The Biggest Red Flags At The Start Of A Relationship

By Nick Hadji 10 months ago

1. They Bad-Mouth Previous Relationships - can it always be someone else's fault?

Image source NBC NewsIf your love interest is always speaking negatively of their exes, this is a common red flag.  Playing the victim is their way of getting loads of attention from you and making you think what they say is the absolute truth.  Resentment is normal behaviour but tarring all their exes with the same brush is not a good sign.Original content sourced from

2. Love Bombing - lavishing you with love but for a reason!

Image source RedittThe purpose of love bombing is to make you feel appreciated so you are more receptive to them.  They can get you to spill intimate details of your life and later use that stuff against you.  I'm afraid it sounds like they are setting you up for long-term manipulation and abuse.  Love bombing might seem amazing at the time but that's just to reel you in - beware!

3. They Want To Know Your Every Move - early red flag!

Image source LovePankyThe difference between healthy and unhealthy is a fine line.  If your new partner keeps checking up on you to see where you are, you may feel protected and loved but, if you don't respond or they don't like what you're doing, you can guarantee it's not going to stay the course.

4. They Don’t Respect Your Boundaries - invade personal space

Image source QuoraEveryone has different physical, mental and sexual boundaries. With someone new, it's about exploring those boundaries and respecting the other person for their views and limits.  When your other half tries to (even gently) pressurise you, you should stick to your guns.  Giving in will only open the flood gates to having your personal space invaded.

5. YOU Have To Justify THEIR Bad Behaviour

Image source Psych CentralYour relationship shouldn't consist of apologising to family and friends about your partner's behaviour.  First of all, they need to take responsibility for their own actions and secondly, what gives them the right to be outspoken to YOUR friends.  It's disrespectful to you and you need to ask yourself if that is acceptable.

6. Your Family And Friends Aren't Keen - could they be right?

 Image source The Zoe ReportIf you generally respect the opinions of your family and friends, have a proper think about whether they can all be wrong about disliking your significant other.  You should be open to their words and try to look at them objectively.  It doesn't mean you have to instantly split up from your partner, but ask yourself if you are truly happy or happy because you are finally in a relationship

7. They Don't Like Apologising - a sign of things to come?

Image source Redditif your partner won't ever admit they were wrong or won't apologise for something they definitely did, then this may be a sign of a bad relationship. Some people have a hard time admitting fault and this can make your relationship's future more complicated than it should be.  How can the two of you grow as a couple if one refuses to admit their flaws?

8. They Want You To Prioritize Them - at the detriment of your friends

Image source HealthlineEarly on, it's a good idea not to spend too much time with someone you’re just starting to get to know. If they ask you to hang out more than a few times a week, this could be a sign of either their insecurity or they are greedy with wanting your undivided attention all the time.

9. They Make Fun of You - that's not funny

Image source QuoraIt can be an early romantic red flag if someone you've started seeing is making offhand comments about you, even if they say they’re only joking. This could be everything from your choice of clothes to more serious issues such as career paths.  If you feel hurt by their control, it's highly unlikely they will change

10. Frequent lying - what are they hiding!

Image source Daily ExpressThese can be white lies, small untruths or giant whoppers - none of them are acceptable.  Being lied to over and over again can make it extremely difficult to build a solid foundation in the relationship or destroy one that you've built up, which can lead to a shaky future,

11. They’re Jealous - their insecurity becomes your issue

Image source RedditJealousy is a combination of anxiety, anger, fear and insecurity. These toxic emotions often come out with people who lack confidence in themselves.  Why would they be green with envy about you if they had feelings for you?  Something doesn't add up here.

12. All of Their Exes Were Dumped - is that true?

Image source Daily MailIn this red flag example, whenever they talk about their past relationships, they make  themselves out as the victim every time and that they had no choice but to end it.  Besides speaking badly of them, they may concentrate on telling you how hurt they were - so it's all about them.  What happens if you two split up?  Will you be discussed as being the baddie?

