The butterflies, excitement, and giddiness you feel at the start of a relationship can feel intense and sometimes addictive. When you pair up with someone new, you may become infatuated with them and experience a powerful reaction whenever you see them. Chemicals like dopamine light up your brain’s pleasure center and make you want to spend all your time with your new sweetheart. The feeling can be powerful, pleasurable, and addictive. Nevertheless, it’s important to remain cognizant of potential relationship red flags, especially during the highs of a relationship.
When you’re consumed by these strong feelings of infatuation, you can become blinded to your significant other’s faults or misfires. You may wonder how long infatuation should last. Maybe you put them up on a pedestal or think you’re in love with them because of all the good feelings you associate them with. You might also miss the warning signs that your partner’s behavior is toxic because of that natural high you’re experiencing. Most importantly, you should remember to pay attention to your intuition, gut feelings, and deeper emotions. They are our mind’s best way of figuring out if a person is the one or if you should go separate ways.
But if you are on the fence, here are nine major relationship red flags you might be overlooking:
1. You Make Excuses for Your Partner
Everybody has bad days, but if your partner is moody or quick to anger most of the time, that’s a bad sign. You shouldn’t make excuses for your partner’s poor behavior. They may have insomnia or a terrible boss, but that doesn’t give them a free pass to yell at you on a regular basis.
You deserve to be treated well, so don’t settle for less. That includes in the bedroom as well. Sex is the glue to any solid relationship, and it’s one of the best times to show love and consideration. If something feels off during this time together, then say something.
2. You Hope Your Partner Will Change
The next relationship red flag is change. You shouldn’t go into a relationship thinking that you can change your partner. Getting rid of bad habits and unlearning negative behaviors takes a lot of hard work. Your partner has to decide for themselves if they’re ready to tackle those issues.
You have to remember that you’re dating your partner, not their potential. This is also why asking about their various preferences is so important. Some people won’t or can’t change their preference, and it’s better to know in advance.
3. You Don’t Feel Heard
When you bring up problems or concerns about your relationship, your partner should listen to you and try to understand where you’re coming from. They shouldn’t get defensive, dismiss your feelings, or tell you that you’re overreacting. Especially if you routinely feel them shutting themselves off from you, this is a relationship red flag.
If your attempts to communicate consistently leave you feeling frustrated, unsupported, or unheard, your partner probably won’t be able to meet your emotional or sexual needs. They need to work on themselves first. Unfortunately, you can’t force someone to change, so it might be time to walk away.
4. You Don’t Feel Respected
You don’t have to see eye-to-eye on everything with your partner. It’s okay to have different values, beliefs, and opinions. In fact, these differences can actually enrich a relationship. However, respecting those differences is the key to having a happy, healthy relationship.
If you feel disrespected, your partner probably isn’t doing a good job of accepting and respecting your values. Your partner shouldn’t make sarcastic comments about your opinions or try to change your mind. Instead, they should at least attempt to understand your beliefs and find common ground with you. If your partner doesn’t even try to see your side of things, your different value systems might always be a point of contention in your relationship. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide whether or not that’s a deal breaker.
5. You Feel Insecure
It’s normal to feel insecure at the start of a relationship. You might worry that your flaws will drive your new partner away. It’s not normal, however, for your partner to point out all of those flaws and criticize you for them.
A partner who gives you backhanded compliments or insults you, even in a joking way, doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Your partner shouldn’t tear you down or try to undermine your confidence. They should compliment you in a genuine way, build you up, and support you. This should include your time together in the bedroom. It’s perfectly natural to feel awkward trying new things, but your partner should always try to create a safe space for you.
6. You Don’t Trust Your Partner
If your partner has already lied to you or broken their promises so many times that you don’t trust them anymore, that’s a huge relationship red flag. It’s almost impossible to build a healthy relationship with someone you can’t trust or rely on.
You’ll always doubt everything they say, and you’ll never be able to feel safe and secure in the relationship. You may even resort to unhealthy behaviors like going through their phone to see if they’re telling you the truth. Don’t drive yourself crazy by staying in a relationship with someone who lies to you. You deserve honesty and respect from your partner.
7. You’re Always Compromising
Compromise is an important part of any relationship. But if you feel like your wants and needs are rarely a priority, that’s a bad sign. You shouldn’t have to accommodate your partner all the time just to keep the peace.
Remember: your preferences are important too, and it’s essential that your partner respects them. For example, you should get to pick where you go for dinner and what movie you watch just as often as your partner. If your partner can’t compromise on trivial things like date night activities, that’s a pretty big red flag. Sexual activity should also be a joint compromise, so if your partner is always trying to get you to change in the bedroom to what they like, then you might want to reconsider your relationship.
8. You Don’t Want to Introduce Them to Friends and Family
For the most part, you should be excited and proud to introduce your partner to your family and friends. Even if your family is a little rough around the edges, you can trust a good partner to be respectful. You might even make an extra effort to get along with them.
However, if you’re worried that your family won’t like your partner or that the meeting will go sideways, you should definitely examine those feelings. Do you fear your partner will be rude to your family? Are you embarrassed of your partner deep down, and that’s why you don’t want to bring them home? Figuring out why you don’t want them to meet your family can tell you a lot about your relationship and how you really feel about your partner.
9. You’re Not Truly Happy
Every relationship has ups and downs. However, if yours is making you unhappy more often than not, it’s probably time to reconsider things. Your new love interest should be adding something positive to your life, not dragging you down or stealing your happiness with their drama.
If you’re always recovering from a fight or bracing yourself for the next disappointment, you might be better off single. And if a person makes you feel less than your value, then it’s definitely time to move on.
At the end of the day, relationship red flags can be hard to spot when you’re already infatuated with your partner, especially when you haven’t been in a relationship in a while. The key is to stay alert, reflect carefully on a new relationship, and figure out what’s best for you before investing too much of your time, energy, and emotion. That’s not to say you should feel paranoid or pessimistic about a relationship. Instead, just simply remain aware of what you actually want.
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