9 Relationship Red Flags You Should Never Ignore

4 minute read

By Jenni Cairo

Whether your relationship is old or new, you should never get complacent about making sure it’s a healthy and happy one. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about relationship red flags with a search online.

If you see any of the following red flags, even once, you need to seriously reconsider your need for alone time. Read on to make sure you’re not in a ruined relationship. These signs of a bad relationship could mean the relationship isn’t working.

Hide and Seek

Hiding almost anything in a relationship is a red flag. If it’s the last bagel, you’re fine, but if it’s their text messages, emails, or bank statements, there may be cause for concern. Depending on what point you are at in your relationship, varying levels of sharing are appropriate; however, if your significant other is obviously and intentionally going out of their way to hide anything personal from you, consider it a red flag.

Too Busy

If someone is too busy to answer your text message during the work day, fine, but if they are too busy to answer your text message for several work days, you’ve got yourself a red flag. Most people won’t even leave their Mom hanging that long, let alone their significant other. If someone is constantly taking days to get back to you, you are clearly not a priority, nor are you crossing their mind very often and you should consider that relationship a done deal (not in the good way).

Change of Subject

Ahh, talks of the future. What should be an exciting conversation tends to become somewhat of a nightmare for many relationships. Putting a timeline on when talks of marriage should be had, or how many kids you want, can be tricky and definitely varies from couple to couple. However, if your partner completely and blatantly causes a full subject change any time you bring up any aspect of the future (either with or without you) that’s a red flag. Only James Bond needs to maintain that level of anonymity and you’re not dating James Bond, so if this flag shows up, it’s time to hit the road.

Perpetual Party of Two

If you and your significant other have been dating for a while but you have yet to meet any friends, family, co-workers or even acquaintances of theirs, it could be a red flag. It’s time to stop singing, “Just the Two of Us” and try to get to know the other people in their life – otherwise, it’s time to move on. Keeping you at a distance could be a sign they don’t imagine having you around for too long and are trying to save themselves the hassle of having to explain to Nana where their “special friend” is at Thanksgiving.

Host(ess) with the Most(est)

If you’re in a relationship and your hangouts with your potential life partner are limited entirely to your place, it might be a red flag. Most people like spending time in the comfort of their own homes and if you are spending a lot of time together, you would think that your significant other would want you to come too, at least every once and a while. Your place might be more comfy and have better snacks, but the option to go to the other person’s place should at least be there for you to turn down. Observing a person in their natural habitat can tell you a lot about them too, so make sure you score an invite. Otherwise, it’s time to wear out their welcome.

Under the Influence

If your whole relationship has taken place entirely under the influence of alcohol or some other mind-altering substance (coffee doesn’t count), then you have yourself a red flag. Drinking is a good way to loosen up, especially on first dates when you’re super nervous and want to have fun. However, you need to know someone in a sober state in order for a relationship to be real.

It is hard to have serious conversations when you’ve been drinking the night away, even though alcohol does often lead to happy tears when with friends (“I love you, man!”), it’s not the same for relationships. Next time you’re at sushi either skip the sake or head straight for the door.

Reverse Werewolf

If you find your “relationship” only occurs while the moon is out, then you may have found yourself a reverse werewolf and a huge red flag. Late-night chatting is all fine and good, but a person should occasionally be able to communicate or get together when the sun is out. Otherwise, there’s a solid chance your relationship is more of what some might call a “booty call.” Always make sure you’re able to see the person you are dating in the light, and not just on their way out the door the morning after.

Liar, Liar

If you have caught your significant other in a lie on one or more occasions, you need to keep your eyes peeled for a bright red flag. Lying in any relationship, in any situation, is a huge breach of trust, and it becomes very difficult to take someone seriously once they’ve proven to you they may not be the most trustworthy individual. Even if what you’ve caught them lying about isn’t a big deal, people who are willing to consistently tell little white lies are highly likely to tell even bigger ones, but you just might not know about it. People that frequently lie to friends and family about cancelled plans or busy schedules should also be avoided.

Surface Level

If you’ve been dating someone for a while and the most personal thing you know about them is their favorite pizza topping, it’s likely a pizza-shaped red flag. When someone is truly investing in a relationship, they want to share personal details about themselves, like their thoughts, preferences or experiences, in order to figure out if you are compatible and to let you know who they are. They should also want to know these things about you. If someone is intentionally holding things back or keeping all of your conversations pretty surface level, you need to think again.

Jenni Cairo