If you’re in a committed and contented relationship, how did it start? Did you meet your partner after going on a dating site to flirt a little? Were you introduced by mutual friends? Obviously, we can meet in all manner of ways, but much as you’d probably care not to consider the other end of this scale, have you ever worried about where it might end?
With some people, a sudden derailing or a partner’s 180-degree change in attitude might come as shock. Others might have had suspicions all was not well for some time. Here are four ‘red flags’ indicating situations which, if unchecked, could bring everything crashing down.
Red Flags in a Dating Relationship
Communication channels are blocked
Any healthy relationship relies on open channels of communication. Either party must feel confident their partner will feel free to approach them about any subject at all, large or small, and that this feeling will be reciprocated. If there are issues, no matter how trivial, these are only ever going to be resolved if they are brought into the open and discussed. A definite red rag in a relationship is when these communication channels are effectively blocked. If you have concerns about anything which your partner simply ignores or always find some excuse to put on hold, the situation is only ever going to fester and gradually get worse.
Your boundaries are under siege
Do you have a partner who is consistently asking you to do particular things, despite you repeatedly informing them you are not comfortable about whatever it is? This could cover an array of topics, from aspects of your behavior when you are being intimate together, too far more mundane issues. You should never feel as if you are being pressurized to do something against your will. At best this is an unhealthy form of manipulation. But at its worst, this type of behavior is out and out bullying and is not only a red flag, but it is also an indicator that a toxic element has entered your relationship.
Healthy relationships rely on both parties acting in their partner’s best interests, even if this involves a degree of self-sacrifice. There is a definite red flag whenever one of the partner’s steps outside this democratic area and begins to exhibit completely autonomous attitudes. If someone’s selfishness goes unchecked, it is only going to escalate with time. If you do not address this issue and try and nip it in the bud, your partner will continue taking liberties, prioritizing their own happiness at the expense of yours.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with constructive criticism. Sometimes receiving objective comments will encourage us to face some home truths and improve aspects of our behavior. But there is a world of difference between criticism that is designed to help, and that which is deliberately aimed at belittling the subject. If you feel your best efforts are always being maligned, with no constructive feedback other than negativity, this will create a sense of inadequacy.
In situations like this, you really need to ask yourself, what are motives of the person who is carrying out all this undue criticism? It could merely be the fact they have had a bad day and are letting off some steam. But if it becomes a regular occurrence, then this is another red flag for any relationship. It can actually get quite galling to be constantly under this form of psychological attack. This may seem like somewhat emotive language to describe the situation but it is another form of emotional bullying.