As if life isn’t difficult enough, add dating to the equation and it can feel impossible.
Especially in the swipe right culture.
Let’s just say that with so much “candy” in the dating store to choose from, how can anyone feel secure?
These are the red flags you should never ignore—whether you are newly dating or in an established relationship.
Eight red flags you should never ignore:
1. An inability to say, “I am sorry.”
For me, this is massive! If someone is not able to apologize for clear wrongdoing, this shows me they lack any sort of respect or empathy toward others. They are obviously not concerned about how their actions have affected you and they are not willing to feel any sort of remorse, which is a horrible quality and this shows me a lack of accountability.
2. They lack accountability.
So, if they are not sorry, they definitely won’t be accountable for anything they say or do. Ask him or her their part in the demise of their marriage or a recent breakup. If they share a story where they are the victim and they do not include their part in the story…they are showing you how they are not accountable for their piece—in anything that goes wrong.
We all know it takes two for things to work and to break; it is when we are able to see our part in things and hold ourselves accountable that we are able to learn the lessons we are meant to learn and go on to the next level of life—with our experiences driving us to make better choices.
If there is no accountability, the person will continue to make the same choices over and over. Look at his or her past relationships/patterns—they will be quite telling.
3. They have friends who are less than desirable.
As the proverb goes, “A man is known by the company he keeps—a person tends to be very similar in attitude, character, ability, or personality to the people with whom they associate or spend time.” Believe this.
4. Lack of substance and depth.
If you are someone who is looking for emotional depth, stimulating conversation, conflict resolution, growth, and a deeper connection, make sure you are conscious of where this person lives.
Are they on the surface, shallow, unable to discuss or work through conflict? Do they run away at the first sign of trouble? How is their relationship with others? How do they parent? This is important to recognize because it will be telling as to how he or she shows up in your relationship.
5. Immaturity and crude humor.
Maybe his boyish charm or her little girl behaviors are cute in the beginning but, over time, immaturity can wreak havoc on a relationship.
How do they handle difficult situations? Do they manage conflict maturely? Do they pick fights and/or have a need to always be right? Do they run away when things get real or tough?
6. Extensive pornography use.
This is for real. Some—and I mean some—pornography use is normal for men (and women), not that we have to like it, or maybe you do, but the reality is that most men have watched porn and some still do. However, like anything else, moderation is key. If your significant other is looking at porn multiple times a day or if you notice odd behaviors, be vigilant.
The truth is, this is objectifying behavior and if not done in moderation, it could be a problem that you should be aware of. Pornography addiction is for real and just as damaging as any other addiction, if not worse.
7. An inability to connect or commit.
This can be obvious but, unfortunately, we like to ignore the warning signs, the big bright red flags that are on fire, and we tell ourselves that if we just do enough, if we are perfect, if we try harder, he will come around.
You know deep down this is not true, and is a recipe for disaster, emotional exhaustion, and heartbreak. If you recognize the phases of emotional unavailability, avoidant behavior, and commitment phobia early on, you will save yourself an incredible amount of energy and time. Eyes wide open!
8. They are emotionally stunted.
To me, growth is everything—and it should be important to you too! If you do not grow as a person, and especially as a couple, this leads to stagnation. Complacency versus contentment—these are two different things. You can be content and still grow together and grow separately.
Complacency leads to dissatisfaction, which can destroy a relationship on so many levels. Keep your eyes open to people who are afraid of change, who don’t make effort in moving the relationship forward, and shy away from any conversations that discuss the future.
These are my top red flags to look out for. There are many many more but these are usually the most in your face flags that you need to be wary of and address.
People who have a strong sense of self-worth and esteem are able to recognize these behaviors quickly and, most of the time, they are able to walk away without experiencing any emotional damage to their psyche. However, those who struggle with codependency or self-esteem issues have a much harder time accepting the flags that they see, and an even harder time walking away.
If you struggle with codependency or self-esteem issues, then you are at risk of accepting the behaviors above and even adopting them as your own issues that you need to fix. Coaching can help you to build your self-worth, change your perspective, and walk away from those who are not right for you.
My advice: protect yourself and arm yourself with so much self-love that you repel these behaviors.
Walk away, hold your head high, and know that you deserve so much more!