Have interactions with a new potential partner not been sitting right with you?
Want to educate yourself on abuse warning signs before getting in too deep in a relationship?
Read about Red Flags you should not ignore in any relationship!
Trigger warning. Some of this content may be emotional to read. Take your time or seek support from a therapist or local domestic violence agency if needed.
You are their only source of joy/center of their world. They have very few or no friends, isolate themselves from their family, criticize everything, and hate their jobs. How can you have a life if your partner doesn’t have their own?
They isolate you. It might be as subtle as making negative comments about your bestie or rolling their eyes if you’re on the phone with your mom. It might be as obvious as them telling you your friends and family don’t really like you or restricting when, how, and with whom you communicate. Either way, not healthy.
Hypervigilant about your behavior. They comment excessively/outside the norm about what you do and how you do it. You sometimes feel like you can’t do anything right in their eyes. When you let them know you're feeling that way, they turn on the affection/affirmations which makes you start to question/minimize those gut feelings that something isn’t right.
They LOVE control. They NEED control. What you wear, when you leave, who you text with, what you order on a date. This is a BIG ONE, everyone. It’s great when a potential partner takes initiative, plans a date, etc. but that’s not what we are talking about here. This Red Flag is a dangerous, insidious one. If you are starting to feel like you can’t make a move without your new boo - RED FLAG!
They keep a lot on the low. But too low.They don’t talk about how high school was or what happened with their friend Dave who they never speak to anymore. No mention of why they don’t talk to Aunt Sally. They can’t talk about old relationships and if this happens there are consequences later, even if you're not the one who brought it up. Their ex is ‘crazy.’ Their co-workers are all boring. Everything gets minimal details and is barely a blip on the radar.
You keep them on the low. You notice you don’t feel comfortable sharing about your partner with your support circle. You hide things or shift facts because you really want people you love to like them. You even find yourself starting to defend them to others early on in the dating process.
They don’t take responsibility for their actions. Their road rage? Blamed on other drivers. Their recent tantrum? They wouldn’t have gotten so upset if you just would have _________. Even if they apologize, it's not really an apology (I’m sorry you feel that way). THIS IS THE BIGGEST INDICATOR OF AN ABUSIVE / TOXIC PERSONALITY. YES THE ALL CAPS IS SCREAMING AT YOU, JUST LIKE YOUR INTUITION!!! This is also where they start to minimize your feelings, making you feel like your response to their behavior isn’t normal - and in reality what they are doing to you in that moment - IS NOT NORMAL.
Too good to be true! How can this be happening so soon? Sweep you off your feet! Is this really happening? They’re perfect! Love Bomb! Big. Red. Flag. Nobody is perfect. Chances are, if you’re feeling a magnetic-like pull to them and it's super intense, it's because your unconscious relationship patterns (for example- codependency) are at play. We aren’t saying things can’t be going really well. It’s when everything is 100%, 24/7, and there are no speed bumps...ever, that we are asking you to be vigilant and in tune with that voice in your head going hmmmmmm.
Adheres to the belief of strict gender roles. Are you getting messages that one partner should be in control, tough, protective? And the other partner should not have needs or opinions, be submissive, and can’t trust themselves because they don’t know the ways of the world? This can sometimes be veiled when a Red Flagger says they are traditional, and value putting family first - which is all fine and dandy, as long as everyone in the family has autonomy. Our genders do not dictate the way things SHOULD be in a relationship. It’s all about conversations, compromises, and finding a balance that works for both of you.
Doesn’t respect your opinions, suggestions, boundaries, or need for safety. For example, for the first couple of dates, it is advisable to meet some place, right? Not have them know where you live or you get in a car with a stranger. If they don’t get this or keep trying to get you to drink more...Nope! No way! Get out!
The most important thing to remember -if something is not sitting right with your gut, even if you can’t put your finger on it. TRUST YOURSELF! You won't regret choosing your intuition.