Relationship Red Flags (9+ Signs You Need To Look Out For)

Last updated on June 12, 2022 by April Maccario

People have one or more things they consider as a red flag in a relationship, from infidelity to lying, anger, poor dressing, and more. 

It’s only normal; two people who were previously strangers are now getting to know one another on a more intimate level; and as behaviors unravel, there’s a tendency to notice some displeasing traits

On the contrary, according to relationship experts, a great number of people aren’t fully aware when these behaviors become an actual red flag.  

One of the major reasons is the fact that people are easily swooned by the euphoria of a new relationship, but this doesn’t eliminate the possibility of a red flag turning an association into an unbearable one. 

This article is centered on ten of the surprisingly common warning signs in relationships that anyone can easily overlook.

More importantly, being aware of these signs would help you make the necessary moves or compromise before things get worse, especially in cases where the relationship red flag isn’t a deal-breaker.

10 Common Relationship Red Flags 

1. When your partner has a controlling behavior

If your partner likes to control everything, irrespective of your desires, he would always want you to compromise. A relationship shouldn’t always be about one person, and when things seem to be that way, then you know it’s a warning sign. You may not have thought his controlling behavior was a deal-breaker before, and this may be the reason he keeps thinking he can control your life

In the long run, controlling attitudes tend to turn to abusive behaviors, especially in cases where he feels entitled to specific things in your life, like the people you should hang out with or the kind of clothes you should wear. 

This sense of entitlement spurs from only one person actively making the decisions, while the other partner willingly or unwillingly obliges.  

If you’ve noticed that your partner displays controlling behaviors, the first thing to do is to try to talk to them about it, and then give enough room for change. If after a certain period, there is no indication of improvement, then you should greatly consider walking away.  

2. When your partner is verbally abusive

When your partner is verbally abusive

Relationship red flags sometimes are the most obvious, but people mostly think they can change their partner or manage his excesses, but that’s not always the case. 

Although verbal abuse sounds pretty obvious, in most cases, it can sometimes be eluded. Perhaps you’re having a heated argument with your significant other, and at every instance, your partner seems to be using abusive words on you, this in itself, is a major warning sign. 

According to research, people reveal their true feelings and thoughts when angry, which means if your boyfriend or husband is verbally abusive towards you, it reveals a certain dimension of thoughts they have for you.

In the early stage of a relationship, there’s little to no effort put by the two parties for the love to blossom. The idea of falling in love with a person is so overwhelming, that loving one another comes easy. However, as the relationship gets older, differences come to light, and it becomes more of a choice to accept your spouse’s flaws and embrace who they really are. 

So, when a partner seems incredibly nice at the early stage and suddenly becomes verbally abusive, there’s a tendency that the later stages of the relationship would be incredibly unbearable

3. Your partner is a conditional lover

From surveys, a lot of people are conditional lovers without even realizing it, these set of people tend to love their partners only for their perfections, and can’t readily embrace their flaws. In most cases, such ‘perfect traits’ are what sponsored the relationship, and nothing else. 

If you’re trying to know if your better half is a conditional lover, monitor whether he focuses on only the good things about you, and unconsciously dictates these are the reasons why they love you. 

For example, if they compliment your hair, body, or certain things about you, and use loving words of affirmation only when talking about these things, you can easily know they love you conditionally.

Even so, if they get agitated or angry when you alter these things (perhaps get a new haircut), then you’re certain they won’t fully embrace other parts of your life, just because they don’t agree with it.  This is a big warning sign since you may feel the need to persistently live up to the image your partner loves and adores. 

4. They justify their flaws

Everybody has flaws; and as a person, it’s impossible for your flaws to remain hidden forever. Imperatively, in a new relationship, as you’re getting to know your partner better, you’re bound to realize their flaws with time. 

One major warning sign on this subject is how they handle the realization of these flaws. Are they willing to make a change? Find a positive compromise? Or do they outrightly justify their bad behaviors?

If they justify their wrongdoings, then this is a sign that they aren’t empathetic, once you’ve expressed the fact that some of their actions are having a negative impact on you and the relationship, and they remain unyielding in their ways, it indicates that they neither value you nor the relationship

In the long run, understand that these bad behaviors are bound to magnify, once justification is given to unruly actions, there’s a free will to perpetually continue in that action which could potentially make the relationship more unbearable for you. 

5. They feel entitled to things

Another behavior that a partner might innocently display is an entitlement to things. Despite the relationship being new, a warning sign is when a partner requests for more than they give in the relationship. Some people grow up with this entitled mindset, which makes them feel they deserve everything and more. 

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Such a person might not be considerate when it comes to giving you space, spending your money, or even demanding sex at any time. With such behavior, you have to consider if that’s an attitude you want to keep up with for the rest of your life. 

At one point in time or another, this entitlement mindset seemingly makes them selfish and lazy to make efforts towards you. They become less grateful and feel it’s your duty to simply do these things. Despite the understandable reasons that can sponsor this action, this is a red sign that no one should overlook. 

If there’s any indication that the bulk of work would be left to you, without the other person weighing in, then it’s imperative that the situation is handled quite early. You need to communicate that you don’t agree with his idea of entitlement and find a compromise to their demands. 

6. They resent all their previous partners

It’s not mandatory for your better half to get along with his/her exes, as a matter of fact, many have indicated they don’t fancy the idea of their partner being friends with the previous person in their life. 

Nonetheless, one red warning sign that is usually overlooked is how badly a partner talks about their previous relationships. If they resent their exes and use demeaning words to describe all their past relationships, then there’s something definitely wrong. 

