Therapists Say You Should Never Ignore These 13 Relationship Warning Signs (2023)



22. August 2021

mbg publisher of Spirituality and Relationships

By Sarah Regan

mbg publisher of Spirituality and Relationships

Sarah Regan is the Spirituality and Relationships Editor and a registered yoga teacher. He received his BA in Broadcasting and Mass Communications from SUNY Oswego and resides in Buffalo, New York.


when to go out

22. August 2021

When you're dating someone, it's all too easy to look at them through rose-colored glasses and miss the glaring signs that they're not the one for you. We've all seen these obvious signs, often referred to as red flags, but whether we ignore them, try to work with them, or walk away is up to us. That's why we asked the experts which warning signs you should definitely look out for and what you can do about them.

(Video) 7 Relationship RED FLAGS You Should NEVER Ignore


This ad is displayed with third-party content and we have no control over the accessibility features.

What is a red flag?

A red flag is essentially a signal that goes off when something is wrong, intuitively telling you to stay away. In relationships, they occur when the object of your affection does or says something that irritates you and makes you question the relationship.

as a PsychotherapistAnnette Núñez, MS, Ph.D.,explains mbg, "red flags give you a strange feeling that something is wrong". Just like you can "flag" something you want to return to, a red flag is like putting a mental needle in a behavior you want to be aware of.

Sometimes these red flags can be less extreme, and sometimes they are a clear signal to run for the hills. Second psychotherapist and relationship expert.Ken Page, LCSW,They can range from "use caution" to "definitely don't go there," depending on the severity of the behavior and your own relationship and non-negotiable standards.


This ad is displayed with third-party content and we have no control over the accessibility features.

(Video) 6 Signs Of An Emotionally Abusive Relationship You Shouldnt Ignore | BetterHelp

13 Red Flags to Watch Out For:



Physical abuse of any kind should be taken very seriously, Page notes. "If you're physically scared because of the way the person is, or if they've ever acted in a physically abusive or threatening manner, that's it. Give them an absolute, 100% no," he says. (Here's our in-depth guide tohow to get out of an abusive relationshipif you're in one.)

Find your match with eHarmony today. Join for free.

Therapists Say You Should Never Ignore These 13 Relationship Warning Signs (3)


Verbal and/or emotional abuse

Besides physical abuseverbal and emotional abuseThey're also big red flags, according to Nuñez and Page. "In a healthy relationship, you support and encourage each other," says Nunez. "Anyone who makes you feel like the problem, you're crazy or you're making them behave a certain way, those are all red flags."


active addiction

Another red flag Nuñez and Page agree on is active addiction. Watch out for behaviors like excessive drinking or substance abuse. Page says that when it comes to someone who is struggling with addiction, if you're pursuing them romantically, "you want to know that they're in some kind of long-term recovery and that they have long-term support," she says. .


This ad is displayed with third-party content and we have no control over the accessibility features.


Untreated mental health problems

So, and often, does addiction equate to untreated mental health problems. As Page explains, that's not to say that people with mental health problems can't have healthy relationships — they certainly can. (With that in mind, here's our guideDating someone with depression.) However, if the conditions are not treated or stabilized, the relationship becomes very, very challenging. "It has to be stabilized and they have to work on it," he adds.


(Video) Common dreams you should NEVER ignore when you wake up


A healthy relationship should feel secure and stable, not like a roller coaster ride. According to Nuñez, inconsistent behavior is a warning sign that this person will not be a reliable partner. If they don't call like they say they will, or go a long time without getting back to you, and then suddenly get back to you with an apology or apology (aka "getting".both), you should pay attention to it.


This ad is displayed with third-party content and we have no control over the accessibility features.



