There are many warning signs that the relationship you are in might be toxic. Many people know to leave a relationship when they have been cheated on or even abused. The problem is that serial cheaters and abusers have ways in which they
invest early in the relationship that can sometimes make breaking up hard. For this reason, it is important to focus on noticing the early relationship red flags and understand what these behaviors can lead to. Here is a short relationship red flags list that you might find useful:
1. Your Hobbies & Interests Suddenly Become Theirs
It is healthy to show interest in hobbies of your significant other. It shows that they truly want to get to know you. However, if you suddenly find yourself only doing the things you are interested in doing and are unsure what they used to do in their free time before you started dating – you should become a little worrisome. This is a behavioral pattern common among abusers. Habitual abusers go to every length possible to rapidly build trust and love early in the relationship. At times this can seem sweet and loving and even make you think that you have many things in common. However if it feels like they are constantly flowering you with affection and attention you might want to think about whether or not the relationship is emotionally balanced between the two of you.
2. They Want to Know What You Are Doing (ALL THE TIME)
Long before the awkward request or demand that you not socialize with certain friends or partake in certain activities, controlling individuals will be interested in knowing details about your daily routine. It’s normal to express interest and ask how your day is going and how you are doing. It is not normal to call, message, and/or text multiple times a day inquiring about what you are doing and who you are with. The ultimate red flag for this behavior is when they ask what you are doing in person when it is obvious what you are doing.
3. How They Talk About Their Exes
It is healthy to talk about exes, and how people talk about their exes is a dead giveaway if they are ready for another relationship. Avoid people who blame all of their previous break ups on their exes or refer to them as “crazy” or “psycho.” These people are not capable of accepting responsibility for their actions. More often than not, these individuals may be the sociopaths or mentally unstable one in the prior relationship. Other things to look out for are individuals who talk too much about their ex(es) and/or compare you to their ex(es). This suggests that they still have unresolved feelings for their ex and may not be ready for a long term relationship.
4. Communication is Difficult
There are a variety of communication methods that are not ideal for health long term relationships. The most obvious is the lack of communication. However imbalanced communications is also something to look out for and may be a sign that they are not as interested in you as you are interested in them. On the other end of the spectrum are the snarky, condescending, and passive aggressive comments. These communication styles are typically used in a deflecting manner and suggest your significant other is not in touch with his or her feelings or is unsure how to express them in a constructive manner.
5. You Have Experienced Past Abuse in Relationships
The common thread in all your past relationships is you. When you make the choice to keep dating people who physically and emotionally abuse you, it suggests something about your self-worth. In cases such as this, you may want to try taking some time off from the dating scene and find a good therapist.
Rebbekah Ritzmann grew up in the suburbs of San Francisco before attending a small liberal arts college in New York. After earning her master's degree, she moved back to California with her partner to teach. When she is not teaching, she enjoys cooking, kayaking, and, pottery.