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Red Flags to Look for in Your Romantic Relationship

June 8, 2023
Ellen Johnson
Imagine this: you’re newly dating someone who you are really attracted to. You’ve recently met and don’t know much about each other, but you feel those excited, nervous jitters in your stomach and can’t wait until you see them next. 

Ah, it’s the best, isn’t it? The hormones and chemicals being released in your body during this time provide a feeling of Euphoria that is hard to match. Dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine are all part of the mix, creating a rush of pleasure and happiness. What is also interesting about this chemical rush is that it can cloud our judgment and make us more willing to overlook potential red flags that could be significant indicators of compatibility and long-term success.

While it's natural to feel this way in the early stages, it's crucial to remain mindful and aware. Take the time to reflect on your interactions and observe any behaviors or patterns that may be cause for concern. Ask your close friends for their honest opinions. Remember, the initial excitement and infatuation can sometimes blind us to the reality of who our partner truly is.

Here are a few red flags that you may want to keep an eye out for:

  1. Lack of respect: Does your partner consistently disrespect your boundaries, dismiss your opinions, or belittle your feelings? Healthy relationships thrive on mutual respect, so pay attention to how your partner treats you and others.
  2. Poor communication: Communication is the lifeblood of any successful relationship. If your partner avoids important conversations, withholds information, or resorts to passive-aggressive behavior, it may be a sign of potential issues down the road.
  3. Control and manipulation: Watch out for signs of controlling behavior or manipulation. Is your partner trying to dictate your actions, isolate you from friends and family, or guilt you into doing things you're uncomfortable with? Control can also be seen in monitoring your activities, invading your privacy, or making decisions without your consent. These patterns can be indicative of an unhealthy power dynamic.
  4. Incompatibility: While initial chemistry is important, it's equally crucial to assess whether you and your partner share core values, goals, and interests. Overlooking significant differences in these areas may lead to conflicts and challenges in the future.
  5. Unresolved past issues: If your partner carries unresolved emotional baggage from previous relationships or exhibits concerning behaviors, it's important to address them early on. Unresolved trauma or unresolved personal issues can create complications in a new relationship.
  6. Any form of abuse—be it physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual—is an immediate and severe red flag. Abuse in a relationship can leave long-lasting scars and should never be tolerated. If you feel unsafe or experience any form of violence, it is crucial to seek help and remove yourself from the harmful situation.

So, as you navigate dating and relationships, allow yourself to enjoy the excitement, but also stay grounded and keep those blinders in check. Trust your intuition, be mindful of the red flags, spend time around friends and listen to their opinions. Take the necessary steps to ensure your emotional well-being and happiness in the long run.

Community resources:

For abuse, you can call the 24/7 domestic violence hotline: 800-799-7233 https://www.thehotline.org/

Call 911 for any immediate threat.

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