Dating someone new can be really exciting, and it’s natural to want to jump right in when you really like someone. It can be true that love is blind, so it’s common for people in a relationship to ignore signs that their partner is not the right fit for them. But when red flags are being thrown every which way, it’s important to take notice of them so that you don’t stay in an unhealthy or potentially harmful relationship.
Here are some common dating red flags you should be aware of.
1. They only reach out when it’s convenient for them
Do you notice that every time you reach out to your new love interest, they turn you down and say it’s not a good time, but then they expect you to drop everything at 2am on a Tuesday when they decide they finally want to hang out? Don’t let them dictate when you get to see them based on what’s convenient for them.
First of all, if they’re only hitting you up for a late-night booty call, that’s not okay. But also if they ignore you when you want to hang out only to ask you to come over at the most inconvenient times, they aren’t taking your feelings into consideration. Next time they ask to hang out at a time that’s not ideal, offer up a better time to grab coffee or dinner. If they turn you down, it might be time to move on.
2. You’re struggling with intimacy
Everything in the bedroom may not be fireworks from the start, but if you’ve been together for a while and your intimacy seems out of synch, it might be time to address it. Your partner might simply not be as sensual of a person, they might feel disconnected, or maybe they’re having some sexual issues like erectile dysfunction or low libido (often a characteristic of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women).
The last thing you want is for your significant other to feel uncomfortable with you, but be understanding that it might be difficult and embarrassing for them to talk about intimate problems. Approach the situation gently, so that they feel safe talking to you about whatever might be going on, or even offer solutions to help them work through it. Maybe suggest the two of you go to couples counseling to reconnect and work through some of these issues together.
Or, if they’re struggling with a sexual disorder, you can recommend that they speak with a doctor who can prescribe the appropriate medication for their issue, like sildenafil to treat ED or addyi to address HSDD. Keep in mind that it’s important to work with a professional for these types of health-related intimacy problems to effectively address difficulties that are impacting your experience in the bedroom.
Either way, be understanding and willing to help them through it; the worst thing you can do is make them feel like they’re the problem.
3. You haven’t met anyone in their life
You’ve introduced your new boo to all your friends, and yet, you haven’t met anyone in their life. You might feel like that’s a bit sketchy, and you’re completely right. If you’ve been dating for a few months, or even just a few weeks, and they avoid bringing you around their friends and family, it’s definitely a red flag.
There is a list of people you definitely should have met after dating for six months, and at the very least, you should meet the people in your life if they’ve met yours!
While you might assume they might be trying to take it slow or they’re a little shy, not introducing you to their loved ones could be a sign for disaster. Maybe they’re ashamed of their relationship with you, or worse, they could be in another relationship and they’re keeping you a secret. In that case, confront them about it and ask what’s up.
4. They’re controlling
The truth is, your boyfriend or girlfriend is not your parent, and they don’t get to decide what you do and what you don’t do. If your S.O. huffs and puffs and throws a fit every time you have plans with other people, they need to understand that you have a life outside of them.
It’s completely healthy for you to have friends and family, and for you to prioritize hanging out with them over your partner once in a while. If they’re not okay with it, it’s their problem, not yours. Another bad sign is trying to control where you go or what you wear.
You should never have to gain approval of your outfit before going out with friends. If you feel good in it, that’s all that matters. These may be early signs of an abusive relationship, so you don’t want to brush it off as being protective or jealous.
5. They put you down
If you feel worse about yourself when you’re around your partner, something is very, very wrong. Your significant other should be building you up, so if they’re constantly putting you down, it says a lot more about their character than it says about yours.
There are some things your partner should just never say to you, and if they’re making you feel bad about yourself in any way, that’s not okay. If they make fun of you or make you feel bad about anything, including the way you look, your weight, or anything you enjoy, then you should run, and run fast. If you’re not ready to give up that easily, talk to them about how the things they say make you feel and why it’s not okay to talk to you that way. If they don’t make a change, then they aren’t respecting you, and that’s as good of a reason to leave as any.
Not all relationships are perfect, but some are going to be plain wrong for you, and that’s okay. If you’re aware of these signs and what they can mean, you’ll be more likely to know when it’s time to get out of a bad relationship, or if it’s something you just need to talk more about to get on the same page.