Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers, and with the holiday comes the topic of relationships: both romantic and platonic. Whether you’re setting up a romantic date night with your significant other or making your mom a hand-made Valentine’s Day card, it’s always important to maintain healthy relationships.
Managing relationships can be tricky though, so it’s important to filter out the red flags, or bad signs, from the green flags. Red flags aren’t just things that annoy you about your partner. They’re signs of a larger problem, often serious enough to be dealbreakers in a relationship, and they should not be ignored.
Here are six major red flags to watch out for in any relationship:
1. They Lie to You Constantly
Everybody lies in some capacity, but some lies are worse than others and can be potentially damaging, like lying about having a criminal past, having lots of debt or even about who they are. If a partner is constantly lying to you or omitting the truth, it can be hard to make a solid foundation for a relationship.
2. They Run Away When Things Get Difficult
It’s easy to stick around with someone when things are going well. However, if they start avoiding you the second things get rough, that’s a sign to cut them off. Fair-weather friends are nice to have, but when the storm comes, don’t count on them to stick around.
3. They Love Bomb You
Love bombing is when a person showers you with things such as love, affection, gifts or flattery, only to mistreat you and put you down shortly afterward. To make up for this, they love bomb you again, making you believe they’re going to change. In reality, it’s a pattern of abuse.
4. They Gaslight You
Gaslighting is a type of manipulation in which a person creates a false narrative, making the other person question their judgment and sometimes even their reality. “I never said that,” “That never happened” or “You should’ve known how I’d react” are just some examples of common phrases used during gaslighting.
5. They Exhibit Obsessive and Controlling Behavior
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who always wants to know what you’re doing, when you’re doing it or who you’re doing it with? That’s not a sign that they care about you, but rather an indicator of someone obsessive and controlling. You are your own person, and sometimes having time or space away from a friend or partner is healthy.
6. They Have Problems With Drugs or Alcohol
Having a drink once in a while isn’t a bad thing. But when someone is doing it every day in excess amounts and also refuses help, it’s a ticking time bomb. However, if a partner does accept that they need help, it is a step in the right direction and can bring you and them closer together.
Always remember that not everyone will exhibit the same red flags. Sometimes the best way to combat these is to talk to your friend or partner about them as the key to a healthy relationship is to make sure you communicate and respect each other’s boundaries.