrogation, but it is suspicious when you’re trying to get to know someone and they constantly give vague answers to basic questions. Granted, it depends a lot on the question and the timing. We all open up at a different pace, but if having a conversation with someone is like playing a game of dodge ball, you might want to get the red flag ready.
PACE OF THE RELATIONSHIP IS OFF
One of the most critical aspects of a good relationship is that the pace of the relationship is mutual. If one person is sprinting while the other is walking, neither person is going to be happy. Especially when the sprinter starts trying to drag the walker or the walker is trying to slow the sprinter. If the pace isn’t right, the relationship can burn itself out before it even begins.
THEIR HISTORY AS IT APPLIES TO YOU
I’ve always said that I don’t want someone to hold my past against me, but in a dating situation, it at least needs to be paid some attention. Again, this is a delicate matter, because you need to determine what part of someone’s past applies to you directly. For instance, if they have a very promiscuous past, you might want to be careful as to not get something soap won’t wash off. Our past doesn’t always define who we are as a person, but they certainly are an example of what we do as a person. The key is determining what applies to you. If someone made bad financial decisions as a teenager or in college, doesn’t mean they are not worthy to date as an adult. Not all patterns of behavior from our pasts are indicative of what we will do in the future. That being said, if there are mistakes from someone’s past that keep getting repeated, you have to realize that those behaviors are the rule – not the exception.