13. Your Friends Warn You Off Them - protecting you

Image source RedditYour friends are your friends because of their qualities, interests and values.  If your pals are warning you off this new liaison because they get bad vibes about them, you shouldn't brush it off without having a deep think.  Surely, there is a reason why they all seem to have a problem with the newbie.

14. They Pressure You To Get Physical - that can't be right

Choosing to hook up or have sex is a big decision.  There's absolutely no reason to rush into it until you are ready.. The right person will respect you by listening to your boundaries and taking things at a pace that suits both of you.  If your partner is putting it at the top of their list as it's what they want, ask yourself why they are with you.

15. They Cheat On You

Image source News India

The response to being cheated on is subjective.  Some individuals forgive and some can't see a way forward.  Unless you are in an open relationship, being faithful to each other is part of the glue that sticks you together.  At the end of the da, cheating is a betrayal and could turn into a pattern.

16. They threaten To Break Up With You - make you reliant

Image source The Guardian

This is manipulative behaviour and very unhealthy.  If your partner is keeping you hanging on a thread, despite their threats to leave you, you are going to feel emotional a lot of the time.  Instead of building a relationship you will be constantly thinking about trying to stay in in.  It's not going to end well.

17. They Don’t Have Other Strong Relationships - sounds fishy!

Image source Best LifeIt can be concerning if they don’t talk about other close people in their own life, whether family or friends.  Can you have a good, healthy and strong relationship with someone who doesn't mention important peers from their past or at the present time?  Having all their attention on you could end up suffocating you.

18. They Don’t Have Many Friends - there must be a reason

Image source Strong Marriage NowSo there may be a reason why your partner does not talk about their family members but when they are lacking in even a couple of friends, you will have to accept they may be a loner and they may want you to drop all of your loved ones, to give them the same amount of time and attention.

19. They Aren’t Very Motivated - can they hold on to their job?

Image source The MirrorDos your new partner try new things, hobbies etc., to give up after only a short time? Do they want to go to the same pub on the same night every week because it saves them thinking about new ideas?  A lack of motivation can have a very negative impact on the other person and would it extend to putting off commitment?  Doesn't sound great.

20. They’re Hot and Cold - no stability for you

Image source GraziaBenching is when somebody you've been dating stops agreeing to meet you in person but wants to continue to contact you over WhatsApp instead.  Bread crumbing is when they lead someone on but have no intention of ever meeting in person or building a real relationship.  Not a very positive start and you might not even know when it has ended!

21. They Never Initiate - too lazy to make an effort

Image source Prevention.comWe are talking conversations, dates and intimacy.  Does your partner have to be pressed into talking to you, go out on dates or even initiate a bit of loving?  You should reflect on how many times you have initiated conversations in the last few weeks. Were you always the one reaching out?  If they are too lazy and leave it all to you, remember that one-sided relationships don't often work out.

22. Excessive Alcohol Usage - not sounding good

Image source Daily MailThere's nothing wrong in enjoying a drink; it's sociable and part of many people's lives.  Over-use of alcohol, however, can have a negative impact, both on the user and to those around them.  If your partner drinks loads, whenever you are out, you might notice a change in their behaviour and more seriously, a violent streak, which they don't have when they are sober.  This is a big red flag so watch out.

23. You Have a Bad Gut Feeling - go with it

Image source Project LifeTrusting your gut is not to be sniffed at and is especially true regarding dating.  Dating is all about getting to know someone and seeing if you’re interested in building a relationship with them.  It's about honesty and trust and if you are starting to having niggling feelings,  that could be your gut telling you the truth.

24. You’re Scared to Have the Relationship Talk - worried what they'll say

Image source The GuardianHave you found yourself in a situation where you are scared to define the relationship? It's known as a situationship and means it's a romantic relationship where no future plans are made.  This can be fine during the first few weeks or months of a partnership but both of you should be comfortable in discussing how it's all going.  If you're scared to ask the question, is that person for you?

