The feelings that arise when dating someone new that we’re interested in are like none other. There’s excitement at the possibility of falling in love, a general sense of elation/happiness, and sometimes fear too, as we might be a little gun-shy from a previous relationship gone bad. The bottom line is, with so many emotions, it can be difficult to see the reality of a situation and the person we think we might be falling in love with. For people who live their lives from a more emotional standpoint as opposed to a pragmatic one, overwhelming emotions can cloud our judgement. How many times after the fact have we said or heard our friends say, “I just couldn’t see what was happening…”
So before we get involved too deeply, here are some red flags to watch out for in potential relationships. If you’re caught up in that pattern of dating the same types of people and having relationships which leave you dissatisfied, this list can help you think twice before you get involved with that same type of person next time. And of course it takes two to tango, so discovering your own reasons for attracting certain types of people is how you can doubly make sure you break those unhealthy dating patterns.
Red Flags for Dating
1. They are someone who wants to be taken care of – the classic parent/child relationship. These people have unresolved issues with their father or mother, and are using you as a substitute to work those issues out. The “parent” in the relationship becomes responsible for the “child’s” happiness and well-being, and are also subject to blame when things go wrong. This type of relationship is a breeding ground for hidden resentment and anger. If you are typically the “parent” in this relationship, you could be projecting your own issues of needing to take care of others (leaving your own needs unmet), or treating someone the way you wish you’d been treated when you were young. This type of relationship extremely unbalanced, and will not succeed as partners need to have equality in relationships.
2. They are an obvious flirt but say it’s harmless. There’s flirting and being friendly, and there’s flirting which makes you uncomfortable. It’s important to not be overly suspicious or jealous, but it’s also very important to acknowledge when you DO feel uncomfortable seeing the person you are dating flirt with someone else. People who flirt overtly are often in need of attention, and have self-esteem issues. The fact that they’re flirting so blatantly in front of their date means they’re putting their need for attention above the respect they should have for their date. It can be extremely embarrassing to see your partner act like they’re single in front of you, and this often brings up your own self-esteem issues. This is not something that should be “lived” with if it makes you feel bad. If upon discussing this and seeing no change, it’s probably time to rethink dating this person.
3. Lack of communication. We can’t say it enough times – the only way a relationship can thrive and be healthy is through consistent communication. If you’re dating someone who shuts down whenever you have issues, you’ll never be able to get through the tough stuff – end of story. It’s not your job to draw someone out constantly and force their feelings out. When someone shuts down, they leave the other person feeling incredibly alone, which is the opposite of how a relationship should make you feel.
4. They want to limit the time you spend with your friends. This is a huge red flag – this type of person is an energy vampire. Before you know it, your life will revolve around them and them only. It’s extremely important for people to keep their own friends and their own identity while they’re in a relationship; doing the things you love and being around the people who know you best and support you is part of what keeps you happy. If the other person is resistant to your friends and doesn’t want to integrate into your life and you into theirs, it’s a sign they’re trying to change you. It’s very selfish behaviour, and when it all ends, you may find you have not much of a life to go back to at all.
5. Temper temper. People with bad tempers will work their anger out, but it’s usually on the person who’s closest to them so they feel they can get away with it. If you’re with someone who yells and gets upset, blames you for things and does nothing to fix this problem, run as fast as you can! If you find you’re attracted to someone like this, you probably have self-esteem issues and feel somewhere, that you deserve to be yelled at and treated poorly. Either way, this relationship is toxic and should not be continued.