Wifeys & Gentlemen,
I know better than anybody that when you really want a relationship to work, you’re prone to ignore your new love’s less-than-stellar habits and personality traits.
I’ve always believed that everyone has a red flag or two somewhere within them. You know? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to normalize toxic behavior or even suggest that we’re all fundamentally “bad”. But I do believe we are all flawed. I do believe that each and every one of us has qualities that our partners will be forced to tolerate through gritted teeth.
I call these red flags because one person’s “tolerable bad quality” is another person’s “deal breaker”.
My husband tolerates my bullying but certainly doesn’t love it; I know for a fact that many people wouldn’t be interested in a relationship with me at all because of it.
Still, from a psychological perspective, some red flags are obviously universal; verbal abuse, controlling or obsessive behaviors, and violence are all some of the most obvious red flags that motivate us to flee without question. However, what about the red flags we regularly overlook?
What about those toxic behaviors that make us pause or think twice but are so easily ignored and glossed over until it’s too late?
Here’s a quick list of 10 lesser-known red flags that you definitely should watch out for when seeing someone new. While these might seem like mere “bad habits” and for some could be tolerable in a relationship, many times it is these smaller, seemingly innocuous actions that build up to more dangerous toxicity.
🚩 They Always Bad Mouth Their Exes 🚩
Has every ex they’ve ever had been “crazy”? Do they go out of their way to tell you about all the messed up and pyscho things their last lover did to them during their relationship?
Sure, we’ve all had our share of drama when it comes to ex lovers, but if your new boo can’t seem to talk about past relationships without harping on all the bad things their ex did to them, something might be wrong. It’s important to know that the person you’re with has grown for their past relationships and acknowledges where they could have improved or where things went wrong between them.
This isn’t to say that some people don’t have bad luck in love, but even those people tend to acknowledge the “red flags” they ignored or the signs they should have paid attention to before falling for a bad ex.
🚩 They Gaslight or Manipulate You into Questioning Yourself 🚩
Do you feel confused or uncertain after having an argument with your partner? Did your partner do something to violate your trust or boundaries and you still find yourself apologizing to them or believing that you’re the one with the problem?
One day soon, I’d like to spend some quality time really unpacking the subtle nuances of gaslighting, but for today, I’ll simply say that if a relationship is constantly making you second guess yourself and your sanity: RUN.
The damaging effects of gaslighting are no joke!
🚩 Avoids Spending Time with Your Family & Friends 🚩
Do they always have an excuse for bailing on family gatherings or meeting up with your friends?
While this could just be a case of social anxiety or nerves, be wary of a partner who does not ever want to be around your family and friends. Old school intuition tells us that typically, when your partner doesn’t like being around the people you love, it is because they’re worried that those people will see through their BS.
They don’t want your friends and family to point out the red flags you can’t see on your own.
🚩 Rude or Disrespectful to Strangers 🚩
Are they mean to waiters or store clerks? Are they rude and obnoxious for no reason? Do they seem to lack any regard for the comfort and safety of others in public or shared space?
Sure, some of you might be willing and able to tolerate this, but psychology tells us that people who are willing to be rude to strangers often have a hard time with respecting and maintain boundaries, even with those they love.
Try to understand if this is a simple lack of personal awareness/maturity or if this is an ingrained worldview that isn’t likely to change.
🚩 A ‘Creative’ Apologizer 🚩
Does your partner apologize when they’ve done something wrong without ever actually saying they’re sorry? Maybe they buy you a little gift or take you out to eat?
Or, maybe you hear the word sorry, but it’s never accompanied by any true remorse: “I’m sorry if you were offended” or “I’m sorry if you misunderstood what I did/said”.
If your partner can never really cop to their own wrongdoings, it is likely because they don’t truly feel they’ve done anything wrong. Their “apology” is designed to appease and deflect, not honor their role in hurting you.
🚩 An Over Apologizer 🚩
On the flip side, does your partner constantly apologize for everything they do to the point where it seems disingenuous?
If you get upset or annoyed with them, do they automatically go into self-deprecating apology mode: “I’m sorry I’m not good enough for you” or “I’m sorry I’m such a loser”.
While this could be a case of low self-esteem or past trauma that you don’t yet understand, for many this is a tactic of manipulation that leaves their lover feeling guilty or ashamed for getting upset in the first place.
🚩 Little Respect for or Awareness of Boundaries 🚩
If you ask your partner not to do something or tell them that something bothers you, they should listen.
Please don’t “tolerate” any romantic partner who consistently violates your boundaries. Typically, this starts out very small and gradually escalates. Maybe you don’t like being touched a certain way or it upsets you when they call you certain names. If your partner can’t abide by these small things, they likely won’t have respect when it’s major.
🚩 Missing Time & Money 🚩
Does your partner work a steady job and still asks to borrow money for rent, food, and bills?
Do they make large purchases on extravagant items without any explanation as to where they got the money to pay for it?
Does your partner disappear for hours (or even days) at a time without much explanation as to where they’ve been or what they did?
Red flags, my dudes.
Of course, everyone is entitled to privacy and if you’re in a newer relationship, you might not know much about your partners income or know what they do on a day to day basis. Still, if things feel ‘shady’ or ‘off’ about your partner; if they are behaving strangely or secretively around money or time they can’t account for, pay attention.
🚩 ‘Harmless’ Teasing 🚩
No one who cares about you should be making fun of you to the point of hurt feelings or humiliation. My husband and I tease each other from time to time, but usually it’s in the privacy of our own home and we NEVER say anything to intentionally cause harm.
Does your partner tease you in front of others? Do they say really cruel things and then claim to be “just joking” when you get upset about it?
Only you know how much teasing you can tolerate and in what context. Someone who violates this under the guise of a joke is violating big boundaries!
🚩 It’s Never About You 🚩
Do you find that your partner only talks about themselves? Do you often feel like they neglect to ask about you, your life, or even your day?
If you find yourself in a situation where your partner is self-absorbed or extremely self-involved, it might be a sign that they don’t care for or consider your emotional needs. Some people lack emotional availability; they want a partner who is there to support them, but neglect to give that support in return.
I know for a lot of you, these things might seem minor or knit-picky. While I do believe that there are definite exceptions to all of these situations, remember that for MOST of us, we are not the exception, but the rule.
If a person is making you feel bad, even for a moment, that’s something to pay attention to. That’s something to reflect on and consider. You are not a bad person for walking away from a relationship that isn’t working for you.
Remember that your intuition plays a HUGE role in your dating success. If something feels wrong, it probably is. You know deep down if someone has a LEGIT reason for certain attitudes and behaviors. Listen to your head AND your heart.
Until Next Time,
Carry on Wifeys & Gents!
Be a lamb and tell your friends…🐑🐑🐑…🐑🐑🐑…🐑🐑🐑…