When you’re starting to date someone you really like, you may encounter some “red flags.” What are they exactly and why are they important? First off, red flags are strong indicators that something may be trouble down the line in the relationship. Obviously, it’s challenging as it is to create an intimate bond with someone — and that’s why it’s so important to know how to properly identify a red flag at the beginning of a relationship so that we not only protect ourselves but also so that we know what to watch out for.

Of course, not all red flags are reasons to break up with someone, and that is for you to ultimately decide. I am not here to tell you to break up with her because I list a red flag that you recognize. You have to decide how important the red flag is, and to take a look at your past relationships and recognize what the deal breakers were. Hindsight is always 20/20. Dating life becomes a little bit easier when we’re able to recognize the glaring red flags at the beginning and able to deal with them.

Identifying a red flag may not always be easy. Today I’d like to talk about some common relationship red flags that should be strong cues to you that perhaps you should question the relationship in more detail and decide whether or not they’re the right person for you. Red flags that go ignored may come back to bite you in the butt later, so don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

Red flags in a relationship! Why there important.

It’s easy to ignore the less redeeming qualities of someone you really like. Sometimes it can feel like you have blinders on. You may find yourself justifying their bad behavior or not really seeing a red flag for what it is. But red flags in a relationship are incredibly important to pay attention to, even if we really like the person. Let’s face it, though: all of us have ignored red flags at some point in our lives. The blinders can feel really strong at times, especially when we’re really attracted to someone.

It’s also essential to get to know yourself before you move into a committed relationship, otherwise, you will keep experiencing the same red flags over and over without any awareness as to why the relationship is not going the way we want it to, and without any awareness that the red flags are there to begin with. A good way of doing this is to write down every partner you’ve had a relationship with, and for each, answer some questions: What attracted you to this person? Did the attraction last? How long did the relationship last? And, finally, what was the deal-breaker? Do you notice any patterns or similarities between the relationships you’ve had? Were there any red flags that you remember that you didn’t notice?

Things often end in the relationship because maybe a red flag was there for us to see all along, but we just didn’t listen or we deliberately chose not to see it. We said to ourselves – oh, that seems weird, but it’s okay, maybe she’ll change. We weren’t aware enough of our own relationship habits to be able to recognize what to look for. That’s why it’s so important to be in tune with ourselves. Red flags also don’t mean that you need to break up with her right then and there. They can be a moment to open up communication and to recognize where issues in the relationship lie.

What are red flags in a relationship? 5 red flags to pay attention to.

Red Flag #1: She lies.

Ok, so yes, sometimes as humans we lie. Sometimes we lie without even realizing we’re making a white lie, and sometimes we do it not to hurt others. But what if you find out that she’s lying about all sorts of things left and right? If she lies constantly by hiding her text messages from you or she lies about where she was for dinner, then you should take serious note of it. Even if it’s a white lie or a big one, there is something there in the relationship that doesn’t mesh and is causing her to lie to you. There’s a reason why she’s lying. Perhaps she is insecure about herself or something in the relationship, maybe you’re being overly suspicious because of your own past issues and she feels like you’re not giving her any space so she’s trying to avoid you questioning her every move, or perhaps there is something beyond that and her coping mechanism is to lie. Bottom line – lying signals an issue, especially when it’s at the beginning of the relationship and you’ve solidified that you are exclusive.

That being said, I don’t want you to put your antennas on and watch her like a hawk. You have to also trust her fully, just as much as you want her to trust you. Don’t go looking for lies; just take note of the ones you happen to notice, and then be decisive about how you want to address it.

Red Flag #2: Lack of trust.

Lying is a red flag because it signals a lack of trust. When you don’t have trust in a relationship, then there’s no relationship. That’s really important to understand because so many people think that just because they have a girlfriend, they automatically have a relationship. You don’t have a real relationship until you have that bond of trust. Otherwise, it’s just a friendship with benefits.

Trust is formed when you feel you’re completely comfortable with your partner and you trust them to do and act however they want. There’s nothing that they would do that would make you feel insecure or unsafe. You always feel safe with them. And it goes both ways! She needs to feel like she can trust you, too. If you feel like you don’t trust her or she doesn’t trust you, then you need to sit down and question why that is. Trust is not something you can just form out of thin air. It is something that is deeply felt. And if it’s not there, then it’s a red flag.

Red Flag #3: Manipulation.

