Heartbreak

12 Red Flags Top Experts Wish People Actually Paid Attention To In Relationships

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couple in a canoe, woman looking over shoulder deviously

You meet someone new. You make eye contact. Was that just a smile, or an invitation?

The spark is there. That familiar stomach flutter, the flush of excitement ... this could turn out well.

You go on a first date. The spark begins to glow brighter.

You're seeing each other regularly now.

It's fun. It's promising. It begins to feel real.

But then ... whoa. They did or said something that seemed completely out of character. That's not the person you thought you were dating.

Alarm bells ring. Something is off about this. 

Is it you? Is it them? 

It couldn't be you.

Yes, it's definitely them

Don't ignore your intuition. If it all feels wrong, if your new love interest exhibits a character trait or behavior that suddenly brings all those warm, fuzzy feelings to a screeching halt, don't walk away — run. 

We asked 12 YourTango Experts to share the most obvious red flags that, when spotted, are warnings that it might be time to move on from the relationship.

RELATED: 8 Important Red Flags To Look For On A First Date

Twelve experts share relationship red flags that tell you a new love interest might be wrong for you

1. If they're overly critical or negative

If you are starting to fall for a new love and he is critical and negative, run for the hills. That kind of energy will bring you down, too.

- Janet Whitney, LMFT and author

2. They're kind of spineless

Behavior that should make you run is when a potential partner has no opinion of their own.

They agree with you about everything and it seems magical but this is love bombing or comes from a lack of confidence and the occurrences in which they bite their tongue and go along with what you want to accumulate over time until they snap.

It’s one thing to be empathetic and compassionate and another to have no backbone.

- Erika Jordan, love coach and NLP

RELATED: The Downside Of Empathy — 3 Ways People Who 'Care Too Much' Actually Hurt Themselves

3. They can't seem to be honest

The terms authenticity, transparency, integrity and fearlessness all lead to the same requirement for a healthy relationship — honesty.

Regardless of whether you are meeting someone new or have been in a relationship for years, the lack of ability to be radically honest will always lead to eventual demise.

Better to stop pursuit than to chase after an imaginary person. FYI, the same goes for you.

If you can't be honest, do your personal work first, then consider a relationship.

- Larry Michel, relationship restoration coach and founder, Institute of Genetic Energetics

RELATED: How To Be Honest — Even When It's Hard

4. They have wandering eyes

If a man checks out other women when he's speaking with you, please dump him now.

Even if his head doesn't actually swivel, imagine your future with a man who is incapable of a deep emotional connection with you that makes him indifferent to other potential lovers.

The joyous sexual connection that keeps love strong for a lifetime requires emotional bonding, not comparative shopping.

- Susan Allan, CEO, the Marriage Forum Inc. 

RELATED: 15 Signs You Don't Care About Your Relationship Anymore 

5. They don't accept responsibility

All sociopaths lie, and you don't want to get involved with a sociopath. The problem, however, is you may not know right away that you're being lied to.

So the second trait to look for is blaming. If your new love interest blames everyone else for his or her problems and never takes responsibility, it could be a sign of a personality disorder.

- Donna Andersen, author

RELATED: How To Teach Your Kids About Taking Responsibility For Their Life & Actions

6. They are inconsistent

If the new person you're seeing says they'll call but forgets, or you hear from them a lot and then they disappear for weeks, this is a big red flag.

These behaviors demonstrate they are not serious about finding love, and possibly not serious about you, either. You want someone who wants you as much as you want them, who is consistent in their pursuit, and who makes time to see you on a regular basis.

That is a good sign of long-term potential.

- Ronnie Ann Ryan, intuitive coach and past life reader

RELATED: 4 Common Signs And Causes Of Resentment In Relationships 

7. They are openly unkind to others

Always listen to your initial gut feeling. Beyond that look at how your new love interest treats others.

If the person you're going on a date with is nasty or dismissive to the waiter at the bar or to the coffee shop you are going to, this is a huge red flag.

Kindness is an essential value in life and a person that is not kind in the most basic way will probably be unkind to you down the road.

- Fabienne Slama, core emotional awakener

RELATED: 6 Red-Flag Traits Of The Most Manipulative Men

8. They treat servers and cashiers rudely

Rudeness to service people — cashiers, clerks, wait staff, et al. Doesn’t matter how much they “deserve” it.

Look for graciousness in your partner, in all circumstances.

- Susan Kulakowski, YourTango Expert

9. They display open (or subtle) contempt for others

A key indicator of red flag behavior is if your date displays disrespect or contempt toward other people, either overtly or subtly. This could be snide comments about strangers on the street, disparaging remarks about family members, or insults toward friends.

This kind of disrespect has no place in a healthy relationship and can become cruel over time. If you observe this bad behavior early on in the relationship, it's best to trust your judgment and run away from this person as soon as possible.

- Claire Waismann, founder and director, Waismann Method Rapid Detox

RELATED: Why Contempt Is So Damaging In Relationships (And How To Prevent It In The First Place)

10. They are too possessive

In the beginning, a possessive love interest may feel erotic and entrancing, and can even mimic love and devotion. Ultimately, it will reveal itself as control and manipulation.

It is the opposite of mutuality.

- Eva Van Prooyen, marriage and family therapist

RELATED: Zodiac Signs Who Are Seriously Obsessive, Ranked From Most To Least 

11. They are always on the lookout for someone 'better'

Wandering eyes are a big red flag for you to run if you spot your new love interest doing that while on a date with you.

It means that they are looking for someone different or better in their mind's eye, so don't bother telling them that you don't appreciate it or they will give you an excuse like, "I thought I knew him/her, but I'm only interested in you." 

- Ava Cadell, certified love coach

RELATED: If Giving Your All Isn’t Enough, You’re With The Wrong Person

12. Their words don't match their actions

While I believe actions are typically truthful, words may not be sincere. Actions always speak louder than words.

Kathy Lynn Thielen, spiritual intuitive, life and relationship coach

RELATED: Why Red Flags Don't Look Like Red Flags When They Feel Like Home

Carter Gaddis is YourTango's senior editor for experts and wellness.

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