Pagenote Possessiveness actually ranges from normal to unhealthy. A little jealousy every now and then isn't the end of the world, but if his possessiveness toward you is related to "anger, hostility, narcissism, threats, or rage," Page says, that's a red flag, especially when things are getting worse. over time. Núñez adds that it's definitely not acceptable for someone to try to control you or isolate you from your friends or family. Pay attention to all forms ofhandling.



narcissismIt covers a wide range of traits and behaviors, but in general you should look out for behaviors that indicate the person has a superiority complex, such as E.g. entitlement, lack of personal responsibility, lack of empathy, etc. Even if someone has not developednarcissistic personality disorder(NPD) they can still show narcissistic traits. According to Page, if you find that everything turns against you at the end, that means they can't actually see you.


This ad is displayed with third-party content and we have no control over the accessibility features.



handlingIt is a type of manipulation used to gain control over another person and involves active denial of that person's reality. For the recipient, a gaslit treatment can be extremely disorienting and cause them to question their own emotions and intuition. Page points out that this is a huge red flag. When you're upset about something and that person says, "You're being dramatic" or "That never happened," not only are they not taking responsibility, they're trying to control you and the narrative of your relationship.


emotional unavailability

someone who isemotionally unavailableYou can indicate this in a number of ways. As Nunez points out, this person may only want to see you late at night or when it's convenient for them, or they just aren't taking the right steps to push themselves in general. And according to Page, other things like difficulty talking about feelings or saying they don't want a relationship are also signs that someone is emotionally unavailable.


You feel less than

Go back to verbal and emotional abuse, clarify how that person reallyReallyMakes you feel inside Are they putting you down and badmouthing you, or are they lifting you up? Núñez says you are not comfortable in a relationship with someone who makes you feel inferior.


Persistent difficulties

(Video) The RED FLAGS In Dating You Should NEVER IGNORE! (Spot A Liar) | Vanessa Van Edwards

No relationship is perfect, but ultimately a healthy relationship should increase your happiness, not decrease it. "Constant arguments over petty little things, especially if you've been dating someone recently," Núñez says, are a red flag.



Similar to fighting, you should be on the lookout for anger issues, Nuñez and Page say. When someone gets angry very quickly, has frequent explosive outbursts, or changes their emotions quickly (e.g., from happy to angry), they show a lack of ability to regulate emotions in a healthy way and end up being just plain uncomfortable (and even scary). remain. .


Irregular boarding and alighting

Finally, Nuñez says it's important to see how much you both give and take in the relationship. You both should give and take equally, and "if you're giving more than you're taking, that's a warning sign," she adds.

When to approach him vs. when to go out

If your gut is telling you loud and clear that this isn't going to work, walk away. final point. Don't force a square pin into a round hole.

However, if you're unsure, there are a number of things to consider, and it takes a certain amount of wisdom, according to Page. "We need to improve our ability to discern, which basically means trusting ourselves," he says.

you recognizetheir own relationship patterns? Nuñez and Page agree that this is crucial. If you find yourself repeating the same old patterns and attracting the same types of people, don't assume that this time will be different. Likewise, you want to recognize your owntriggersif you have been injured before. What you might perceive as a red flag could very well be a projection, Page says.

It's also important to understand the difference between workable and non-negotiable differences, explains Núñez. It can help clarify what your non-tradable goods are, as well as what your "green flags" are. If a relationship has some minor challenges but meets all the non-negotiable and green flags you're looking for, maybe you can solve it. You have to know that you deserve what you're looking for and that you never have to settle, adds Núñez.

Page recommends leaning on your support system and talking to friends or family who you think have a good idea of ​​what a healthy relationship looks like. Your vision can help you see things clearly when you're blindfolded, he adds.

When all of these things are taken into account, communication matters. When you share your concerns with this person, how does he or she respond? are theylike to work on it- and actually continue? You can communicate and show effectivelyemotional intelligence? Otherwise, Nuñez and Page say it's unlikely it will be a successful relationship.

Sometimes we're so desperate to "make it work" that we let ourselves down, and when that happens, Nunez says it's time to move on. Again, healthy relationships involve equal give and take and should increase our happiness, not decrease it.

Often the red flags we spot early on turn out to be big problems in the relationship, she adds. without professional helpcouples therapy, he says, it's not uncommon for red-flag behaviors to get worse.