It pushes you to think why every single one of their relationships ended so badly, this may even connote that they have a nark for choosing the wrong partners, or perhaps they’re the ones with the undisclosed relationship problems. This also hints to the possibility that your present association with them might end in a like manner – probably with them also resenting and badmouthing you if things go south.

If your better half isn’t actively discussing the lessons learned from the failures of previous relationships, but only seems to nag about how badly they all went, then it’s an awful red sign that needs to be handled as soon as possible.

7. They don’t respect your boundaries or limits

Every person has boundaries or limits as human beings, and this can either be physical or psychological boundaries. If your better half has a nark of pushing you beyond your limits, even when you’ve disclosed that you’re not comfortable with going so far, this is a major red sign that the relationship would become unbearable. 

How to easily spot someone that doesn’t respect your boundaries is watching how they persistently exhibit annoying behaviors towards you, especially after you’ve told them to stop. For example, if you dislike being tickled or being stroked on the hair, but your partner keeps doing it, that’s just plain inconsiderate and unfair

Another example is when you can’t meet up with a certain physical activity, or perhaps one that may drain you mentally; nonetheless, they force you to go anyways. This indicates that they’re inconsiderate about how you feel, and would definitely push you beyond your limits in an unhealthy way. 

This might even turn into a controlling habit because they want things to always go their way, irrespective of what you want. In such a situation, communicate your struggles, and if there’s no change, simply walk away

8. They try to rush the relationship

If your better half wants everything to move at an incredibly fast pace, it can come off as suspicious in most cases. This in itself is a major red flag, every relationship needs time to blossom, and the two parties need to fully understand each phase before proceeding to the next one. 

If your better half is less concerned about growing and more concerned about reaching a certain destination, this calls for a lot of questions; one including, “What exactly is the rush?” If you’ve asked them about it, and they gave no viable answer, then you should consider analyzing your partner’s motives. 

Perhaps he’s under pressure by his family, or something else is sponsoring his actions, but whatever the reasons may be, understand that it isn’t healthy to rush a relationship because the bulk of the work would only be pushed to the future.  

The best thing to do is to halt any efforts he is trying to make to rush things and see how they react. 

9. They turn you against your friends and loved ones

This is a common red sign that most people display when dating, slowly, yet meticulously, they turn their partners against their family and friends. When your better half seems to have a negative interpretation of the things your family and friends do and prompts you to take actions that push them away, it’s an indication that they want to isolate you and probably control your life.

According to research, this is a major tactic that controlling partners use on their partners. Turning a person against friends and loved ones, cuts them from their support system, ensuring they rely on their partner for all their needs. This limits the liberty of that person and gives the partner the privileges of dictating what should and shouldn’t be in the relationship. 

In the long run, it becomes more or less like a monopolized association, if your partner exhibits this type of behavior, it’s best to go against their wishes and keep your family and friends close in a discrete manner. If you start to perceive some controlling habits, then you should consider moving on.

10. They’re mean to others

They’re mean to others

Sometimes, certain negative behaviors your partner displays may not be directed at you. Nonetheless, this is an indication of how they might eventually treat you, if the person you’re dating is mean to others, even publicly, then it doesn’t tell well about their character. In life, there’s bound to be a transference of aggression, when sentiments and feelings change. 

Since the beginning of a relationship requires less effort to show love and affection, it might be easy for them to seclude you from aggressive behaviors. Nevertheless, as time goes on, love requires more effort – and when it’s insufficient, they might transfer that secluded anger to you. 

If the root cause of your better half’s aggression isn’t tackled at an early stage, when you eventually annoy them, they would start being mean to you. So, try to understand why your better half is mean to others, and see if they consider changing their behavior. If they don’t, then the ball is in your court, you can either stay and see how things turn out or take off your heels and run while you can.


What are the red flags in dating?

These are a combination of behavioral traits that could potentially cause relationship issues in the future. The irony is that they are often overlooked when dating, nonetheless, you can perceive these behaviors if your partner has a negative interpretation of life and relationships with others.

What are my red flags?

You can note you’re bad traits by monitoring your behavior towards your partner and others in your life. If your actions persistently annoy or upset them, then it’s an indication it is bad behavior for the two of you. More so, if you find yourself disregarding their pleas for change, you can easily identify this as a red sign.

What do you do when you notice red flags?

If you notice your better half is exhibiting some behaviors you aren’t pleased with, the first action to take is trying to talk to them about it. Their response towards the situation will dictate whether they’re ready to change and make the two of you work. If they give a negative response, then this connotes that you need to walk away.

What are the red flags in a woman?

These can easily be spotted in the type of friends your woman has, who can easily influence her actions towards life. If she regards her friends more than she listens to your opinions and requests, then it’s a major warning sign. More so, if she bluntly justifies her bad behaviors, despite being corrected, it’s also a bad sign.

What are red flags for guys?

For a man that persistently doesn’t respect the opinions and needs of his woman, and tries to outrightly control her, this behavior can be a major warning sign. More so, if most of the problems are always directed at his woman, and he never seems to accept blame for his actions, you can identify his behaviors as a bad sign.

To Sum Things Up

Were you enlightened by this article on warning signs when dating? Remember that if you perceive your partner has some negative traits that could potentially get worse and unbearable with time; still they remain unrepentant and unyielding to change, the best thing to do is to walk away as soon as possible. 

Share your thoughts on this article below, and kindly share it with your friends and loved ones that need to see this as well. 

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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