We’ve all had at least one toxic relationship in our lives. And sometimes, they can be so subtle that we don’t even realize it until it’s too late. We build up this image of the person in our head, and we ignore all the red flags because we think “they! would! never! do! that! to us!”
If you want to avoid getting heartbroken, or worse, being in a dangerous situation, then you need to know what the red flags are. And trust me, there are a lot of them. Here are 12 red flags to look for that may be sneaking past your healthy relationship radar.
1. Your partner is possessive or controlling.
Healthy relationships have clear boundaries. If you’re with somebody who doesn’t respect your privacy, it’s time to move on! Healthy partnerships thrive when each person in the relationship treasures their own independence and space without feeling possessive or controlling of their partner. Possessiveness and control are red flags that should not be ignored.
This is often a sign of underlying insecurity, and can quickly escalate into something more dangerous. If your partner is constantly checking up on you, reading your texts, or demanding to know where you are and who you’re with, it’s time to have a serious talk about boundaries.
2. Your partner is overly critical.
If your partner constantly points out your flaws and criticizes you, this is a red flag. This behavior is unhealthy and can lead to low self-esteem and anxiety. It’s important to be with someone who accepts you for who you are and loves you unconditionally.
3. Your partner is manipulative.
Manipulative people are experts at getting what they want. If your partner is always trying to control the situation and manipulate you, this is a red flag. This behavior is unhealthy and can lead to feelings of being trapped and powerless.
4. Your partner is disrespectful.
Disrespecting or belittling your partner is never acceptable, and it’s a sign that your relationship is in trouble. If your partner regularly speaks to you in a way that makes you feel bad about yourself, it’s time to have a serious talk. This behavior is a major red flag, and it’s not something you should tolerate in a healthy relationship. If your partner can’t or won’t change this behavior, then it’s time to exit the relationship.
5. Your partner is never wrong.
We all make mistakes, and it’s important to be able to apologize when we do. If your partner is never wrong and always tries to shift the blame onto you, this is a red flag. This behavior indicates that your partner is not willing to take responsibility for their actions, and it’s not healthy.
6. Your partner is jealous.
If your partner gets jealous easily or is always accusing you of cheating, this is a red flag. Jealousy is a natural emotion, but it can quickly become unhealthy. If your partner’s jealousy is preventing you from living your life or pursuing your dreams, yep, it’s time to have a serious talk. This behavior is not acceptable in a healthy relationship.
Your partner should trust you enough to know that you’re not going to cheat, and if they don’t, that’s a major problem. If you’re always having to watch what you say or do because your partner might get jealous, that’s not healthy either.
Trust and respect are essential in any relationship, and if your partner can’t give you that, then it’s time to move on.
7. Your partner never takes responsibility for their actions.
If your partner never takes responsibility for their actions, it’s time to get out. This type of behavior indicates that they are not willing to change and are not interested in being in a healthy relationship.
8. Your partner is constantly making you feel guilty.
Guilt is a common tactic used by manipulators. If your partner is constantly making you feel guilty, this is a red flag.
They may guilt you into staying in a relationship that isn’t good for you, or into doing things that you don’t want to do. They may make you feel guilty for not spending enough time with them, or for spending too much time with your friends and family.
If you find yourself constantly walking on eggshells around your partner, or always second-guessing yourself, it’s time to take a step back and assess the situation.
9. Your partner threatens you.
Guilt is not a healthy foundation for a relationship, and it’s important to be with someone who makes you feel good about yourself, not bad.
If you’re in a relationship and your partner has ever threatened you, even if it was just an idle threat, this is a huge red flag. This behavior can quickly turn into something unhealthy and can make you feel scared and powerless.
Trust me, I know how easy it is to think that this kind of threat is just your partner’s way of showing their commitment to you, but it’s not cute or playful.
It’s dangerous and it’s not something you should ignore. You deserve so much better.
10. Your partner uses ultimatums.
“If you don’t do this, then I’ll do that…”
Ultimatums are a big red flag in any relationship. If your partner ever uses ultimatums, it’s a sign that they’re not willing to compromise or communicate.
Ultimatums are a way of controlling the relationship by threatening to do something if you don’t do what they want. This is not healthy or respectful. Ultimatums can also be a sign that your partner is insecure and doesn’t trust you. They are never an effective way to communicate, and they can damage the trust and respect in a relationship.
If your partner ever uses ultimatums, it’s best to talk to them about it and try to resolve the issue. Otherwise, ultimatums can be a major red flag that could lead to the end of the relationship.
11. Your partner withdraws affection when they’re upset.
If your partner withdraws their affection when they’re upset, this is a red flag. This behavior is unhealthy and can lead to feeling unloved and unimportant. When your partner withdraws their affection, it’s a way of punishing you and making you feel bad. This is not a healthy way to handle conflict or disagreements. If your partner ever withdraws their affection when they’re upset, it’s important to talk to them about it and try to resolve the issue. Otherwise, this behavior can be a major red flag that could lead to the end of the relationship.
12. Your partner is always trying to change you.
If your partner is always trying to change you, it’s time to get out. This is not a healthy relationship. Your partner should accept you for who you are, not try to change you into someone you’re not. If your partner doesn’t accept you for who you are, they’re not worth your time. So, if your partner is always trying to change you, it’s a major red flag and it’s time to move on.
Your partner is always taking advantage of you.
If you feel like your partner is always taking advantage of you, it’s important to communicate your feelings. It’s possible that your partner doesn’t realize they’re doing anything wrong, and a discussion can help to clear the air. If your partner doesn’t want to listen or tries to Gaslight you, then it might be time to reconsider the relationship.
In a healthy partnership, both partners should feel like they’re being respected and valued. If that’s not the case, it might be time to move on.
If you are seeing these red flags in your relationship, it is time to have a serious conversation with your partner. It may be difficult, but it is better to address the issues head-on than to ignore them and hope they will go away. The goal should be to work together as a couple to overcome these challenges so that you can have a healthy and lasting relationship.