Code red. I repeat, code red everyone. Many times we as humans are blinded by love to an extent that we forget to notice those little red flags that show a person is not even meant for us. Well, there are quite a number of red flags to look out for in a relationship and that is why I am here today!

Simply defined, red flags are warning signs that indicate unhealthy or manipulative behavior. They are not always recognizable at first, which is part of what makes them so dangerous to begin with.

However, the bad news is that they tend to grow bigger and become more problematic over time. Relationship red flags are warning signs that there may be unhealthy patterns or behaviors between you and your partner. 

You may wonder why I chose to bring you the red flags to look out for in a relationship. Guess what? It is to save your life. Oftentimes, especially in new relationships, lust and of course love can cloud your judgment, making it difficult to pick up on red flags.

We all know that love is blind, right? Keep in mind that  Physical, emotional, and mental abuse are undeniable red flags in any relationship.

Physical abuse is easier to pick up but emotional and mental abuse can be just as damaging in the long run. And just like physical abuse, mental and emotional abuse is most likely to cause PTSD. Below are the red flags to look out for in a relationship.

Red Flags to look out for in a relationship.

Red Flags to look out for in a relationship.

Being secretive

Why on earth would a partner that loves and trusts you be secretive around you?  Don’t you know that honesty and trust are the hallmarks of any healthy relationship. That said, if your partner keeps secrets from you or often beats around the bush, it may be a sign that they don’t trust you enough to share what’s  going on with them. While some lies might not come off as too big of a deal, still you should be wary if you feel like your partner frequently lies to you. It is a big red flag to look out for.

Gas lighting you

Yes. It is okay to have a few arguments here and there in your relationship. That doesn’t mean you should always be the one to blame! Healthy conflict is one thing, twisting the truth is another. Gaslighting can be used by your partner to make you feel bad about yourself and hinder self-esteem. If they’re doing things that make you feel insecure, that’s usually a red flag to look out for.


Lie, lie, lie and lie. If that is what your partner does to you, I suggest you run for your life! Constantly catching your partner being dishonest isn’t a good sign. I know that we are all guilty of telling white lies, some to even save our relationships however, if you notice that your partner is consistently deceiving or getting caught in lies, it is a red flag.

These can be small lies, like being dishonest about where they’re going or big lies, like not telling you how much debt they have. Being lied to over and over again can make it difficult to build a solid foundation in the relationship or destroy one that you’ve already built.

History of Cheating

You ever heard of the saying that goes Once a cheater, always will be a cheater? Well, you might want to think of this if you have not been thinking on it. If a person has a history of cheating on someone else or on you, you may spend most of your time in the relationship worrying that it’ll happen to you as well or even again! Infidelity can also take a toll of your mental health and self-confidence, causing you think you’re not good enough for your partner. This is one of the red flags to look out for in a relationship.

Putting you down.

A partner who is  frequently criticizing you or putting you down, even if it’s in a subtle or passive-aggressive way, can affect your self-esteem in a way you never thought possible. This is a form of emotional abuse that can lead to feelings of anxiety and insecurity in the partnership.

Emotional or physical abuse.

Any form of violence or dangerous behavior is an immediate red flag. Come on. Did I even need to mention this? Just run for your life! Violent partners can never  channel their emotions properly in a healthy way.  We all know that disagreements are inevitable in any relationship, but if things escalate to any form of abuse, be it  verbal, physical, emotional, then it’s important to remove yourself from the equation.

Running Away from difficulties

A partner who lacks the emotional or behavioral skills needed to cope with problems and runs away from them instead can harm your relationship. Some examples are walking away from arguments without hearing you out, or ignoring you for days at a time when things get rough.

People who have trouble tolerating difficult emotions tend to lash out or flee when the going gets tough, Simonian says. Even healthy relationships will go through rough patches, so you want to be sure that your partner will communicate effectively with you instead of running away when things get hard.

Controlling behavior.

If your partner is very jealous, this may lead to controlling behavior. The over  jealousy alone is a problem and now imagine it coupled with controlling behavior.  I don’t even want to imagine!

For example, they might feel jealous when you have a social life outside of your relationship, Simonian says. A jealous partner may also suffocate you with excessive calls or texts and try to control what you do.

Attempts to control usually start slowly  but eventually increase in intensity and can often leave you feeling as though nothing you do is ‘good enough. If you ever notice yourself feeling smothered or consistently altering your behavior in order to appease your partner’s jealousy, it could be a sign of bigger issues to come.

Red Flags to look out for in a relationship.

They don’t have friends.

Even monkeys make friends, right? If your partner doesn’t have any friends of their own, this can be a red flag for many reasons.  They may be unable or unwilling to create and maintain friendships with others. This could mean that they lack social skills, have a difficult personality, or a negative view of other people. 

Another issue with a partner who has no friends is that they may be clingy or demand too much, if not all of your time. They may not understand your desire or need to spend time with your friends, which could turn into resentment. 

Doesn’t compromise for you.

If your partner isn’t willing to compromise even when it comes to the little things, you should either proceed with caution or run for your life. If you’re in a relationship with someone who seems to make everything one-sided, you may end up over-compromising and wind up feeling resentful, hurt, misunderstood, and unsatisfied,

In healthy relationships, it’s crucial that you consider each other’s needs and desires and that compromise isn’t a one-way affair.,%2C%E2%80%9D%20Dr.%20Kederian%20explains.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What are serious red flags in dating?

Examples of dating red flags are Talking only about themselves, avoiding difficult conversations, gossiping about their ex, and withholding affection.. Dating red flags can reveal themselves through a negative sign or action, a verbal or physical cue, or the hint of a personality flaw, and they can be dangerous.

What is the number 1 red flag in relationship?

Overly controlling behavior. Overly controlling behavior is a common red flag in relationships. People that try to control your movements, decisions, or beliefs are more concerned about what they want than what is best for you.

What are silent red flags in a relationship?

One of the silent red flags in a relationship is partners avoiding confrontation or conflict. Your partner should be your safe space, providing you a sense of comfort. If you hesitate to have difficult conversations or express yourself in front of them, then it’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

What is a green flag in a guy?

A green flag is when a potential partner is considerate and aware of your boundaries, asks for clarification on them when they are unclear, and does not push them.

What is white flag in relationship?

A white flag is when your partner lets their guard down and feels comfortable enough to show vulnerability. It’s making little changes and sacrifices to make things work instead of fighting anything and everything. White flags can be little acts of love and comfort aimed at building a healthy and strong relationship.

Leticia Nambaziira

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