It’s hard to see obvious red flags in your relationship with rose-colored glasses on. This article is for the people out there who feel trapped. Maybe your SO burned a bridge that can never be fixed, or maybe it’s a million little things and you just need to read this article to finally move on. Before you scroll down, I want you to be open-minded to the content below. Don’t immediately dismiss the topics, and say, “oh, that’s not my relationship.” Whether you recognize your best friend in these behaviors, or you are experiencing them yourself, use these obvious red flags to break away from an unhealthy relationship!
1. They Never Say Sorry
This is one of the obvious red flags you need to watch out for. After you and your SO fight (and every couple fights, it’s healthy), can they say sorry, especially if they were in the wrong? It’s OK if it takes them a day or two to come to their senses, but can they eventually swallow their pride and apologize to you? If after several mistakes they still can’t say sorry, it’s time for you to reconsider the relationship.
Maybe in your relationship now, the problems you two are dealing with aren’t so serious. But later on down the line, marriage and children will complicate things. Find out NOW if your SO has what it takes to build a healthy relationship. When two people love and respect each other, they should be able to apologize for mistakes, no matter how big or small. Being able to say sorry is a staple in any relationship, and although saying sorry doesn’t erase what they have done, it does show emotional maturity and respect towards the relationship itself.
2. They Check Your Phone
This is one of the obvious red flags that can get overlooked sometimes. If you catch your SO checking your phone more than once, this is a clear sign of trust issues within the relationship. At this point, you should try talking to your SO and ask what triggers them to check your phone. Remember, your cellphone is an extension of you. If they are always checking it, it is a violation of your privacy and trust. All in all, this is an issue that can be resolved with good communication.
If the issue runs deeper, say they need to “approve” anything before you post on social media, then it’s time for you to rethink the relationship.
3. You Become Distant From Your Friends and Family
This is an example of obvious red flags that does not happen overnight. If after months of dating, you find yourself in a lonely place, it might be time to rethink the relationship.
In toxic, controlling relationships, your SO might distance you from your family and friends. Maybe you find that you haven’t gotten brunch with your bestie in weeks, or every time your family calls to scheduled dinner, you “are too tired.” In relationships like this, your SO wants you all to themselves, no sharing. But in healthy relationships, the two of you need to have your OWN lives with your OWN friends too! Independence is more than necessary, and you shouldn’t have to babysit your SO every single day. So make an effort to go on hikes with your friends, meet your family for lunch, and join any activities you want!
4. They Make You Feel Like Everything’s Your Fault
Sure, mistakes happen. But not every single thing is your fault. This red flag goes hand in hand with the “I’m sorry” red flag.
In toxic relationships, your SO might blame everything on you. This can be a form of gaslighting, and it might not be so obvious at first. For example, maybe they have some sort of addiction, but they blame you for letting them indulge in it. Also, at this point maybe they are sobbing on the floor, so your caring self feels extra bad for them. In this situation, the SO is using their own problems to control and manipulate the victim. You are not to blame for their actions. If they get angry, lash out physically, and then they tell you “look what you made me do,” that is NOT your fault.
5. They Always Want To Know Where You Are
This is one of the most toxic obvious red flags, depending on the situation. In my family, we all have Find My Friends on our iPhones, just in case something goes wrong. This is normal, and it’s perfectly fine to do this with your SO too! But if your SO is constantly asking you where you are and angry when you’re just a little bit late, then this behavior becomes a red flag. Like an object they own, they want to control you and know where you are.
Communication is key in any relationship, but watch out and make sure behavior like this doesn’t cross the line into possessive territory.
6. They Control Your Finances
This is an obvious red flag that you probably already know is wrong. If your SO tells you how much you are “allowed” to spend each week, it’s time to get out of that relationship! This can be anywhere from taking your paycheck (that YOU worked for), to not allowing you to have your own bank account. Maybe you aren’t even allowed to fill the car with gas. This toxic behavior is completely different from couples on a budget that have communicated with each other and BOTH agreed to save more.
7. They Have A Bad Relationship With Their Parents
This is unique to each person but can most certainly be a red flag. In some cases where people are not close to their parents, it can be an understandable reason. Maybe it was because of a divorce, or maybe their parents aren’t actually involved in their lives.
What you want to look out for, are situations with poor excuses. Maybe they choose to not see their family because they “just don’t understand,” or maybe you’ve seen them talk poorly to their parents right in front of you. How a person treats their parents will give you a good indication on how they will treat you. For example, a guy who openly disrespects his Mom might verbally abuse you. Or a girl with serious “Daddy” issues might bring them into the relationship. Knowing your SO family history is important in any relationship.
8. Verbal Abuse Is The Norm
Some people think that verbal abuse isn’t nearly as bad as other forms of abuse. However, verbal abuse can do long-term emotional damage and it is never OK. If you notice your SO continue to control, frighten, or demean you with their words, it’s time for you to reconsider the relationship. Just know you deserve better!
9. They Have A Cheating History
You shouldn’t define a person by their past mistakes, but knowing their character is very important. If they cheated before, what’s stopping them from doing it again?
10. You’ve Been Through Physical Abuse, Even Just “That One Time”
The first time this happens, you need to draw the line. It is never OK for them to lay a hand on you, in any way. So even if you’re thinking to yourself, “It was just that one time, though. They said they’d change.” No, I’m telling you that the right mix of alcohol and rage can send them into a dangerous spiral. If it happened once, it can and will happen again.
However, escaping is easier said than done. If you want to get out of the relationship but are scared to, just know you don’t have to take on this burden alone. Confide in a close friend or family member, and get through this together.
Do you recognize any of these obvious red flags in your relationship? What are you going to do about it? Tell us your story in the thoughts below.
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