A budding romance is FULL of good stuff… especially when we ignore red flags. Be safe and be on the lookout for these early relationship warning signs.
The start of every new relationship is all butterflies and happiness. Like every other start, it’s full of promise and excitement and people tend to get lost in it right from the get go. That other person is often everything we dreamed of—smart, funny, attractive, the whole works.
It is as it should be, some would say. What is the point of entering into a relationship if you’re going to start finding faults with it straight away? That might be true but we could prevent a lot of heartbreak—for ourselves and the other person involved—if we could only critically assess the situation at the beginning.
Being honest with yourself doesn’t mean that a relationship won’t work out—it’s usually the only reason why it works out in the first place. But if we ignore the warning signs that point to our new relationship being a complete train wreck, we’re not doing anyone any favors.
There are several red flags that will point to the fact that the relationship isn’t going to work out. We will skip the most obvious ones—cheating and physical abuse should never be tolerated, under any circumstances and if you’re experiencing it get immediate help and tell someone! Other warnings signs take the time to notice, however, but that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye or ignore them. After all, you deserve to be happy and not trapped in a dependent or an unfulfilling relationship.
How are they treating other people?
Let’s lead off with this one. At the start of every relationship, we’re on our best behavior. Most of the time, so is the other person—and there is nothing wrong with that.
However, if the difference between how the person is treating you and how they are treating others is too great, then there is cause for alarm. Sugarcoating is one thing, pretending to be a completely different person is another. Pay close attention to how your significant other treats others around them—especially those they deem inferior (waiters, janitorial staff). If you don’t like what you see, consider breaking things off because it’s only a matter of time before you’re subjected to the same treatment.
They are still hung up on their ex.
Meaning, the ex is still in the picture.
Now, this might be benign. After all, there are people in all our lives we used to date and are still friends with; however, if they are mentioning their ex way too often, there might be a reason for that. Determine the type of the relationship that exists between them and make sure you’re comfortable with it before moving on. If it seems that they might get back together (frequent calls, emergency situations where your partner is a shoulder to cry on, and so on), take heed. If that is the case, consider parting ways before you become too invested.
Your boundaries don’t seem to concern them.
Most of us have boundaries and there is nothing wrong with that. Boundaries are simply a way to make sure we always feel safe and in control over our own destiny. Some people like to keep aspects of their life private—a situation at home, or at work, or why they aren’t comfortable going out to crowded places and so on. It takes time to earn a place in someone’s life, to earn a right to be inside their comfort zone.
When someone sidesteps the process of easing their way into your life and starts demanding information or starts demanding things to be as they want, they are violating your boundaries. It can seem trivial at first—pressuring you to go out when you would rather stay in after a long day at work—but these things add up in time and can cause real problems down the line.
They bully you into submission with guilt
So you missed one date three weeks ago and now you’re reminded of it every time there’s a discussion? You’re getting served with a classic guilt trip. It takes various forms: it can be an outright accusation that you don’t care for them as much as you should (or as much as they care for you) or it can come in a form of the silent treatment. Either way, it’s not a hallmark of a healthy relationship.
Adults communicate their fears, wishes, concerns, and aspiration in a structured manner and without throwing a tantrum. If you’re doing things in your relationship just because you’re feeling guilty, it may be time for you to stop and get out of that relationship.
Your core values are extremely different and no one is budging.
You’re pro-life, they are pro-choice: you abhor the death penalty, they support it; you don’t want kids, they do—these are the examples of core values we rarely think about during the infancy stages of a relationship. However, these things should be discussed as soon as you realize the relationship is getting serious.
This isn’t something that can easily be changed, so you ignore differing values at your own peril. If you’re completely incompatible with the person, it’s better to acknowledge it early on and say goodbye while you’re still not too heavily emotionally involved.
They are not happy being themselves.
Somehow, you seem to be the center their life revolves around. While this might be flattering, it’s also somewhat troubling. People can’t exist in a happy relationship alone—they first have to be happy outside of that relationship, by being themselves. If your partner is not fulfilled in and of themselves, if they are leading an unhappy life and need to cling to you to get any sense of self-worth, it’s a sure sign you’re heading for disaster.
Sooner or later, your relationship isn’t going to be enough for them; they will start to paint it black as they do everything in their life. At that point, you might end up being sucked into that same black hole. Best piece of advice you could get in a situation like this—get out while there is still time!
They don’t seem to be interested in your opinion.
On the other hand, you might be starting a relationship where only you care what you think about any given topic. If your other half is doing most of the talking and your opinion is of no value whatsoever now, image how it’s going to be down the road. This tends to get worse over time. If your opinion doesn’t count for something with the person you’re with then it’s time to find a different person!
It’s easy to make excuses for people we feel attracted to; however, it’s prudent to watch for these early signs in new relationships so we could spare ourselves more heartbreak further down the road. As the time goes by, it becomes more difficult to break things off as we get more entangled and emotionally invested. So a word of advice: keep your eyes peeled and try to do some thinking with your head instead of your heart!