These 4 Relationship Red Flags Should Always Send You Running For The Hills

These things are NEVER okay.

relationship red flags warning signs abusive relationship Julian Howard on Unsplash

Red flags and deal breakers aren't new concepts by any means. We all have things that we wouldn't put up with in any relationship, especially when talking about romantic relationships. We have our no's, our maybe's and our I'm-not-sure-yet's.

The problem is that love makes us a little crazy, and we end up bending the rules for that special someone that we're currently smitten with. It just happens, often without our even realizing it. 


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Dating isn't always about sticking through thick and thin; it's about finding someone who adds to your life, helps you grow to be a better person and loves the hell out of you.


So don't put up with anything less. If your relationship is fading into something that isn't doing any of those things for you, it's time to leave. 

This list of nonnegotiables is full to the brim of relationship red flags that you should run from immediately. Running from these dating red flags is a NEED, not a want. There are enough troubles in life without dating someone who isn't treating you right. Don't add to it by walking blind into these death sentences for your relationship. Just walk away. They aren't worth the pain you'll go through if you stay

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Red Flag 1. They cheat on you.

This is a lot easier said than done. In my writing, I talk about getting cheated on all the time because it's something that really tore me up and devastated me for a long time. I felt betrayed, hurt and inadequate in so many ways. 


However, there was a point after we broke up that I really did consider getting back with my cheating ex. We started talking again, and I am not proud of the way that I listened to his excuses and let them take root in my mind. I wanted to be able to look past it, to be able to focus on the good in our relationship. I wanted a redo. I wanted my boyfriend back.

In the end, my roommate talked me out of it, sending me a quote that has stuck with me ever since: "If you read the same book expecting a different ending, you're going to be disappointed." 

It sucked to hear, but she was right. 

I know now that I'm the type of person who couldn't move past something like that, and, to be honest, I don't think anyone should try to. Cheating is a betrayal at the most basic level, and, once you break trust by cheating, it's very difficult to build it back.


Personally, I believe there are some things you can't come back from. Cheating is one of them. ESPECIALLY in the scenario where it's happened more than once, when it was an ongoing affair or if your partner had a history of cheating on other people before you. That's not a mistake, however you spin it. That's a choice. And your S.O. should be choosing you. 

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Red Flag 2. They abuse you in any way.

Emotional, physical, I don't care. Get out while you can.

This kind of betrayal in a relationship is so absolutely unfair, unhealthy and manipulative. Mind games aren't a form of mystery or love. If your S.O. makes you feel small or worthless, it isn't a way to encourage you to become something better. If he only hurts you when he's drunk, it's still not okay. 


It isn't your fault that your S.O. is treating you this way, and it isn't your responsibility to fix it either. Don't stay to help. 

I understand, maybe more than most, all the reasons that you might be tempted to stick around and power through it as best as you can. The power dynamics can make it feel impossible to leave any abusive relationship. Your abuser will try make you feel small and helpless and assert that their way is the only way. They may apologize, beg at your feet for mercy or promise it'll never happen again. But even once is enough. This is your life, and you get a choice.

Abuse isn't the result of the ups and downs or compromises of a normal relationship. Someone who loves you would never put you in that situation. And the terrible truth is that if it happens even once, chances are that it will happen again.

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Red flag 3. They aren't the least bit interested in you or your hobbies.

For you not to be loved completely for who you are is a crime. 

I'm serious! I had these two revolutionary experiences recently where a guy I've been seeing for a while noticed something I cared about and took the initiative to look at it. I run a personal blog and happened to mention the title of it early on in our dating timetable. About a month later, I started to say something about an article I had written when he shared that he had already read it. This is what I'm talking about! He cared about it because I cared about it, and took the time to read an old article I had taken the time to write.

The other experience was about a painting I've been working on for a long time. I don't claim to be a professional, but I enjoy art, and the same guy stood there for a good 10 minutes admiring all the tiny details of the piece, asking questions about it and sharing things he liked about it. It was one of the first times in 21 years that a man has taken the time to ask me about something I created and actually became as invested as I was. I was speechless.

And it's a little thing. It shouldn't be that impressive, but it was. I've dated a lot of people who couldn't care less about the things I create or care about, whether that be writing, painting, music, art, my coworkers or friends, so this was a major change.


Loving you is loving what and who you care about. 

Don't put up with someone who doesn't care about the things you care about. If it's important to you, your S,O. should slow down a moment to see the world from your point of view and enjoy it with you. 

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Red flag 4. They want completely different things from the relationship.

He doesn't want kids, and you can't imagine life without them. He sees you as a casual hookup, and you're seeing a love connection. NOPE. Run away. 

You already know this is going to cause you major pain later on. It isn't fair to put yourself through that. Either you'll be asking them to change their values, which might work for a while (but they may resent you), or you'll end up giving up one of your values.

It's okay to feel conflicted and being in love makes us do stupid things. But this is just asking for trouble you don't need. There's a world full of people who share your need for more, and you shouldn't be saddled with the guilt of convincing someone to live life to your standards or in the way you want them to. 

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Beth El Fattal is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationships topics.