7 red flags in relationships you should never ignore

Are you in a new relationship or perhaps in a long-term commitment? Be vigilant in watching for red flags that may indicate impending trouble. But what are these red flags, exactly? Some warning signs, such as frequent belittling or put-downs, may indicate emotional abuse, which is sadly common in relationships. If you know what to look out for, you'll be better prepared to make decisions and take action. So, let's take a look at the seven common risk factors in a relationship that you shouldn't excuse.

What are the red flags in a partnership?

In a relationship, red flags are warning signs that something unhealthy is going on between you and your partner. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to detect these warning signs, especially in new relationships when emotions are high.

While some red flags, like abusive behavior and aggression, are widely recognized, others can be easily missed. Behaviors such as manipulation, gaslighting, and narcissism are often overlooked but can cause significant damage to a relationship.

We talked to couples therapists to gain insights into these red flags, why they're often missed, and what actions to take if you spot them in your relationship.

1. Dishonesty

If you find yourself constantly catching your partner in lies, it could be a warning sign for your relationship. Samara Quintero, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Choosing Therapy, explains that while everyone may tell a white lie now and then, consistent deception or getting caught in lies is a red flag. Whether it's small lies about where they are going or big lies about their financial situation, being lied to repeatedly can damage the foundation of your relationship and jeopardize your future together.

2. Verbal Abuse

Frequent criticism or put-downs from your partner, even if delivered in a subtle or passive-aggressive manner, can harm your self-esteem and lead to anxiety and insecurity in the relationship. According to Quintero, this type of behavior is a form of emotional abuse and should be taken seriously. If your partner refuses to take responsibility or make an effort to change, it may be time to reassess the relationship.

3. Unwillingness to Compromise

If your partner is unwilling to compromise on even the smallest things, it could be a sign that the relationship is one-sided. Emily Simonian, a licensed marriage and family therapist, explains that over-compromising can lead to resentment, hurt feelings, and dissatisfaction. In a healthy relationship, both partners should consider each other's needs and desires, and compromise should be a two-way street.

4.Avoiding Difficult Discussions

A partner who lacks the emotional or behavioral skills to handle problems and avoids confronting them can damage your relationship. Examples of this behavior include walking away from arguments without listening or ignoring your partner for extended periods when things get tough. Simonian explains that individuals who struggle with managing challenging emotions may lash out or flee in difficult situations. Even in healthy relationships, disagreements are normal, and it's important to ensure that your partner can communicate effectively and work through problems with you.

5. Jealousy and Controlling Behavior

Excessive jealousy can lead to controlling behavior in a partner. For instance, your partner might feel jealous when you have a social life outside of your relationship. They may also suffocate you with excessive calls or texts and try to control what you do. According to Simonian, attempts to control usually start off subtly but can become more intense over time. This behavior can leave you feeling as though nothing you do is good enough. If you notice yourself feeling smothered or constantly altering your behavior to appease their jealousy, it could be a sign of bigger issues to come. Studies have shown that as jealousy in a relationship increases, the quality of the relationship decreases, which can harm romantic relationships in the long run.

6. Lack of Communication

According to Quintero, a partner who turns to passive-aggressiveness, blaming, or expressing emotions in an aggressive way is exhibiting ineffective communication. Communication is a foundation of a relationship, so if both partners cannot communicate openly and healthily, problems may arise. In a healthy relationship, both partners should feel safe to speak openly about their emotions without fear of judgment or criticism. A 2017 study suggested that early communication in a relationship may play a role in future relationship satisfaction. Satisfaction with communication at the beginning of a relationship may result in a more amicable partnership later on.

7. Lack of friends

If your partner does not have any friends of their own, it can be a red flag for many reasons. It could mean that they lack social skills, have a difficult personality, or a negative view of other people, making it difficult for them to create and maintain friendships. Additionally, a partner who has no friends may be clingy or demand too much of your time, not understanding your desire or need to spend time with your friends. This could eventually lead to resentment in the relationship.


A healthy relationship depends on both people being aware of red flags. If you are worried that your partner is doing any of the above things, you might want to talk to a licensed therapist. If you're not sure what to do or need more help, you might want to check out iFindCheaters, which lets you do accurate and private and anonymous background checks on your partner to make sure you're safe and at ease. We can help you find the answers you need with products like background checks, and social media investigations. Don't wait until it's too late – use iFindCheaters to take charge of your relationship and make sure you're safe.

As a psychologist, I have to say something that many people don't agree with about this issue. Recognizing and dealing with harmful behaviors in relationships is important, but calling every disagreement or refusal to compromise a red flag might be going too far. Relationships are complicated, and fights will always happen. Differences between one-time problems and abuse patterns need to be made clear. Being too aware can cause doubt and instability that aren't needed, which can hurt relationships that are otherwise healthy.

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