Bottom line: "If you're not sure, talk to the person," Page says. He offers his best mantra for communication, viz"say what you mean; it means what you say, not what you mean.” And when you do and they don't respond well, “that's a sign of what your future is going to be like,” he says.

The final result.

Not all red flags have to mark the end of a relationship, but understanding your own non-negotiables will help you decide whether or not to stay. As Page says, when you're dating someone, ask yourself, "Does my soul feel secure with this person?" If the answer isn't a fundamental and essential yes, "this is not a relationship where you will find the happiness that you are looking for."

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. For anonymous and confidential help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224) and speak with a trained attorney as free as possible. times you need. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also talk to them via private live chat athis website.

(Video) The MAJOR RED FLAGS In A Man You Should NEVER IGNORE | Matthew Hussey


What is the most common red flag at the beginning of a relationship that people ignore? ›

Lying or breaches of trust.

Infidelity is one of the biggest and most hurtful forms of betrayal. Being unfaithful or not honoring the relationship agreements about having other partners, is a big red flag.

What red flags not to ignore? ›

Major red flags are infidelity, gaslighting, controlling behavior, angry outbursts, and physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

What are the warning signs that a relationship is on the decline? ›

There are also other warning signs, and if one or more of them are present in your relationship, it may be time to take action.
  • There's no emotional connection. ...
  • Communication breakdown. ...
  • Aggressive or confrontational communication. ...
  • There's no appeal to physical intimacy. ...
  • You don't trust them. ...
  • Fantasising about others.

What is the 3 month rule? ›

Basically, after a break-up, the three-month rule is a rule that says you and your ex are both given 3 months before entering the dating scene again. Just waiting it out, and mourning that your relationship ended. Just go on with your individual separate lives and see what happens.

What is stonewalling in a relationship? ›

What does it mean to stonewall someone? In simple terms, stonewalling is when someone completely shuts down in a conversation or is refusing to communicate with another person.

What not to accept in a relationship? ›

Demeaning statements

Things you should never tolerate in a relationship include not being cared about. After all, if that's the case, then what's the point of the relationship? Essentially, insults or hurtful comments about you, your job, goals, family, or anything else just don't come from a caring and loving partner.

What are the 5 red flags in a relationship? ›

Top 5 Red Flags in a Relationship
  • Feeling Inferior. If you are in a relationship with someone who makes you feel inferior to them, you should identify where this feeling is coming from. ...
  • Emotionally Unavailable. ...
  • Gaslighting Behavior. ...
  • Jealousy and Trust Issues. ...
  • Verbal and Physical Abuse.
Oct 28, 2022

What are red flags in a relationship for men? ›

Red flags can be signs of narcissism, aggression, victimization, or even abusive behavior. By becoming aware of some common red flags, you can avoid getting involved in a toxic relationship.

What are the six red flags? ›

Six dealbreaker factors emerged in a sample of American college students (N = 285, 115 men). We called these factors Gross, Addicted, Clingy, Promiscuous, Apathetic, and Unmotivated.

What are behavioral red flags? ›

Examples of “red flag” behaviors include: Behaviors which regularly interfere with classroom environment or management. Notable change in academic performance- poor inconsistent preparation. Notable change in behavior or appearance. Impairment of thoughts- verbal or written.

How do you know when to leave a relationship? ›

Here, experts explain some of the signs that indicate it may be time to let go:
  1. Your needs aren't being met.
  2. You're seeking those needs from others.
  3. You're scared to ask for more from your partner.
  4. Your friends and family don't support your relationship.
  5. You feel obligated to stay with your partner.
Aug 27, 2018

What are 3 warning signs that a relationship is in trouble? ›

Relationship trouble: Some common signs
  • Communication is minimal and often negative.
  • Differences are criticised rather than enjoyed.
  • You are spending less time together.
  • One partner indicates the relationship is in trouble.
  • One partner is rarely prepared to listen.
  • Conflict leads to resentment, not resolution.