25. You're Keeping Exciting Stuff To Yourself - 'cos you might not get reaction you want

Image source

If you don’t immediately run to tell your partner great news you've just received, fair enough but if you always confide in others first or leave your significant other in the dark all together, red flag?  Is it your worry you won't be supported as this has been the past pattern?

26. They Make Solo Plan - how important are you?

Image source Reddit

In healthy relationships, couples don’t have to do everything together but if your partner heads out to social events without you or without telling you, that can't be considered an oversight.  Do they want others to think they are single and what's going on in their head.

27. Their Little Quirks No Longer Endearing - you feel irritate

Image source Hack Spirit

If minor habits you used to feel indifferent to, or even found quite endearing, start annoying you and you feel irritated by them, then chances are you are becoming unsettled in your relationship.  Remember, these small irritations can end up turning into full scale, unhealthy rows.

28. Spotting Changes In How Partner Spends Money - can it be innocent?

Image source The Guardian

If your other half starts shelling out money, left, right and centre and it's totally out of character for them, they might be dealing with some emotions or stresses that they’re not telling you about. Even if it's not related to you and your relationship, you deserve to know the truth.  Another negative sign to contend with.

29. Their Body Language Is Different - fidgeting or mannerisms

Image source Best Life

Something like a stressful week could have your partner more fidgety than normal but differences in their mannerisms could also indicate that they are not comfortable in the relationship.  You need to sort your concerns before anything untoward escalates.

30. Substance Abuse - when it's never been part of them before

Image source MentalHelp.netSubstance abuse is a clear red flag, especially if the person doesn't drink or use drugs.  There is so much negativity surrounding a relationship with a substance abuser that can cause it to fail before it ever really gets going. Using this unhealthy coping strategy is a sign that they struggle with self control and emotional regulation.

31. They Refuse To Go 'Facebook Official'

Image Source / eHarmonyIt may seem like a simple thing, but if your partner is active on social media all the time, then the refusal to change their status to 'in a relationship' may prove their hesitant about not only making a commitment, but having other people see that they're making one.

32. Never Willing To Discuss The Future

Image Source / BuzzFeedYou have to talk about the future at some point in a relationship otherwise what's the point. If it's not casual, then you need to know it's going somewhere. So if you have a partner who point blank refuses to discuss the future, it's a red flag.

33. Only Communicating On A Surface Level

Image Source / HealthlineTalking about inner thoughts and feelings as well as emotions is extremely important. It's more about the willingness to do so, too. A person could struggle to talk about their emotions but still be willing to try, whereas if you're dealing with someone who never, ever talks about their feelings and refuses to, it's a red flag.

34. Refusing To Talk About Feelings Whatsoever

Image Source / Integrity Counseling & WellnessIn the same vein, if your partner refuses to talk about their feelings in regard to anything, ever - not even just you and your relationship - this is a worry. If they won't talk about their feelings about past experiences, what they enjoy or other people, it could be a sign they're hiding something or trying to cover up a problem.

35. Not Introducing You To Their Parents

Image Source / NetflixYou never have to rush into parent introductions, and they're not doing anything wrong if your partner isn't quite ready. But if it's been a very long time and they're showing reluctance to ever make it happen, it could mean they're not really in it for the long haul and unwilling to make that commitment, as well as not being bothered about you knowing important people in their lives.

36. They Bad Mouth Their Parents

Image Source / POPSUGARNot everybody has a good relationship with their parents, but it's a very worrying red flag if you're partner is constantly calling them names, bad mouthing them all the time to others or revealing a pretty toxic relationship with them. It sounds like there's a lot of drama, and also you only have their side of the story.

37. They Don't Give Two Hoots About Your Past

Image Source / HerGamutIf you care about someone, you want to know about their past and their experiences, like where they grew up or what got them to this point. It's all part of the 'getting to know you' conversation. So if you partner hasn't ever asked a single question about your past, and doesn't seem to care, it's a red flag that you're just a 'person in the moment' for them, like a fling.

