Red Flags To Look Out For In An Early Relationship And Dating

  • 18 months ago
6 minute read.
Red Flags To Look Out For In An Early Relationship And Dating

It can be difficult to recognize when the relationship you’re in isn’t healthy, and at times it can feel like you’re over-thinking everything. However, if you pay attention to these early red flags of an unhealthy relationship, you might have the opportunity to make a change before it turns into something bigger and more complicated.

When you’re dating, there are many red flags that can help you determine whether a relationship will last or if it’s doomed to fail. To help you figure out whether the red flags in your relationship are cause for concern, It may seem hard to see these signs in the beginning, but most of them are pretty clear to see if you take time to think about them rationally instead of emotionally.

Here are some of the biggest red flags to look out for when dating and what they mean.

First date red flags

These may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t see red flags right away.

Here are some first-date red flags:

  1. They are only talking about themselves.
  2. They are being too extra for a first date eg: Wearing a party outfit at a casual place.
  3. They order your favorite food and ignore their own choices.
  4. Says things like- "I am not like others."
  5. Says something else, does something else.
  6. Criticizes things around them, like the food, or ambiance.
  7. They come super late and don't even bother to give an explanation.
  8. They agree with you every time or make you feel you both have too much in common.
  9. They keep on checking their phone constantly.
  10. They start calling you by nicknames like baby, sweetheart, and honey super soon to sugarcoat conversations.  

Remember that everyone is unique though; these aren’t hard and fast rules! If someone does something that doesn’t fit your red flag checklist, it doesn’t mean they have a fatal flaw that will doom your relationship forever.

Just take note of it for future reference, move on with your date, and maybe keep an eye on it in future dates—and/or mention it to a friend if something seems off or upsetting.

Signs you shouldn't ignore while dating

When you start a new relationship with someone, it's important to be aware of any red flags that could indicate problems down the road. One common indicator of trouble is having a different opinion on your future together. If you disagree about things like where you'll live or how many kids you want, that may be okay, but only if you're comfortable putting those details on hold while you get close to each other. If not, that's a sign it might not work long-term.

Another telltale symptom is constantly finding fault with one another. It's fine to have disagreements now and then, but if it seems as though your date has no nice things to say about you—or does nothing but criticize all your actions—then watch out! Mutual respect is critical in healthy relationships.

Red flags in a relationship that are clearly visible

  • Love bombing i.e They try to influence you by random acts of love when it seems convenient to them. (Lavish gifts, excessive sweet communication, etc.)
  • They are disrespecting your space and boundaries, most of the time.
  • Jealousy is a very obvious emotion they showcase.
  • They have a weird history that you don't seem to understand.
  • Their friends seem to be playing mind games.
  • They are a big attention seeker and they can go to any extent to do so.
  • They always have some second opinion about your feelings.
  • They don't support your life aims.
  • They are into you physically more than emotionally.
  • You are always to be blamed even if it's not your mistake.
  • They threaten to leave you when you don't support them.
  • You've never really been on a real date.
  • They never talk or hesitate to talk about the future.
  • They barely include you in decision-making.
  • They tell you that you are messed up.
  • They bad-mouth about their exes yet have their pictures on their phone.
  • 'Sorry' is a rare word in their love dictionary.
  • They are knowingly mean to others and lack empathy.

Silent red flags

The best kinds of red flags are silent. These are often signs that a new romantic partner is more possessive, jealous, or controlling than you’d like them to be, but they don’t come right out and say it.  Don’t overlook these feelings; if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. However, when possible and appropriate, approach your partner directly with concerns instead of going straight to silent red flag territory.

1). They Always Badmouth Their Previous Relationships

If your date constantly insults their previous partner or partners, it’s a sure sign that they are carrying emotional baggage from past relationships. This may be an indication of how they will act toward you once they become your significant other. In addition, if he or she is quick to bring up how much happier they are now than before, it is also a red flag.

2). They Always Criticize You

Even if your date is well-mannered, he or she should not be rude or inappropriate. If your date constantly criticizes you, – even in a joking way, – it might mean that he/she isn’t really comfortable with who you are as a person. It may also show disrespect, which means that there’s no basis for healthy love between you two.

3). You Have To Justify Their Bad Behavior

No one wants to be around someone who tries constantly justify their bad behavior. This means that you’re putting yourself down just so they don’t feel bad. You know it isn’t right, so why do you keep doing it? Instead of justifying their poor behavior, have a heart-to-heart with them about your feelings, then end things if they don’t change.

Emotional Counseling

4). Your Family And Friends Don't Like Them

Your friends and family can be one of your best resources when it comes to finding a potential partner. If they don’t like someone you’re seeing, maybe there’s a reason. Although your family may not always say how they feel, if they don’t show much excitement when you talk about them or act reluctant to spend time with them that is worth paying attention to. It may just mean your parents want to meet them before giving their full approval, but even then it is hard for people to hold back their true feelings. On the other hand, if everyone likes them that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right for you either; so take into consideration all factors such as personality type and values too.

5). They Have Something To Hide

A huge red flag is if someone you’re dating has something they need to hide. For example, if they refuse to let you see them Facetime on your iPhone, or don’t feel comfortable sending you a text message because their friend might see it. If someone has something to hide from you, there’s probably a reason why.

Plus, when we’re lied to about small things, it makes us more susceptible to bigger lies later down the road. Honesty is one of those things that keeps relationships strong over time - consider how honest you are with yourself every day when you wake up as well as during each moment of your day. You have nothing to lose by being honest - except possibly some time spent building trust.

Seek counseling

When it comes to relationships, talking is always better than keeping quiet. If you’re being shown silent red flags—behaviors that are detrimental but not necessarily aggressive—it’s a good idea to seek counseling or talk things over with friends.

Before long, those troubling behaviors will only become worse if you don’t discuss them openly. A toxic person thrives on isolation and silence; a healthy relationship thrives on communication. Don’t allow yourself to be isolated by your partner; look after yourself first and foremost by getting help if necessary.


Remember, there’s no magic formula when it comes to spotting toxic relationships—you just need to trust your gut. You should also keep in mind that red flags aren’t always deal-breakers. In fact, many of us overlook potential problems until we’re knee-deep in a relationship, but as you start getting serious with someone new, pay attention to these subtle cues.

If they appear more than once, make sure you voice your concerns before things get too intense. And remember: communication is key! If something isn’t right or if something makes you uncomfortable, talk about it. The earlier these issues are addressed, the better off everyone involved will be.​

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