What are serious red flags in a relationship? ›

Red flags in a relationship include excessive jealousy and frequent lying. You should also be wary of a partner who frequently criticizes you or puts you down. Another major red flag is an unwillingness to compromise — relationships shouldn't be one-sided.

How do you know you are not valued in a relationship? ›

Another key sign of feeling unappreciated in a relationship is being tired of giving and getting nothing in return. You make sacrifices for your partner, give time and effort to the relationship, and go out of your way to make your partner happy, and none of it is reciprocated.

What is a 90-day rule? ›

What is the 90-day rule? The 90-day rule refers to a presumption that a nonimmigrant visa holder made a willful misrepresentation at admission or application for a nonimmigrant visa when that nonimmigrant enters the U.S. and within 90 days engages in conduct that is not allowed with their nonimmigrant status.

What defines a situationship? ›

A situationship is an uncommitted, undefined romantic relationship between two people—meaning that those in this type of relationship have not established what they are to each other. While it may share some similarities with a friends-with-benefits relationship, the two terms do not mean the same thing.

How do I stop missing him? ›

General tips for any situation
  1. Take care of yourself. Tending to emotional wounds is just as important as treating physical ones. ...
  2. Make time to sit with your feelings. ...
  3. Interact with others. ...
  4. Immerse yourself in something you enjoy.
Oct 27, 2020

What is a backburner relationship? ›

According to the study, a back-burner is “a person to whom one is not presently committed, and with whom one maintains some degree of communication in order to keep or establish the possibility of future romantic and/or sexual involvement”.

What is bulldozing in a relationship? ›

'Bulldozers are people whose aggressive behaviour often intimidates you, the person you wish you could stand up to but feel you haven't got the confidence or the know-how to deal with. People who behave in this punchy, aggressive way are out to get their own way regardless of what other people think, do or say.

What are the four horsemen in a relationship? ›

The Four Horsemen: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. Being able to identify the Four Horsemen in your conflict discussions is a necessary first step to eliminating them and replacing them with healthy, productive communication patterns.

What is 1 thing that destroys a relationship? ›

As a psychologist and sexologist, we've been studying relationships for more than 50 years combined, and we've found that no matter how you slice it, most of them fail because of poor communication.

What is unforgivable in a relationship? ›

Irreparable harm is unforgivable. A relationship can be irreversibly damaged when trust cannot be reinstated. The death of a loved one cannot be made whole, because nothing can bring the loved one back.

What are some toxic traits in a relationship? ›

What are the signs of a toxic relationship?
  • Lack of support. “Healthy relationships are based on a mutual desire to see the other succeed in all areas of life,” Caraballo says. ...
  • Toxic communication. ...
  • Envy or jealousy. ...
  • Controlling behaviors. ...
  • Resentment. ...
  • Dishonesty. ...
  • Patterns of disrespect. ...
  • Negative financial behaviors.

What is pocketing in a relationship? ›

Stashing—sometimes referred to as pocketing—is when one person in a relationship makes the conscious decision to hide the other person from his or her inner circle, and yes, that includes both in real life and on social media.

What is Gaslighting in a relationship? ›

What is gaslighting in a relationship? It's a form of psychological manipulation in which one person makes the other partner doubt his or her perceptions, experiences, memories, or understanding of events that happened.

What are pink flags in a relationship? ›

Pink flags are common, especially in new relationships. Marriage therapists define them as gentle warnings that something is amiss between you and your partner; however, because they aren't as well-defined or blatant, we push them out of our minds or find excuses to explain them away.

What are green flags in a guy? ›

have a positive, optimistic outlook on life. have a good sense of humor. take responsibility for their life, their feelings and the consequences of their decisions without blaming others. take care of self physically and emotionally; dresses in a clean, attractive manner and eats right and exercises regularly.

What are yellow flags in a relationship? ›

Yellow flags in a relationship are early, subtle warning signs that could spare you the pain of facing a red flag, such as putting you down or making fun of you. What is this? These yellow flags represent attempts to control or manipulate the other person.

