Red Flags in a Relationship

Author: Halee Smith, LMFT

Whenever someone is in a relationship, it can be hard to see red flags sometimes. The relationship is new and exciting, and it is hard to believe this person could have any flaws. In a relationship we must be open to seeing the hope of what it could be, while being aware of the reality of what is in front of you. A few red flags to be aware of in your relationship include:

  • Red flag #1: If you or your partner are trying to win an argument or feel like you must win in your relationship.
    • Relationships should never be based on the concept of a win-lose game. Relationships should encompass feelings of support and understanding. Trying to win an argument for the sake of one’s pride will lead you down a negative trajectory. Rule of thumb, if you are trying to win, you’ve already lost.
  • Red flag #2: If you or your partner feel the need to degrade the other.
    • A relationship should be built on mutual respect and care. Whenever the foundation of a relationship is built on the premise of tearing the other down to make them feel better about themselves, that relationship is destined for unhealthiness and failure.
  • Red flag #3: If you or your partner can’t be yourself around each other.
    • Individuals search for relationships in hoping they will find a person who will add joy and the feeling of completeness in their life. Unfortunately, sometimes that want for a relationship will make someone feel like the need to change who they are to make the other person happy. Healthy relationships are based on being honest with oneself and with the other person in the relationship. The worst thing for a relationship is not being true to who you are.
  • Red flag #4: If you or your partner feel like you are alone in the relationship.
    • Relationships are hard work and cannot be successful or healthy if only one person is putting in the effort. The goal of a relationship is to experience life with a partner with the intention of being able to count on them for love and support. Whenever someone is feeling the constant sole responsibility in a relationship, a conversation needs to be had and changes need to be made or heart break could be close by.
  • Red flag #5: If you or your partner doesn’t feel valued or appreciated.
    • Self esteem and self confidence are important aspects of a healthy relationship. If someone doesn’t feel good about themselves or they don’t feel like what they are contributing to their relationship is appreciated by their partner, self-doubt and resentment can begin to build. It is important to acknowledge your partner’s efforts and achievements.

Relationships are wonderful opportunities for joy, support, hope, and love. Whenever you are seeing your relationships with an increased sense of self awareness, healthiness and stability will not be far behind.

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