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New Relationships - Be on the Alert for Red Flags

Relationship Red Flags You Shouldn't Ignore

Quite often, we get so caught up in new relationships, we turn a blind eye to red flags. Unfortunately, this can lead to heartbreak and suffering down the road. If you've begun seeing a new love interest, be on the lookout for these potential warning signs.

An unwillingness to apologize. Everyone makes mistakes; however, some people refuse to be accountable for them. At the most basic level, an apology involves setting your ego aside and acknowledging the other person's feelings. If your new love interest can't even say he or she is sorry for hurting your feelings, it may be a sign of immaturity, selfishness and an overall lack of empathy. In this case, you should be at least a little wary, since this type of character flaw rarely improves with time.

Excessive desire for privacy. We all need our own space, especially when we are involved in new relationships that develop quicker than we expected. That said, if your new love interest is especially secretive about text messages and other activities, you should be on the alert. In this case, it's generally best to be direct about your feelings, while expressing that you understand his or her need for privacy. There's no need to be paranoid or controlling. Simply state your feelings and see if you both can agree on a way to eliminate any worries or insecurities.

One-sided interest. When someone isn't serious about a new relationship, they tend to show it in a number of small ways. They might be unwilling to make reservations or plan dates. They might be reluctant to text or talk on the phone. Whatever the case, if the relationship has a one-sided feel, it may be time to reassess the other person's intent.

Inappropriate anger. We all lose our tempers from time to time; however, if this seems to be a recurring issue with your new love interest, be wary. Do they get enraged at traffic? Have they punched holes in drywall? Do they lash out over the smallest disagreements? These outbursts might seem like a small problem now, but they could turn into domestic violence down the road. At bare minimum, you should express that aggressive anger makes you feel uncomfortable and see if the person is capable of harnessing his or her anger for your benefit.

They are emotionally unavailable. Not everyone is comfortable sharing intimate feelings early in a relationship. That said, if intimate moments cause the other person to shut down or withdraw, there could be a problem. This is especially true if the person only seems affectionate immediately before and during sex. Make sure you aren't falling for someone who is unable or unwilling to return your affection, or you might be setting yourself up for heartbreak down the road.

Studies have shown that new love has the same effect on our brains as a cocaine high . With this in mind, it's not surprising that many of us tend to dismiss, minimize or forget negative signs in the midst of lust, excitement and yearning. By keeping a watchful eye for potential red flags, you can better manage your emotional investment in a relationship, so you won't be a victim of raw, unchecked emotion.

If you need help navigating relationships, our caring therapists can help. Contact us today!