How do you know if you love someone or just used to them? ›

When you're in love with someone, you'll start to develop strong compassion for them. The powerful urge to be connected to this person brings new aspects to your relationship, such as emotional or physical intimacy, passion, and a desire to know everything about them, and be known by them in return.

Is clingy a red flag? ›

It can come as a surprise when your partner asks for space. While clingy tendencies may have been “ok” in your previous relationship, being overly needy is generally considered a toxic dating habit.

How do I find red flags myself? ›

5 Red Flags To Look Out For In Ourselves
  1. Making excuses for other people's behavior. ...
  2. Not speaking up due to a fear of rejection/conflict. ...
  3. Criticizing and putting ourselves or others down. ...
  4. Allowing people to cross our boundaries. ...
  5. Basing our worth on people's validation/approval.
Mar 28, 2022

What is the key for long lasting relationship? ›

The four Cs (communication, compromise, connection, and commitment) are important, but there are many other factors that contribute to the health of an enduring romantic bond. Consider these additional secrets to a long-lasting relationship: Focus on having fun and making good memories together.

What are red flags for therapists? ›

What should therapists NOT do?
  • Behave unethically. ...
  • Take you as a client if they don't specialize in your issue. ...
  • Overshare about themselves. ...
  • Leave you feeling worse after your session – regularly. ...
  • Make you feel judged, shamed, or emotionally exposed. ...
  • Disrupt the session by divided attention. ...
  • You just don't feel “right”

What are targeted behaviors? ›

A target behavior is any behavior that has been chosen or 'targeted' for change. A target behavior should be positive. That means that the target behavior should focus on what you would like the child to do as opposed to what you do not want the child to do.

Is being too insecure a red flag? ›

Key points. Red flags in a relationship are intuitive indicators that something needs to be questioned. Relationship red flags include feelings of insecurity and negative feedback from one's friends and family. Any kind of abuse is the biggest red flag in a relationship.

What is the 3 3 3 rule in a relationship? ›

The 3x3 Rule! Basically, you and your partner get 3 hours a week of uninterrupted alone time. You can take those 3 hours all at once OR break it up into a half hour here, an hour there, etc. You also get 3 hours of uninterrupted TOGETHER time.

What are red flags for Gaslighting? ›

Signs of Gaslighting. You doubt your feelings and reality: You try to convince yourself that the treatment you receive is not that bad or that you are too sensitive. You question your judgment and perceptions: You are afraid of speaking up or expressing your emotions.

What is the bare minimum in a relationship? ›

Bare minimum is someone who likes you, vaguely listen to you speak sometimes, goes on date if you plan them but don't put effort into plan them or into making you feel special in any way. They might say I love you when prompted, but don't say it on their own and don't express love in any meaningful way.

How do you know if you are being taken for granted? ›

Being taken for granted can also be part of their attitude towards you. They may rarely make the effort to be kind, physically affectionate or say something nice to you. It can also show up in how you spend they spend their time - failing to make time for you or always putting time with family or friends ahead of you.

How do you tell if someone is taking you for granted? ›

11 Signs That You're Being Taken For Granted in Your Relationship
  1. They Never Thank You. Dr. ...
  2. They Make Huge Demands. ...
  3. They Make All the Plans. ...
  4. They Don't Care to Learn About You. ...
  5. Your Partner Spends More Time With Others. ...
  6. They Refuse to Compromise. ...
  7. You Always Feel Guilty. ...
  8. They Take Forever to Text You Back.
Jul 26, 2019

How do you know if someone doesn't care about you? ›

Signs someone may not care
  • don't value mutuality in the relationship.
  • fail to show any interest or curiosity in you or your life.
  • have a different agenda for the relationship than you do.
  • don't ever seek you or your opinion out.
  • ignore the impact of their actions on you.
Sep 23, 2021

What are some red flags that people often ignore when dating? ›

13 red flags in a relationship to look out for
  • Overly controlling behavior. Overly controlling behavior is a common red flag. ...
  • Lack of trust. ...
  • Feeling low self-esteem. ...
  • Physical, emotional, or mental abuse. ...
  • Substance abuse. ...
  • Narcissism. ...
  • Anger management issues. ...
  • Codependency.
Feb 1, 2022

What are red flags before a relationship? ›

They don't want to hear your stories of past happy memories that don't include them. They don't like when you hang out with your friends. They get very defensive when you bring up past relationships or healthy boundaries. They talk bad about you, your family, or your friends.