38. If You Explain To Them Your Needs Aren't Being Met, You're Just Whining

Image Source / LinguahouseFirst of all, the fact that your needs aren't being met anyway is a huge negative sign. But secondly, if you're actually trying to explain your feelings and how you feel like you aren't happy only to have them tell you to stop whining, well - that just speaks for itself.

39. They're Different Around Other People

Image Source / UnsplashYour partner might be utterly charming and liked by everyone when they're in a group, whether that's meeting new people, with work colleagues or friends. But behind closed doors, you might see them change, become less friendly and treat you differently to everyone else.

40. Taking Ridiculously Long To Answer Calls Or Texts

Image Source / Alex Wong CopywritingPeople get busy and it's not always possible to answer messages straight away. But your relationship is going to suffer if you find it impossible to ever get a reply out of a text or phone call until hours later. Even if they're busy, they still don't make the effort to get back to you on their break or when they've finished work and only answer you long after you've given up caring.

41. Or Not Answering Them At All!

Image Source / WinkgoThis is obviously worse. If you don't ever get a reply to a message or phone call then all that is saying is that you're not even worth replying to, in their eyes. Even if they're extremely busy, in this day and age even a quick "will reply soon!" is always possible.

42. They're Always, Always Sarcastic

Image Source / Web Designer DepotSarcasm can be funny every once in a while, especially if you and your partner painfully tease. But there's nothing more than a person who constantly condescends you using sarcasm - it can hurt, it can make you feel teased and it can easily become draining.

43. They're A Pro At Stonewalling

Image Source / BetterHelpStonewalling is when you completely shut down and don't budge in your refusal to communicate. It can often happen during arguments which means you just get absolutely nowhere. If your partner is a pro stonewaller, this definitely isn't a good thing.

44. Constantly Attention Seeking

Image Source / A Lust For LifeAttention seeking is never good, no matter who it is, but in a relationship it can be the worst. If your partner is just constantly seeking attention and praise from anybody and everybody, it's exhausting and also hints at insecurity they might be masking.

45. You Don't Have A Single Hobby In Common

Image Source / BicyclingYou definitely don't need to have every single thing in common with your partner, and you can certainly enjoy different hobbies separately. But if you don't share any common interests whatsoever about how you like to spend your time and you have nothing to bond over, it's going to be a problem over time, so it's something to pay attention to.

46. They're Suddenly The Busiest Person On The Planet

Image Source / NBC NewsYour partner is suddenly so busy that they don't have time to answer messages and barely have time to see you. It could have happened out of nowhere, or been a gradual thing. You could notice the little things, like you always message to say good morning but now it's just stopped because they 'forgot'.

47. You Feel Like You Have To Lie To Them

Image Source / LooperIf you feel like you have to lie about where you've been in case you upset your partner, or you lie to them about feeling fine when actually you're worried about something, all of this is a huge problem. You should never have to feel like you have to keep things from your partner, and especially not to placate them.

48. They Treat Customer Service Or Hospitality People Badly

Image Source / Bored PandaYou can tell a lot about a person based on how they treat others, naturally, but one big indicator is serving people in particular, like waitresses, till-operators or hotel receptionists. How polite your partner is with this people will be a good indicator of the type of person they really are. If they barely look at them, don't say thank you or treat them like dirt if something goes wrong, this is all a whopping big red flag.

49. They Treat Animals Or Pets With Disinterest

Image Source / POPSUGARIt's definitely not a red flag to simply not be a big fan of pets, or certain animals, but you can also tell a lot about a person's nature for compassion when it comes to how they interact with animals or pets - especially if they have one themselves but show it very little interest. Worse, they might even be neglectful.

50. They Disrespect You In Front Of Friends

Image Source / LovePankyThis could be their friends or your friends. One of the most hurtful things a partner can do is disrespect you, but to do it in front of other people is a whole new level. He could speak to you disrespectfully, call you a disrespectful name or let a door slam in your face behind him as you enter a house party. Pay attention to words and actions!