Dating can be difficult, and while some may find their Mr. or Mrs. right without any trouble, others end up in toxic relationships wondering how they got there. Of course, toxic people aren’t always easy to spot, but there are major red flags we can take note of, to try to avoid getting stuck in a fruitless relationship.
While not all of us have been there, I believe the mass majority of us have been in a relationship with someone who just wasn’t good for a long-term commitment. And while a bad relationship won’t always leave a lasting impact, some relationships can completely derail you and change who you are forever. If you want to avoid that outcome as much as possible, therapists advise you to watch out for the following red flags.
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1. They are verbally or physically @busive. (Or physical)
Ken Page, LCSW, and Annette Nunez, M.S, Ph.D., both say to look about for any form of abusive tendency. Nunez explains that relationships are supposed to be a place of support and encouragement. “Anybody that makes you feel like you’re the problem, you’re crazy, or you’re causing them to act a certain way—those are all red flags.”
2. They have an active add!ction.
Page and Nunez also advise looking out for those in active addiction. If you notice your new partner sneaks off and comes back seeming out of it, lies about their whereabouts, or nods off during dinner, they may have a problem. If you are pursuing a new partner, and they have a past of add!ction and are seeking help, that is one thing, but someone who refuses to see a problem and continues to try to hide their use is another.
3. They lie, a lot.
While we are all guilty of a white lie from time to time, if you begin noticing that your new partner lies about a lot of things, and you continue to catch them in lie after lie, it’s a red flag. Even if they are small lies, when they begin mounting, it shows they are likely to be dishonest in situations in which it’s a serious matter.
4. They never compromise.
Emily Simonian, a licensed marriage counselor says, “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.” And while many of us may put our own needs to the side for a little while at the beginning of a new relationship, after a while it is not sustainable.
5. They are controlling and jealous.
Simonian warns that when people come off as controlling or jealous, their behaviors will eventually leave you feeling smothered and as though nothing you do is ever good enough. And jealous is a red flag that often shows other bad behaviors are hiding, only to come out later.
6. They are inconsistent.
A happy relationship relies on consistency. When things feel hot and cold, and you never know where you stand or what your partner wants from you, it can tear you down, quickly. Most often, we date because we are looking for a long-term partner and inconsistency is not conducive to a long-term commitment.
7. They have an untreated mental illness.
People with mental illness can most definitely have healthy relationships, however, when they are untreated and unstable, it can spell disastrous for both parties. According to Page, “It needs to be stabilized, and they need to be working on it.”