Red Flags In A Relationship: The Ultimate Guide

black man and indian woman sitting back to back on the floor
You know the red flags in a relationship, but what do you do when you see them? You're going to find out in this red flags guide.

Red flags in a relationship – we’ve all heard about them, but do you know what they are? Before you jump into a relationship, it’s important you’re mindful of potential red flags that could harm you.

What Are Relationship Red Flags?

Before I go on and talk about red flags in a relationship, you need to know what they are.

You’ve heard about “red flags,” but it’s time we get on the same page. Here’s the thing, red flags can be subjective based on a person’s values and beliefs. 

In other words, what you may see as a red flag, another person may not. For example, someone being an atheist may be a deal-breaker for you, but not an issue for another person.

But there are some general red flags that most of us can agree on. However, most of us miss the red flags because we’re emotional (and horny), so we choose to ignore what’s in front of us. Or, we see them but lack the proper boundaries and self-esteem to make the best choices for us.

Red Flags vs. Yellow Flags

So, you’ve heard of red flags, but what about yellow flags? All these different flags, jeez!

But not all flags are red ones. Some of them just mean you should keep an eye on it – and that’s what a yellow flag is. 

A red flag means you should remove yourself from the relationship. A yellow flag means you should take caution.

A yellow flag could be that there are some communication issues. Red flag issues involve abuse, cheating, and substance abuse. 

two black women laying in the grass smiling

9 Red Flags In A Relationship To Watch Out For

You know the differences between red and yellow flags, but what exactly are the red flags? Here are some general red flags in a relationship for you to look out for.

Substance abuse

Having a drink every now and then is fine. But if the person is drinking excessively and is unable to handle their alcohol, it’s a sign they have a problem. 

It’s important you talk with them and see if they’d like help. If they refuse, then you need to move on.

Love bombing

Love bombing may seem nice and warm at first, but it’s a serious red flag. Love bombing happens early in the relationship and is manipulation at its finest.

A love bomber goes heavy into talking about the future and showers you with gifts and compliments to lure you into falling for them. Once they achieve that, they gaslight and emotionally abuse you.

Controlling or jealous behavior

Everyone has a jealous moment now and then; a little jealousy isn’t bad. But if your partner is becoming controlling and possessive, that’s a problem. 

If they want to know every step you take and who you see, that’s a sign of emotional abuse.

Intense emotional reactions

They have an extremely short temper and cannot control their emotions. They either show extreme anger or give you the silent treatment when you’re upset (both can lead to abuse). 

While a lack of emotions also shows their inability to connect and care. You want your partner to be balanced.

Lack of communication

While there are many red flags in a relationship, this is an important one. 

Communication is essential in any relationship. If your partner is absent or disregards listening to you when you want to share your thoughts and feelings, this is bad. 

Unless they change, your feelings and opinions will not be noticed.

Poor relationship with friends and family 

People get into disagreements with their friends and family – it’s normal. But if they don’t seem to have any positive relationship around them, that’s a problem. 

If they don’t have any close friends or family, you need to wonder why (and the answer usually isn’t a good one).

Abusive behavior

There’s no way around this. If you notice that they’re emotionally, mentally, or physically abusive, run. RUN. This is a huge red flag to watch out for. 

Typically, the abuse won’t happen right away; however, it’s usually paired with other items on this list like love bombing and intense emotional reactions.


Gaslighting is quite the popular topic right now, and I have a feeling you know what it is. 

Gaslighting means that the person blames you for something they did. They either deny what they did, accuse you of being crazy, etc. It’s a serious form of manipulation and can lead to abusive behavior.

History of cheating

Now, I don’t believe “once a cheater, always a cheater.” People cheat for different reasons and it doesn’t mean they’ll cheat again. 

But if they have a chronic history of cheating, it’s clear they haven’t worked on their issues and will most likely cheat again.

What to Do When You See a Relationship Red Flag

You know the red flags in a relationship, but what do you do when you see them?

Don’t ignore them

It’s easier to ignore the red flags in a relationship than to follow your gut – at least, that’s what we think.

In reality, it’s a lot harder to be in a toxic and unhealthy relationship. Don’t ignore the red flags. 

Do a self-check-in

After noticing a red flag, do a check-in with yourself. Assess the situation and see how this makes you feel. 

Is it that you’re being too judgmental, or is it a real red flag?

Talk about it

It’s not easy to talk about this with another person, but it’s important you tell them how you feel and that you don’t support this behavior.

How do they feel about it? Do they acknowledge their behavior? Do they take active steps to change?

Make the right decision for you 

In the end, you need to make a decision that’s best for your future. If they are not willing to change, then it’s best to protect yourself and move on.

Final Thoughts

I didn’t go into relationship writing without experience. I’ve encountered many of these red flags in a relationship, and what I can say, is that it’s best to remove yourself from these red flags as soon as you can.


On Key

Related Posts

two white women on couch laughing

Is My Relationship Toxic? Signs of a Toxic Relationship

So, if you’re reading this, there’s a chance that you’re not feeling good about your relationship. If you’re asking yourself, is my relationship toxic? It’s time to know the signs. Here are the signs of a toxic relationship.

indian couple on mountain

How to Know if You Met the One

You’ve met someone that you’re sure is the one. Now, I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. I don’t even know you! But here’s the thing, are they really the one? Here’s how to know if you met the one.

Looking for real connection?

Get real relationship and dating advice straight to your email now.