Being in relationships can be a beautiful experience but it can be confusing and difficult as well. Many a times people ask me how do I know if this guy is the right one for me or should I date this guy or not or I am not sure what’s wrong with the relationship but I don’t feel good.
Here are 9 signs that are red flags to watch out for in a relationship.
- He has no friends or life of his own. He has no idea what to do with his free time. This could mean he can be clingy and possessive towards his partner. What this could mean for you (if you are that partner) is that you would not have the freedom or you would feel guilty of spending your time doing things that you like – for example, spending time with your girl friends, having some alone time etc. This would mean that you would have to compromise by giving up your life for him.
- You are compromising on your life. Inherently a relationship needs some adjustment as 2 different people come together. But if you are going out of your way all the time to fit your life into his ideas and schedule, you are compromising. You need to be able to do the things that you like to do which can help you vent out the emotions created in the process of adjusting (not compromising) in a relationship. Otherwise this will create a spiral of negative emotions building up within the relationship.
- How he treats others – in higher and lower economic strata. There is one simple rule – if someone respects themselves, they will be respectful of others irrespective of who they are. Watch out for voice tonality and language (words) used when talking to others. Chances are he will treat you in a similar manner when the honeymoon (initial) phase of the relationship is over.
- How he describes his friends to you. If he demeans his friends even though he spends a lot of time with them, it is a certain red flag. If he is demeaning his friends in front of you, he could also be doing the same about you in front of his friends.
- Listen to his jokes – very often people disguise their opinions and judgments in the form of humour. Notice whether his jokes are about people or about their behaviours. It takes emotional maturity to separate people from their behaviour. If the jokes are on people about who they are, it’s a red flag. So saying, “his work is not up to the mark” is a constructive criticism and very different from saying, “he is a useless person” which is derogatory to the person in question. Also If he jokes about others but cannot take any jokes about himself, it shows he has low self-esteem. He is likely to put you down as well so that he can feel good about himself.
- His views about his work or job. If he is cribbing or not satisfied with his work, but is not taking any concrete steps towards making the situation better or changing his job, it’s a red flag because any trouble that comes in his workplace, he will bring it to his personal life and you might end up being a punching bag or a vomit bag that he uses to vent out his anger, frustration or irritation. Also it shows that he is only complaining but doesn’t take the responsibility to make things right. If something doesn’t work in his life, he is only going to complain about it rather than doing something about it.
- He wants you to be available to him every time he needs you. If you are unable to be there because you are involved or busy somewhere else, he starts throwing tantrums or becomes passive aggressive by giving you a silent treatment or shutting you out. It is again a sign that he has no life and will be completely dependent of you to entertain him or keep him busy. Also he has no emotional maturity and impulse control to understand that you can be busy too and not behave in a childish manner.
- He hears you but doesn’t really listen to you. Even if after talking to him, you feel dissatisfied as if not been heard, that means he has only been hearing you but has not really been present for you. It is not important for him to be always able to understand you, but if he can have empathy for you, you will feel heard and understood. For empathy, he needs to be present with you with full attention. If he is not doing this, it means he is not that into you or/and he is not emotionally mature enough to be there for someone else emotionally. He either has this ability or not. He is not going to develop this emotional maturity over the years unless he is willing to do some serious inner-work.
- It’s always your fault. When something goes right, its because of him but when something goes wrong, he blames you as if it is somehow your fault whether you are directly involved or not. It is indicative of low self-esteem in the person where he needs to make you feel bad or lower in order to feel good about himself. Also he can’t take the responsibility of something going wrong because of him so he always has to shift the blame.
If you find any of these signs in your relationship, it clearly signifies that you are in a toxic relationship. Staying on in the hope that things will improve someday will be disappointing and damaging to your emotional, mental and eventually physical health. The only sane thing you can do is to turn around and run!
-Meetu Sehgal & Manu Panicker