The intensity of a new relationship can cause you to look at life through rose-tinted glasses. But once the honeymoon phase ends, it can become apparent that your partner isn’t quite who you thought they were. If you’re unsure what to look out for, then read our blog post on relationship red flags and deal breakers.
High Level Relationship Red Flags
Violence, anger issues and intimidation
Violence, anger issues and intimidating behaviour are major relationship red flags. Whether your partner demonstrates all three, or just one there should still be cause for concern. Typically these behaviors spring from deep seated anger which may take years to fully resolve – even with professional support. Often men and women ignore the signs, or find it attractive. However anger is only one letter away from danger. An angry man could take out his frustrations on his loving spouse, or even his children.
Nobody wants to leave somebody they love when they are at their most vulnerable, but in a new relationship finding out your partner has an addiction can lead to many months and years of heartache. Battling the demons of self-destructive behaviours, can often take an addict a lifetime to do because addiction is a complex medical disorder. Often people automatically think about drugs when it comes to addiction. However, tobacco addiction, alcohol addiction, sex addiction, and gambling addictions are common too in western society.
Discrimination, Homophobia, Transphobia
If your partner discriminates against people of other races or genders this should absolutely be a deal breaker. If your partner makes homophobic or transphobic comments in public or private you should not feel obliged to accept it. Call them out on it and educate them if you choose to. However, if your words are not getting through, you do not need to stay. There are literally billions of other men and women on the planet!
Medium Level Relationship Red Flags
Poor money management
Does your boyfriend always ask you for money? Do they ask you to cover small things like meals, parking or petrol? Do they always ‘owe you one’? If any of these things sound familiar in your relationship this could be a sign of poor money management. This is a red flag because the last thing you want to do is bank roll your partner. Long term, it can cause animosity and tension in the relationship. Money is the most common reason cited for divorce in the UK.
They respond negatively to requests
Living with your boyfriend can be a great way to take your relationship to the next level. It increases the level of intimacy in your relationship. And, it gives you unparalleled insight into how your life would be after marriage. However, it can also cause tension in a relationship if your partner responds negatively to simple requests. If your partner constantly groans when discussing household chores, or ‘expects’ you do them because you’re a woman, or avoids seeing your family then this won’t change after marriage. Sometimes it’s better to leave the relationship sooner rather than later to avoid resentment.
They still have feelings for an ex
Nobody enjoys talking about ex’s at the beginning of a new relationship. It can be awkward and embarrassing. But for some, the main reason they don’t like to talk about their ex, is because they still love them. If your current partner still has feelings for their previous partner nothing you do will erase them. You could be the best, most supportive, spouse, but it won’t matter. Speak to your partner about their feelings, and if some space is required then let them have it. If you’re meant to be together you will find each other again in the future.
Controlling personalities are often the result of inner insecurities. It can lead to your partner trying to control what you wear, where you go, and what you do. If your partner tries to exert control over you in this way, then it’s a major red flag. Assuming you’re both consenting adults, you are more than capable of making your own decisions.
They have gaps in their CV
Career struggles don’t necessarily mean that a potential partner is a no-go. However if your partner has gaps in their CV it’s important to consider why. If your partner went travelling, or was made redundant then that’s understandable. Finding a new job can be an arduous and lengthy task after some time away. But if your partner is constantly being fired, or seems uninterested in working then this is a red flag. Working is an essential part of being an adult.
Your partner lies about small things
Everybody tells little white lies to their partner now again. You might tell your partner that the new dress in your wardrobe was £50, rather than £100. Or, that you only had 4 drinks at the pub rather than 7. But if your partner lies regularly, and you start to notice him lying about things that are important then this is a deal breaker. Lying about who they spend their time with, why they’ve done certain things or if they’ve been seeing somebody else are common examples of lies which are unacceptable. These lies are not little white lies. They are big lies that undermine the relationship and break trust.
They don’t have close friends or family
If your partner has no close friends or family, alarm bells should go off. How do you know that the person in front of you is genuine? Who can vouch for them? Who can unintentionally reveal funny stories about your partner from their university days? Unless there’s a good reason for not having any close relations, you should consider the lack of any bonds a medium level red flag in a new relationship.
Low Level Red Flags
Every intimate partnership faces the challenge of how to deal with unequal desires. You may be keen to explore the world, whilst your partner might be more of a homebird. Unequal desires are not a major red flag if you can find ways to compromise. In the aforementioned example, you may decide to go travelling solo, or with friends on some trips so that your partner doesn’t feel obligated to hop on a plane with you every two weeks!
Everybody has annoying habits. Some habits might be endearing at first, but can really grind your gears over time! Annoying habits do not have to be a deal breaker in a relationship if you simply learn to let go.
They have fetishes that you’re not into
Fetishes are not uncommon in a relationship. However it’s important to be open about fetishes from the outset. If your partner is into BDSM, threesomes or roleplay, ask yourself if you can live with this in the long run. If the answer is no then you should consider it a deal breaker. However, if you think you would be willing to try something like BDSM or roleplay, then you should consider learning more about it. Read books, read blog posts, watch movies and films to get started. Speak to your partner at length about what they enjoy about it. And, together, when you’re ready, invest in beginners BDSM kits, or roleplay costumes to get you started. You never know, you might even enjoy it!