5 Relationship Red Flags You Need to Know About
Before you get serious, know the relationship warning signs the experts say not to ignore.
By: Nicole Fabian-Weber
Some say when you meet The One, you just know, but ... do you really? It's easy to get swept up in the fun and excitement of a new relationship, but when the passion fades and the rose-colored glasses come off, it's what's left that's most important -- and that may be things you overlooked when you and your significant other first got together.
Here, five things you should never ignore in a relationship.
1. You -- or your partner -- are in the relationship solely for how the other person makes you feel. Sure, it's important that your significant other makes you feel loved and beautiful and wanted, but that alone should not be the basis of a relationship. "Filling only one criteria for a relationship is always a red flag," notes Lisa Brateman, a relationship psychotherapist in New York City. "There are many aspects that need to be in place for a long-term successful relationship. There should never be only one sole reason why you want a particular relationship. All relationships should be a balance of both of your needs and desires. Similar values and ethics are the most important component for a long-term relationship, far more than something such as feeling needed."
2. Nobody likes your significant other. You can't please all the people all the time, but you can -- and should -- be able to bring your partner around some, if not most, of your friends and family without it being uncomfortable. If the overwhelming majority of your favorite people don't think the person you're dating is right for you, there's probably a reason for that. Rose-colored glasses, remember?
3. You can't fully trust your partner -- even when there is no evidence not to trust him. When you're in a new relationship, it can be difficult to determine whether someone is being honest with you. It's important that you figure out if you have any basis for your feelings of mistrust -- or if you're dealing with your own issues. "When statements sound hard to believe, it is important to question them," says Brateman. "Respect your intuition by asking for clarification without assuming someone is necessarily lying to you. If you have trust issues, you need to determine if you can accurately trust your own judgment of character. When we are searching to find out if we can trust someone, we set up an untrustworthy situation where both parties can fail."
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4. There's constant nitpicking in the relationship. Many of us have nitpicked -- or have been picked on -- in past relationships. But when the nitpicking is too frequent, it could be a big red flag. "Constant and increased nitpicking moves into the criticizing arena, which always minimizes trust and intimacy," says Brateman. "It is a negative form of connecting, which always weakens the foundation of relationships. All healthy relationships must provide far more positive than negative behaviors and interactions. Nitpicking can be degrading and always comprises the integrity of the partnership."
5. One person is completely in charge. It isn't uncommon for one personality to be a little more dominant than the other in relationships, but when you find yourself completely at the mercy of your partner all the time, it isn't a good sign. In fact, if your significant other does things like restrict you from seeing your friends and family, or tells you what to do, it could be a sign of abuse -- and it definitely shouldn't be ignored.
What relationship red flags have you encountered?
Nicole Fabian-Weber is the mama to a sweet toddler girl and an equally sweet baby boy. She lives outside of NYC and writes for The Stir and numerous other online publications.
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