adapted from an article by Dr. Carmen Harra
You meet someone who is charming and irresistible. You're excited about them and begin dating, spending more and more time together. Everything is going great, except...
Your new partner slips into certain "bad habits" here and there and you keep reassuring yourself that this is normal. But is it?
Seemingly insignificant tendencies can be early indicators of greater issues that will rear their ugly heads in time. Honor your wellbeing by walking away from an unhealthy relationship sooner rather than later if your partner raises the following red flags:
1. Your intuition is nagging you. We are often told to "listen to your heart" when really, listening to your inner voice is crucial. Pay close attention to the gut feelings that ask you to analyze your partner's intentions, words and actions. Refrain from making excuses for this person just because you've developed feelings. Be honest with yourself and acknowledge when your partner isn't making you feel good. It's not an accident if you see signs that prove this person isn't who they say they are. Remember: people lie, but your intuition doesn't.
2. Things are complicated from the beginning. The perfect partner doesn't exist because we all carry a bit of baggage. That's normal. It's not normal for a person to haul all their baggage from the past into your present relationship. Things need to be contained in a small carry-on size. Your partner may have children from a previous relationship but their children shouldn't be making your life miserable. Your partner may have trust issues from past experiences but they shouldn't be forcing you to prove your every move. If a relationship starts off this burdensome, it will only get worse in time. Release it from your life and find a love that's simple and straightforward.
3. Your new partner doesn't want to compromise. The couple that can't compromise can't survive. A person's inability to compromise quickly becomes evident. At this point in the relationship, your partner should be offering compromise freely and you should be taking turns accommodating each other. The fact that they don't, means the relationship will require too much sacrifice on your part.
4. They have mood swings. Up's and down's in mood are a normal human experience. However, steer clear of someone who has frequent mood extremes. Your partner shouldn't leave you exhausted by the end of the day. You become what you're around, and if you're exposed to anger, bitterness, or resentment, you might find yourself mimicking these emotions, riding an emotional roller-coaster that will take a physical and emotional toll on you. If your partner shifts from delighted to depressed in seconds, understand that psychological imbalance exists. If your partner gets angry over everything, know that this anger may spill onto you one day too.
5. Your partner is not generous. Monetary generosity is not the only form of generosity to be considered. Your partner must also be generous with their time, affection, advice and good intentions. Stinginess, greediness, and egoism are serious red flags. While you shouldn't expect to receive the world on a silver platter, you should expect your partner to offer help when you're in genuine need. The person who wants to share their world with you is preparing for a future with you. Generosity is a rare trait, so be grateful for the partner who is giving in all senses of the word.
6. Your partner is chronically unfaithful. You've heard the term "once a cheater, always a cheater", but I don't quite agree. People can and do change. But if you discover your new partner being disloyal early on, spare yourself the heartbreak and move along. Chances are that he was prone to dishonesty long before you and will continue to be unfaithful throughout the relationship with you. Often we believe we can change people or mold their character, or that they will somehow be "different" with us than they've been in past relationships. We experience deep disappointment when we realize that we can't change anybody; they must change themselves.
7. They treat others poorly. Be careful getting too attached to the person who talks down to others, is rude without reason, or has negative relationships with family members. People who have problems with themselves release them upon others, and these problems can't be resolved until they look within and eliminate the root cause. Your partner may treat you nicely in the beginning, but the same issues they have with other people will creep into your relationship down the line.
8. Your partner isn't a consistent part of your life. It is demoralizing when your partner doesn't check up on you regularly. One of the most frequent complaints I hear is that their new partner doesn't initiate conversation; they have to be the ones to send the first message, or there's no telling when their partner will actually call. Even worse is when they show a pattern of disappearing then reappearing like nothing happened. Beware of settling with a partner who's emotionally ignorant or distant. You will find yourself telling this person the same thing over and over and over again. One of the greatest qualities you can find in a partner is someone who is emotionally in tune with you.
9. Your partner doesn't take care of themselves. The way in which someone treats (or mistreats) themselves is reflective of the way they will treat you. If your partner is self-destructive, how can they interact positively with you? If your partner is careless with their home, job, belongings, health, finances, or appearance, chances are they won't be able to lend you the care you need and deserve. Look for someone who handles themselves responsibly, lovingly, and gently so that they can treat you in this same manner.
10. Your partner can't commit. Lasting relationships are the deeply fulfilling bonds we crave, but not all of us are able to commit. You should be with a partner who not only wants to fortify a relationship with you through time but who understands the hard work needed to do so. Consider your partner's dating history: have they been able to uphold at least one serious relationship? It will be difficult for your partner to keep up long-term love if they are used to jumping from one romance to another. A partner who both expresses the desire for commitment and reinforces words with actions is a real treasure.
Our impulses often betray our true nature. Reflect on these ten red flags before engaging in a new relationship, and put our own safety and tranquility first.