Anyone who has ever been in a relationship is most likely familiar with the little (and major) red flags that often come along with the territory.
You’ve probably been warned by everyone from your grandmother to Oprah about red flags in romantic relationships. Relationships, and the dating process, can be tricky. And navigating the sometimes stormy waters of love, and trying to determine if your partner is a catch, can be quite challenging.
How do they treat service staff? How do they react when you ask for a little space? Are they cruel to their mother? Do they pick their nose in public?
Have you ever met someone and wished you had a crystal ball to see into the future? We certainly do. It would save a ton of heartache and wasted energy. When we’re excited about a relationship, it’s easy to overlook the red flags that at least need to be explored. Of course, some red flags are more serious than others.
The longer you choose to pretend there’s nothing wrong, you’re going to continue subjecting yourself to unnecessary pain and suffering. When not addressed early on, then 4 weeks, 4 months or 4 years into the relationship you’ll be faced with a crisis and most likely left saying, “I had no idea they were so controlling/emotionally abusive/arrogant/manipulative…”
If any of these red flags are prevalent in your current relationship, it’s probably time you stop ignoring them and run for the hills.
When you start having more bad days than good, that’s a wrap.
Your significant other is dependent on you to be happy or entertained.
When they tell “half-truths” — they tell you the part of the story that answers your question but leave out the part that would “make you upset.”
They consistently make you their last priority, or simply an afterthought. Conversely, if you become their only priority and everything else is an afterthought.
They password protect everything.
Keeping score is a behavior that will quickly unravel any relationship.
7…Bringing You Down
When she/he puts you down in front of others.
Using ultimatums to get their way instead of compromising.
Any time the relationship needs to be kept secret, there is a problem in there somewhere.
Both of you must be comfortable doing separate things in the same room
When they don’t want you to be friends with their friends, or vice versa.
In the beginning stages, they constantly complain about their ex. It isn’t easy to build a new relationship on the ashes of an old one.
You text your lover and never really get a response in a reasonable amount of time, but when they are with you, they are constantly on their phone.
14…Family and Friends
All of your friends, or your trusted family members, hate your boyfriend/girlfriend.
They never apologize or take responsibility for bad behavior.
You know exactly what they’re thinking with the glimpse of an eye, have weird personal jokes together and literally, have zero clue what you did before they came into your life — yep, you’re in love — and the future has never looked so bright.
However, without getting all Grinchy on you, there are certain conversations you should have before locking that love down.
According to leading relationship expert Dr Karen Phillip, and author of new book, OMG We’re Getting Married – 7 Essential things to know before we say I Do, increasingly, couples are finding themselves at breaking point — post-marriage — as a result of not discussing important issues before tying the knot and having children.
“There is this assumption, because a couple is so in love and know each other so well, that they are on the same page, but it is incredibly important to talk about your finances, career goals and whether you want kids plus a whole range of other things before getting married,” said Phillip.
Surprising, right? That a couple wouldn’t talk about the prospect of kids before getting married. But according to Phillip it is more common than we think.
The same goes for finances. “I see couples who have been married for over 10 years, that still don’t know what the other earns,” Phillip said.
So, why the silence?
“We’re marrying later, we’ve been very independent all our lives — it’s been your own money, your own career and your own goals — but when you become a couple, that all changes and what you spend affects the other person — and that’s something people struggle to accept and understand,” she said.
Phillip advises discussions around finance should begin when you start living together.
“Not only should you disclose what you’re earning but also what you’ve spent — so any debts — because once you’re married, whatever financial problems your partner gets into, well, you own half of them,” she said.
Phillip said a joint account is a good idea for things like bills, groceries and social outings while still depositing a small amount of money into your own private account for yourself.
And when it comes to kids, whether marriage is on the cards or not, having the conversation — and revisiting it regularly is imperative.
“It’s not simply about how many you want, and how many years apart they will be, but you should also be discussing parenting style, whether the child will be baptised and who will be the main parent,” Phillip said.
If your career is going to escalate, who is going to be the first point of call at daycare or school and also, can you afford to put the kids into daycare if you are both going back to work?
Observing how your partner’s family interacts with each other will also give you an idea of what kind of parent they’ll be.
“Whether they’re complacent, firm, loving or dismissive — that teaches you a lot about the parent you’re going to have by your side,” she said.
And rather than assuming your partner is a mind reader, communication needs to continually evolve which in turn, will hopefully improve your relationship.
“Couples need to have date nights pre and post children. It’s usually only during these times, when you’re sitting alone with your partner over dinner, without any distractions like social media or the television, that you’re able to talk,” she said.
It’s here when there’s an opportunity to really pay attention to how the other person is feeling and what they’re thinking about.
“Couples who are a bit more logical might even list down what they plan to talk about to see where the other person is at. Sometimes you find that you are thinking differently about something,” Phillip said.
And if you’re able to do that regularly, without the infringement of friends around you all the time or social media always in your hand, the risk of future disagreements about the bigger issues will decrease.