In this day and age when you can find out anything you want about your love interest faster than you can say Google, it seems that there are many signals that a potential mate sends out that should automatically make us run for the hills. Here are my top four relationship red flags that spell out trouble.
LACK OF BOUNDARIES:
I talk about the importance of boundaries on a daily basis with my clients. Healthy boundaries mean knowing what is and is not ok for you.
Boundaries allow us to feel safe but also connected with those we love.
Those with the best boundaries are also the most empathetic according to Brené Brown’s research. So what does a boyfriend/girlfriend with poor boundaries look like? Showing up uninvited to your home, your work, your private life. Also, very prematurely asking you personal and intimate questions. This person will also have poor boundaries with friendships, where there’s just too much merging of lives that should otherwise be kept separate (picture friends with benefits and the like).
COMPLETE NEGATIVITY TOWARD OTHERS:
All relationship will sooner or later cross the bridge of “tell me about your ex’s.” Sure, we all dated at least one unsavory character at some point, but if your love interest spends a lot of time tell you about how horrible ALL of his/her ex’s were, that’s a red flag. It shows that they most likely cannot take responsibilities for their own actions in relationships.
None of us are perfect, so someone with healthy view of relationships can take accountability for the undoing of a relationship.
Should things not go well between you two, you are officially forewarned that before long, you will also be described as some horrible human to some new victim.
EXALTING YOU TO THE HEAVENS:
We all like to feel special and cherished, but when someone is constantly talking about how you are THE MOST amazing, the most beautiful/handsome, the smartest, how no one is as magical as you, trust me, something’s off.
This exaltation signals a significant IMbalance in perceived power dynamics in relationshipS and a distorted outlook of others.
Either the person is simply so incredibly insecure she/he will be excessively dependent on you to gauge their self-worth (talk about pressure!). Or he/she has decided that you somehow you need all these high praises and will swiftly drop you the moment you don’t meet these unrealistic expectations, because, well…. you’re human.
The biggest red-flag is jealousy. Unless you are knowingly flirting with others to make your partner jealous, then unprovoked jealousy should sound the alarms. I’m not talking about this person wanting to know a bit more information about your whereabouts or your friends a she/he gets to know you. I’m talking about the person who becomes increasingly controlling and emotionally manipulating you to feel bad about having an identity outside of the relationship.
A jealous partner will ruin the most innocent good-time at best (because you’ll have to constantly attend to his/her insecurities) or become abusive at worse. If you are with a jealous partner, it’s definitely time to move on.
I always say that people tell you everything you need to know about them very early on in a relationship (romantic, friendship, work). Some red flags like lack of boundaries, jealousy, lack of accountability in relationships, and an unrealistic view of who you are will always bring a relationship tumbling into a very dark place. You’ve been warned!
*** To find out more, I invite you to book a FREE consultation with me. I offer in-person psychotherapy (in Westport, CT) and online counseling throughout Connecticut and New York ***