This is a big one. This is when your partner turns things against you to benefit themselves. Manipulation can take on so many levels and degrees. I think it’s also one that is the hardest to truly recognize as a red flag because when we care for our partners, we want to please them, understand where they’re coming from, and do what they ask of us. But if we think about domestic abuse as a larger issue, why is it that people stay in relationships where they are physically or emotionally abused? Manipulation. They are led to believe that abuse is a form of love. Now, that is an extreme example, but the power dynamics that are at play in a relationship can really cause some profound, long-lasting effects if manipulation enters into the equation. And if we are not aware of what is happening, and not able to see it as a red flag, we may find ourselves in an abusive relationship down the line. (If you or anyone you know is in a physically abusive relationship, always seek outside professional help).

Manipulation can also be as basic as your partner twisting scenarios so that they can feel in control. Money can easily play a role in this, especially when marriage becomes part of the equation. If you’re able to notice how your partner behaves with money and you recognize the ways in which she makes you feel free or controlled, then you can avoid a red flag. Does your partner make you feel like if you don’t do something, there’s an ultimatum? Do they somehow manipulate you to do things you don’t want to do, or make you feel guilty when you see a friend? Red flag!! Don’t let yourself ever do something you don’t want to do or be treated badly. People that control others for their own benefit don’t care about the other person’s well being or happiness. In that case, it’s up to you to care about your own well being. It’s up to you to respect yourself and love yourself enough to walk away.

Red Flag #4: Unhappiness.

If you feel unhappiness at the beginning of the relationship, then this is another red flag. Maybe you’re making excuses for yourself, thinking that your unhappiness is something caused by your own habits and thoughts. That may be partially true, but at the end of the day, your relationship should make you happier and uplift you, not bring you down. Of course, not all relationships are happy all the time. But if you’ve noticed that you’re unhappy most of the time because all you do is argue or you don’t feel happy in their company, then you have to question whether or not it’s the right relationship for you to be in or if you’re in a headspace to even be in a relationship. You deserve to be happy and to feel inspired by your partner. Just remember, your happiness has to come from you. Happiness comes from inside of you, not from your partner. If however, you are unhappy a lot in the relationship, this is something to look at.

Red Flag #5: They don’t like your friends or family.

When your partner doesn’t like the people closest to you, then you know something is wrong. Our friends and family have true intentions for us. Most of them want us to be happy and they often see things that we ourselves are blinded from. I call them the honesty headlights. When we’re in love and infatuated with someone, we don’t always have those honest headlights on. We’re blinded by our love. But if this person doesn’t love your inner world – including your friends and family – then why should you have to love theirs? If your partner isolates you from the people that love you most, then all of you have is your partner. That is not a healthy dynamic and can also be another form of manipulation.

Your partner should want to get to know your friends and family more and to understand you more through them. After all, we are the company we keep, and that means that we share things with our friends and family. If you find yourself hiding your friends and family from her, then you’re hiding part of yourself from her, too. Be courageous enough to recognize the red flag and to move on from it. Someone that truly loves you wants to love and get to know the people you love, too.

How to deal with red flags in a relationship!

If you recognize more than one red flag in your relationship from the ones I have listed, please consider booking a session with me so that I can help you more. You can also listen to my audio seminars: “Overcome Neediness, Fear and Insecurities” or “Master Your Confidence.” It’s very impactful because it’s essentially 30 days of working with me privately in the seminar. I want to help you be a happier person and avoid those harmful relationship red flags. No one should ever have to be in a relationship that causes unhappiness or any pain and suffering. You deserve to have a loving partner and you deserve to be loved.

Red flags in dating a woman.

I named only five red flags in this blog, but if you’ve personally experienced more in your life, please comment below. There are so many others I haven’t listed. Share your personal experiences and help others learn from them, too. When we know what to watch out for, we can seek an easier path to happiness.

I think now especially in modern dating when we’re swiping left and right on strangers and then beginning to date them, it’s incredibly easy to trust someone quicker than we realize we really know them. That’s when red flags seem to elude is – when we go too fast, have too much trust too soon, and are blinded by our physical attraction to someone. It’s best to take things slow, to recognize anything that seems like a glaring problem, and to either communicate them to her and see how she responds to them, or decide not to have a serious relationship. If she responds by making you feel bad, then you know that’s not a healthy mode of communication. It’s important for your partner to be able to talk through issues, even at the beginning of the relationship.

Stay safe and healthy in these difficult times. Remember, you are always loved.

Your coach,

Apollonia Ponti