Why do people ignore red flags in relationships? ›

Loneliness: Being lonely can be a big reason for taking in toxic traits of others and still expecting them to stay with us. Hope: We still keep the hope that we are wrong about the red flags, and that it will change in the coming days. Belief: we have the belief that we do not deserve better, so we stick on to it.

What is the biggest red flag for you in a relationship? ›

More well-known red flags may be abusive behavior and aggression. However, some red flags in relationships are easy to miss. Toxic behaviors like manipulation, gaslighting, and narcissism, can slip under the radar.

What are red flags in a man? ›

Having an unhealthy lifestyle, such as smoking, drinking too much, or not getting enough sleep can be a red flag in men. This is because it indicates that he isn't taking good care of himself, which is a sign that he may not be able to take care of you either.

When to give up on a relationship? ›

Some signs that it is time to end the relationship include:
  • You've both stopped trying.
  • There is no emotional or physical connection or intimacy.
  • You have differing goals in life.
  • You no longer trust each other.
  • You can't imagine a future together.
  • There is constant conflict or abuse in the relationship.

What are the red flags of a narcissist? ›

Here are some narcissism red flags to look out for: Lacking empathy. They seem unable or unwilling to have empathy for others, and they appear to have no desire for emotional intimacy. Unrealistic sense of entitlement.

How many red flags is too many? ›

“As a general rule, any more than two red flags and I'd say bow out, but make sure the red flags are truly scarlet coloured,” eHarmony's relationship expert Rachael Lloyd tells Stylist.

What are red flags in relationships psychology? ›

Red flags in a relationship are intuitive indicators that something needs to be questioned. Relationship red flags include feelings of insecurity and negative feedback from one's friends and family. Any kind of abuse is the biggest red flag in a relationship.

What does ignoring someone do? ›

A person who is ignored feels a wide range of confusing emotions. They may feel anger, sadness, frustration, guilt, despair, and loneliness, all at once. Naturally, such emotional confusion can have a damaging effect on your psyche. It can decrease your sense of self-worth.

When should you call it quits in a relationship? ›

If you're not being satisfied emotionally, sexually or intellectually, it's probably time to move on. Ending a relationship is hard, but it's sometimes the only correct thing to do. If you and your partner aren't connecting on the most fundamental levels, it will be best for both of you to move on.

What are the 10 red flags? ›

10 Relationship Red Flags
  • 1- Lack of Communication. ...
  • 2- Disrespecting Boundaries. ...
  • 3- Lack of Trust. ...
  • 4- Difficult to Rely On. ...
  • 5- Controlling Behavior. ...
  • 6- Friends or Family Are Wary. ...
  • 7- Dwelling on Past Relationships. ...
  • 8- They Make You Feel Insecure.
Apr 29, 2021


1. Does God Exist? Call Matt Dillahunty + Jimmy Snow The Sunday Show 03.05.23
(The Line)
2. The WRONG THERAPIST: How to Tell When It's Not a Fit.
(Crappy Childhood Fairy)
3. Judge Judy [Episode 9168] Best Amazing Cases Season 2023 Full Episode HD
(Canal Da Hora Top)
4. How to Resist the Devil / Mark Ashton / Luke
(Christ Community Church)
5. 13 Signs You Are Having Sex with a Narcissist and how to leave them. A Psychologists perspective.
(Private Therapy Clinic)
6. This Romantic Gesture Is Actually a Major RED FLAG | Matthew Hussey
(Matthew Hussey)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated: 07/16/2023

Views: 6601

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.