6 relationship red signs you shouldn’t ignore, according to couples therapists
Excessive jealousy and dishonesty are both red flags in a relationship.
You should be weary of a partner who constantly criticizes or dismisses you.
A refusal to compromise is another huge warning signal — relationships should not be one-sided.
We’re usually encouraged to avoid people who show red flags in their relationships, but what precisely are the red signs we should be watching for?
The romance and thrill of the “honeymoon phase” can blind you to the warning flags when you’re dating someone new. Red flags such as repeated shaming can indicate a form of emotional abuse, which is rather widespread.
According to a 2011 poll conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 47.1 percent of women and 46.5 percent of males indicated they had experienced psychological aggressiveness in a relationship.
Knowing which red signals to look for might help you proceed with cautiously or, if necessary, break things off.
- Constantly lying
It’s not a good indicator if you’re constantly catching your partner lying.
“We’re all guilty of white falsehoods,” says Samara Quintero, a licensed marital and family therapist at Choosing Therapy. “However, if you realize that your partner is frequently deceiving or getting caught in lying, it’s a red flag.”
These can be minor deceptions, such as lying about where they’re going, or major deceptions, such as not telling you how much debt they have.
Being lied to repeatedly can make it impossible to construct a stable foundation in a relationship or demolish one that has already been established, Quintero adds, which can lead to an uncertain future.
- Constant snubs
Even if it’s in a subtle or passive-aggressive fashion, a partner who frequently criticizes or puts you down might undermine your self-esteem.
Quintero states, “This is a sort of emotional abuse that can lead to emotions of fear and uncertainty in the relationship.”
Some common examples, according to her, are:
“You’re quite fortunate.” I’m still here because you’ll never be able to outperform me.”
“When you attempt to be amusing, you sound so foolish.”
According to a 2013 study, emotional abuse is just as destructive as physical violence, contributing to despair and low self-esteem, therefore this warning sign should be taken carefully.
“Addressing this behavior with your partner is imperative, and if they refuse to take responsibility or express a willingness to change, it might be time to reevaluate the relationship,” Quintero says.
- A reluctance to compromise
If your partner is unable to compromise, even on minor issues, you should continue with care.
“If you’re in a relationship with someone who seems to make everything one-sided,” says Emily Simonian, a certified marriage and family therapist and the head of learning at Thriveworks, “you may end up feeling resentful, hurt, misunderstood, and unfulfilled.”
It’s critical in good relationships that you consider each other’s wants and desires, and that compromise isn’t a one-way path.
- A tendency to run away from difficult discussions
Your relationship may be harmed if your partner lacks the emotional or behavioral skills needed to deal with problems and instead runs away from them.
When things get tough, some instances include walking away from disputes without hearing you out or ignoring you for days at a time.
When things get bad, those who have problems managing strong emotions prefer to lash out or escape, according to Simonian. When things are tough in a relationship, you want to know that your spouse will communicate properly with you rather than running away when things get tough.
- Excessive jealousy and controlling conduct
If your partner is overly jealous, he or she may exhibit dominating behavior.
For example, they may be jealous if you have a social life outside of your partnership, according to Simonian. A jealous partner may also smother you with frequent calls or texts, attempting to exert control over what you do.
“Control attempts normally begin gently but gradually rise in intensity and can frequently leave you feeling as if nothing you do is ‘good enough,'” Simonian explains. “If you discover yourself feeling suffocated or continuously changing your conduct to placate their envy, it could be a hint of worse problems to come.”
According to a 2010 meta-analysis, as jealousy in a relationship increased, so did the relationship quality, demonstrating that jealousy hurts romantic partnerships. Furthermore, a 2014 study found that those in partnerships where one spouse was very possessive in the beginning were more likely to have an unhealthy communication style later in the relationship.
- A lack of open and good communication
According to Quintero, a partner who resorts to passive-aggressiveness, blaming, or aggressively expressing emotions is engaging in poor communication.
Communication is the core of any relationship, so if you and your partner can’t communicate openly and properly, you’re going to have issues.
“A good relationship creates a comfortable environment for both parties to express their emotions openly without fear of judgment or criticism,” Quintero explains.
According to a 2017 study, communication early in a relationship may play a role in future relationship satisfaction, and contentment with communication early in a relationship may result in a more harmonious union later on.
To summarize and proffer solution:
Take note of any red flags you detect early on in a relationship.
Whether you’re dealing with lying, possessiveness, or being put down, you should take the problem seriously and evaluate how it can influence your relationship not just now, but in the future as well.