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15 Subtle Relationship Red Flags That Most Ignore In Love

Paying attention to subtle relationship red flags is crucial. These subtle red flags, often disguised as quirks or minor inconveniences, can harbor deeper issues that, if ignored, can damage the very foundation of your relationship.

Here are some examples to watch for, like whispers of caution in the wind.

You Don’t Like Yourself When They’re Around

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When your partner’s presence dims your inner light, take heed. That feeling of unease, of being less than yourself, is a red flag waving in the wind.

“It is a red flag when you start to hate the person you are with them.” Said one. “Before him, I was an athletic, social person with a decent job. Because of that relationship, I lost all the good I’d built up in the last two years, and I’m only just picking up the pieces.” added another.

They Give Ultimatums Instead Of Compromising

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A healthy relationship thrives on compromise and understanding, not coercion and threats. If your partner consistently uses ultimatums to get their way, it indicates a lack of respect for your needs and desires and a potential for controlling behavior.

“I remember dating a girl who didn’t like a friend of mine (the friend was pretty and blonde, but just a friend). The girl I was dating hadn’t even met my friend but was telling me all about how my friend wanted me and had all these romantic intentions (which was false). The girl I was dating eventually said, “Well, it’s either me or her. Choose.” I responded, “Well, she isn’t making me choose between you and her, so I guess you’ve made the choice easy for me.” She didn’t like that, but I didn’t care.” one added.

If Everyone Seems To Hate Your SO

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When the whispers of dislike towards your partner turn into a chorus of disapproval, don’t dismiss it as mere coincidence.

“If all of your friends or trusted family members hate your boyfriend/girlfriend. Often, they can see things about your SO that you can’t.” Said one. “Doesn’t even have to be hate.  If no one you trust wants to be around your SO, beware.  I lost three years by not paying attention to this.” Another added.

They Keep Complaining About Their Ex

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A constant stream of complaints about an ex is more than just a bad habit – it’s a red flag. This negativity indicates an unresolved past, a lack of closure, and, potentially, a lingering attachment. It paints a picture of someone who may struggle to move forward and fully invest in the present relationship. 

They Never Apologize

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A genuine apology is not just words but a sincere acknowledgment of hurt and a commitment to do better. If your partner consistently refuses to apologize, it indicates a lack of accountability, empathy, and respect for your feelings.

“My ex used to have days (non-menstrual related) when she would be extremely harsh toward me, slinging out unnecessary insults. I eventually called her out on it, and she claimed to have no idea what she was doing was malicious.” one user added.

If They Admit They’re Jerks

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It’s not just a self-deprecating joke when someone readily admits they’re a jerk. This admission indicates a lack of self-awareness about their negative behavior and a potential resistance to changing it.

“I dated a guy who admitted multiple times that he has never been the relationship type, was scared of commitment, etc. Granted, he would also tell me he liked me and wanted a future with me. So frustrating. It’s so obvious in hindsight, but it’s too easy to be blinded now.” a user added.

When They Don’t Like You Befriending Their Friends

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When your partner discourages you from befriending their friends, it’s a red flag that whispers insecurity and a desire to control.

“This is a big one. Keeping you compartmentalized from the rest of their life.” one added.

When They Put You Down In Front Of Others

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Public put-downs are red flags, signaling a lack of respect and an attempt to diminish your confidence in front of others. This behavior is not playful banter; it’s a deliberate attempt to undermine your sense of worth and control your image.

“Yes, argue all you want in private. But you have to put up a united front against the world. That’s the whole point of marriage. Find yourself a partner who will always have your back. It’s a big bad world out there; you gotta have someone you trust at your side.” one user added.

When You Can’t Help But Keep Counting How Many Times They Did Wrong

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Obsessive scorekeeping signifies deep hurt, a lack of resolution, and constant emotional distress. While seeking justice and validation is natural, a relationship built on a never-ending ledger of offenses is unsustainable.

A user said, “Maybe this is too broad, but a therapist once told me that the moment you start keeping a running tally in your head of all the ways your SO has wronged you, the relationship is doomed.”

They Seem To Put You On A Pedestal Unnecessarily

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Excessive adoration, often called “love bombing,” can be a red flag hiding a desire for control and manipulation.

A user said, “Putting you on a pedestal. It may seem nice at first, but it means they’re not seeing your full personhood — rather, they are seeing a fictional and idealized version of you. It is unintentionally dehumanizing. Plus, the only place to go is down.”

When You Don’t Like Their Friends’ Circle

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When your intuition raises an eyebrow at your partner’s friends, listen closely.  “One of the red flags I ignored in a past relationship is that I didn’t really like any of her friends. If you don’t like the people your SO chooses to hang out with, you probably should reevaluate things.” said one. 

“I agree with this. You can tell a lot about a person by their friends. If you don’t like your SO’s friends, then there is probably something messed up waiting for you down the road.”

If They Can’t Take It When You Hangout With Your Friends

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When your partner’s smiles turn to frowns and their joy diminishes as you excitedly plan a night out with your friends, take heed.

“If s/he seems displeased any time you go hang out with your friends rather than spending time with him/her, it could be a sign of bigger issues down the road.  I’ve seen many relationships deteriorate quickly, to the point where the significant other eventually unfriended nearly all their boyfriend’s contacts on Facebook, saying, “You’ve got me, so you have no reason to need anybody else.”  Obviously, it doesn’t get this far on the first date, but it’s a slippery slope, so watch out for warning signs.” shared one.

When They Keep Telling You Half-Truths

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Choosing a partner who thrives on half-truths means choosing a future built on shaky foundations.

“When they tell “half-truths” — they tell you the part of the story that answers your question but leave out the part that would “make you upset.” Adults will tell the whole story — if the truth will upset you, it’s not a good relationship.”

When They’d Throw Tantrums Every Now & Then

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When tantrums become a recurring theme in your relationship, pay attention. This outburst-driven behavior, often used as a way to get what they want or express displeasure, is a red flag that indicates a lack of emotional maturity and healthy coping mechanisms.

“If your SO still throws temper tantrums like a child over insignificant things… run. Emotional stability isn’t hard to possess if you’re a rational, clear-headed adult. we all have issues and get frustrated, but if someone is unable to choose their battles, it’s definitely a red flag.” said one.

When The Number Of Bad Days Increases Exponentially

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A steady increase in negative days, filled with conflict, disappointment, and emotional turmoil, is a red flag. 

“When you start having more bad days than good, that’s a wrap. I do not understand why people stay in miserable relationships for a long period. There comes a point when you have to ask yourself, “Do I REALLY want to deal with this b.s for another day, week, month, or year?” If you have tried to work out your issues and there is no positive result in sight, it’s time to move on.” 

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.