14 Relationship Red Flags Every Grown Woman Should Look Out For
Sofia Kraushaar

His Seth Rogen impression makes you laugh, and your stomach flips when he texts. But, some things have made you raise an eyebrow: He gets super withdrawn when you ask about his ex. And did he just roll his eyes when you said you had a busy day? Upsetting? Yes. Relationship red flags? Maybe. (OK, spoiler alert: Yes.) Read on for our full list of red flags that should make you run for the hills.

1. They have constant “work emergencies”

Canceling a date at the last minute isn’t great, but we can let it slide for a work emergency. But more than one catastrophe at the office? That’s a bit suspect. “Some people hide behind work issues when there is ambivalence about a new relationship,” says relationship therapist Irina Firstein. Sound familiar? Ask point-blank if the issue at work is legit or if they’re trying to avoid you. Not liking their response? Time to reconsider this relationship.

2. They talk smack about other dates

Dating is hard, there’s no getting around that. And sure, sometimes it becomes apparent over martini number two that there’s no chemistry. But someone who has nothing but negative things to say about everyone they’ve ever seen indicates they don’t hold themselves accountable for their part in these dud dates, which is, you guessed it, a major red flag.

3. They stop having sex with you

If you two have been having sex and then suddenly you’re not, something is probably up. An unexpected change in sexual behavior might mean something or someone is throwing your partner off, Firstein says. Other touching, like hand holding, matters too. But when it comes to physical intimacy, a noticeable change in your sex life is the biggest indicator of a problem.

4. If you’re four dates in and they’re throwing the L word at you

Being in love is a wonderful thing, and if you and your partner are both there early, then kudos to you. But if you’re a few dates in and they’re moving at warp speed while you’re still finding your footing, something is up. Sorry to say it, but as Firstein says, you “might be a rebound.”

5. They avoid uncomfortable conversations

You can’t expect to forge a bond with someone who deflects serious conversations—e.g., the “What are we?” talk. People who refuse to communicate about the state of their relationships typically don’t want to have real relationships.

6. They try to change you

Anyone who pressures you into anything—whether it’s small, like cutting your hair or wearing shorter skirts, or big, like spending less time with your friends and family—is controlling you. Your partner should be dating you because they like you, not a version of you they’re trying to create.

7. They’re selfish

You go to their work dinners and trek out to see their family for holidays—you even meal prep and clean up the mess for them. Do they do the same for you? “Relationships are a two-way street,” Firstein says, and your effort should be reciprocated.

8. They’re dismissive and don’t take you seriously

You got into a fight with your best friend and it’s been really bugging you. But when you brought it up to your partner, they rolled their eyes and muttered a quick “That sucks” before returning to their video game. Isn’t this the person you’re supposed to be able to lean on? Hmm.

9. They make you feel bad about yourself

A partner who makes you feel unintelligent, unattractive or small, and who takes more shots at your self-esteem than they do at trying to make you smile, is not one you want to see more of. “A partner who speaks to you like this is projecting their own insecurities and should seek therapy,” Firstein says.

10. They go from zero to 60 in an argument

Everyone fights, and everyone has a moment when they get too upset and feel awful about it later. But if your partner has a tendency to go absolutely bananas every time you disagree—we’re talking yelling, name-calling, stomping around, punching walls—this probably isn’t the healthiest situation for you.

11. They’re rude to their parents

Hey, maybe their parents are difficult people, but partners who are nasty to Mom and Dad usually carry that attitude into their relationships too. If they can’t respect the people who gave them life, how are they going to be toward you?

12. They look through your texts

And your Instagram DMs, your email and your call log. “They have major trust issues,” Firstein says, and it’s time to have a talk.

13. You haven’t met anyone important to them

You’ve asked to meet their family members, friends or even coworkers and nothing has happened. Are they stashing you? (Aka keeping you a secret.) Maybe.

14. Nothing is ever their fault

Someone who can’t take responsibility for things that are truly their fault—like making you wait in a restaurant for an hour without even a text—is straight-up selfish. 

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