19 Relationship Red Flags You’re Probably Ignoring

True love is beautiful and can greatly increase our happiness and life satisfaction, but that doesn’t mean putting up with concerning behavior or mistreatment for the sake of a relationship. Healthy partnerships are built on mutual trust and respect. This article reveals 19 relationship red flags that might not be glaringly obvious but should never be ignored!

Controlling Behavior

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Does your partner constantly dictate what you wear, who you see, or how you spend your time? While voicing an opinion may be okay, they shouldn’t be in charge of your life or restrict your freedom or independence. Watch out for partners who make you feel like you need their permission for everything, mock your choices, or try to isolate you from friends and family.


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A little possessiveness is normally healthy, but excessive, unfounded jealousy indicates your partner has serious insecurities or underlying trust issues. If your partner constantly accuses you of cheating, monitors your social media activity, or gets upset if you talk to other people, this will likely get worse over time, even if it seems like something you can cope with right now.

Emotional Manipulation

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According to VeryWellMind, this relationship red flag involves using guilt, fear, withdrawal, or obligation to influence your behavior. Does your partner use guilt to get what they want? Do they threaten to break up if you don’t do what they say? Tactics like gaslighting use your feelings to control you and are mentally harmful forms of emotional abuse you should never tolerate.

Lack of Communication

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Open and honest communication is essential for any healthy relationship. You should be concerned if you can’t have deep, revealing conversations about your feelings, life goals, or future dreams or if your partner ‘shuts down’ when you attempt to discuss problems. Without effective communication, damaging misunderstandings and resentment are more common.

Anger Issues

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Everyone gets angry sometimes, but if your partner has frequent outbursts of rage, throws tantrums, or resorts to name-calling/physical aggression, it’s a serious red flag. A loving partner will express their anger constructively and appropriately and attempt to work through conflict instead of screaming and shouting on repeat. You should never be afraid of someone you love!


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Honesty is the cornerstone of trust in a relationship, and you should trust each other to tell the truth, follow through with commitments, and be honest about your feelings. Suppose your other half lies frequently (even about small things) or is excessively secretive or evasive. In that case, it’s a cause for concern. A pattern of dishonesty will erode even the most loving relationship over time.

Moving Too Fast

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While feeling excited about a new relationship is great, rushing into things (like moving in together) isn’t advisable. Marriage.com says, “It often indicates a lack of emotional maturity and the potential for future problems in the relationship. It can also be a sign that someone is looking for quick validation or to fill a void rather than building a strong and lasting connection.”


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Love and respect go hand in hand, and mutual respect is essential for a healthy partnership. Does your partner make fun of you, put you down in front of others, or ignore your boundaries? These are all red flags! A supportive and worthwhile long-term partner should respect your feelings, opinions, and individuality, even when you disagree.

Lack of Empathy

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This is a worrying sign in any relationship—platonic, familial, or romantic. Be worried if your life partner seems disinterested in your problems, feelings, or experiences or seems to lack compassion or understanding. An unempathetic partner isn’t capable of seeing the world from your perspective and only cares about their own emotions—not good signs!

Unequal Effort

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While how much one partner does for the other may wax and wane naturally, relationships generally thrive on mutual effort. A partner who puts in the minimum effort and never plans to spend time with you or contribute to the relationship is unlikely to change. Such laziness is a sign of disinterest in the partnership and will only sap your time, energy, and care.

Blaming You

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Does your partner constantly blame you for their mistakes, problems, unhappiness, or bad moods? This is unacceptably childish behavior. A mature partner takes responsibility for their own actions and emotions and doesn’t vent their frustrations on their loved ones. Watch out for partners who try to make you feel responsible for their problems—it isn’t you, it’s them!

Financial Irresponsibility

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Any long-term relationship requires a certain amount of financial compatibility for a stable life together. Take notice if your partner is excessively frugal or frivolous with money, and be wary of anyone with excessive debt or a history of reckless spending. CBS News also says that refusing to discuss finances or constantly asking to borrow money are worrying traits in a partner.

Dislike of Friends and Family

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While it’s unreasonable to expect your partner to adore every family member and close friend you have, a blanket dislike for all your special people highlights a personality flaw or serious incompatibility issue. Ask yourself why they disapprove of other people in your life. If it doesn’t seem reasonable, it’s a definite red flag that could lead to social isolation.

History of Abuse

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Yes, people can change with a great deal of support and self-control, but a person with a history of being abusive should be handled with care. Never ignore past behavior of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse, even if it was never directed at you. Abusers rarely change on their own, and the cycle of abuse can continue with a new friend or partner, i.e., you!


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It’s true that sometimes canceling a commitment or being late is an unavoidable part of life. However, if your partner constantly makes excuses, breaks promises, or fails to show up, you have to start wondering where their priorities lie or if they’re mature enough to be in an adult relationship. Healthy partnerships rely on the knowledge that you can rely on one another.

Addiction Issues

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If your partner struggles with addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, it can significantly impact your relationship. Addiction not only leads to health problems and financial strain, but it can also lead to an unequal division of effort and feelings of neglect or unimportance. If they won’t seek professional help or seem disinterested in addressing the issue, consider finding someone else.

Constant Need for Validation

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Does your partner constantly seek reassurance from you, often requiring you to validate their worth, abilities, or attractiveness? According to Psych Central, this indicates unhealthily low self-esteem and can be mentally exhausting for both of you. While the odd insecurity isn’t much to worry about, avoid becoming a ‘gardener’ who constantly tends to their partner’s ‘garden.’

Unrealistic Expectations

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Loving someone who expects far more from you than you can reasonably deliver is a recipe for disaster, disappointment, and damaging feelings of inadequacy. If your partner expects you to fulfill a fantasy role, adhere to impossibly high standards, or constantly compares you to an idealized version of their partner, it’s time to escape—like, now!

Gut Feeling Something Isn’t Right

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Intuition is powerful, so don’t ignore that little nagging voice inside that tells you something isn’t quite right. Feeling ill at ease or like there is a problem ‘you just can’t quite put your finger on’ is often a strong indicator that something isn’t right. Your gut may be trying to warn you of something you’ve overlooked or aren’t fully admitting to yourself.

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