The line between a red flag and an unfavorable trait is quite narrow, especially in the world of dating. No person will possess every single idealistic quality you hope for! That’s the nature of being human; we are all inherently flawed. However, there are specific warning signs that indicate much larger issues. Certain behaviors are simply unacceptable in a relationship, and signify impending toxicity and grief. Below, I’ve compiled a list of 6 dating red flags to watch out for.
1. They don’t text you back
If they wanted to, they would. Now, repeat that sentence again. And again. Until it’s burned into your brain! Sending a simple response does not require a lot of effort; it’s the absolute bare minimum. If you are spending hours, days, or weeks on “read” or “delivered”, it’s officially time to move on. Clearly, they don’t care enough to invest effort in communication. These habits won’t suddenly disappear; they aren’t “too busy” to text back. So pack up your bags, and scurry along, because they clearly aren’t the person for you.
2. They get jealous when you have other plans
Dating doesn’t mean you have to abandon all other social activities and focus your energy on one person. You are allowed to have friends, go out, and have fun! In fact, you should be doing that. Never lose sight of who you are just because you’re in a relationship. If your partner is jealous and upset by your social activities, that illustrates a lack of trust and boundaries. You are an independent person, with a life outside of dating! Yes, it is important to allocate time for your partner, but you also deserve time to hang with friends and family.
3. You never know where you stand with them
If your partner avoids labels, constantly switches up their energy, and proves unreliable, then it’s time to have a serious talk, or simply move on. A relationship should progress forward with time, not stagnate in uncertainty and doubt. If your partner is not focused on growing and nurturing your relationship, it’s not worth pursuing. Don’t “wait” for them to be ready, because that time may never come. Have an open and honest conversation about how you both see the relationship progressing in coming months or years. If your partner cannot provide adequate reassurance and tangible expectations, you need to invest your energy elsewhere.
4. They’re too intense and rush into a relationship
This one is a BIG no-no. If they say “I love you” in the first week, I recommend running for hills. This signals some deep-seated emotional attachment and abandonment issues. Most likely, the sudden spark will die out just as quickly as it was ignited. Have you ever heard the saying “slow and steady wins the race”? Well, this is very applicable to relationships. Love takes time and energy to blossom; it can’t be forced over a matter of days. So if you feel pressured to accelerate the pace of your relationship, take a step back from the situation. Your partner may be confusing infatuation for genuine love.
5. They pressure you to do things you don’t feel comfortable doing
A supportive, authentic partner should provide safety and comfort from the hectic, uncertain world. Their presence shouldn’t add to the burdens of your busy life. If you ever feel uncomfortable with the progression of your relationship- physically or emotionally- please make your concerns known. And if your partner refuses to change their behavior, they aren’t ready to be in a healthy relationship.
6. They don’t make time for you
Once again, if they wanted to, they would. “I’m busy” is not an excuse for ignoring you or your needs. Quality time is essential to any relationship. And if they wanted to be with you, they would find the time. So don’t make up excuses for their behavior. Find someone who’s willing to make that extra effort to spend the day with you!
While these 6 red flags definitely don’t cover all the possible warning signs, it’s definitely a good place to start! Remember to listen to your intuition; if something feels off, use your voice to communicate your feelings. See how your partner responds and reacts to criticism. Communication is essential to every relationship, to overcome various obstacles. Unlike the storybooks, real life dating isn’t seamless. It requires effort and compromise to make something work. So listen to your gut, follow your heart, and never forget that you deserve genuine happiness.
Written by: Brianna Rauchman