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5 Red Flags to Watch for When Dating



A very recent study of American adults found that 2 out of 3 reported that their dating life is either going “not too well” or “not at all well.” How do we turn this trend around? A useful start would be to enhance your ability to identify red flags. Think of these as warning signs. Even if they are subtle, such hints should not be ignored. They can set you up for big problems in the near future.


To help you get an idea of what such signals might look or feel like, we’ve compiled a list of five dating red flags below.

Red Flags to Watch for When Dating

1. Unhealthy Communication

This can range from someone who only talks about themselves to the person who diligently avoids having difficult conversations. Every single relationship needs a foundation of healthy, steady communication. It is almost certainly a red flag if the person you are dating would rather gossip about their ex than talk about emotions, learn about you, discuss future plans, or simply ask you about your day.


2. Inconsistency

One day, they will text every 15 minutes. A week later, they seem unable to hold your hand when walking down the street. Of course, everyone should be free to have moods. However, when inconsistency is the only thing consistent about them, take notice. Emotional unreliability is a major red flag. You have every right to feel confused and concerned.


3. Going From Zero to 60

This is sometimes called “love bombing.” By the second or third date, they’re introducing you to their friends, co-workers, and family members. There are sudden and surprising conversations about living together. And… they say “I love you” way too early. Sure, this can feel exciting in some ways, but intensity is not a healthy measure of compatibility. If the attention you’re getting feels too good to be true, it might be.


4. Married to Their Job

Sure, we all have to pay the bills but is there a precedent being set here? Are you always coming in a distant second to their work, career, and money? Most importantly, do you get a sense that your dating partner has very little interest in striking a healthier balance? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it is long overdue that you have a serious sit-down.


5. Controlling Behavior

This type of dominating behavior can manifest in countless ways, e.g.:

  • Trying to cut you off and isolate you from your current social circle

  • Getting angry if you make plans that do not include them

  • Jealousy

  • Over-protectiveness

  • They try to make decisions for you

  • Spying on your texts, emails, and social media interactions

  • Gaslighting you until you start doubting what you see as reality

  • They do not accept blame or responsibility for their actions

  • Sabotaging your self-esteem through non-stop criticism and judgment

  • They will not respect your boundaries

How Do You Know If a Red Flag is a Deal-Breaker?

Spoiler alert: You don’t always know. There is no magic formula. Dating, relationships, and falling in love do not fit into an easy equation. Thus, it can be possible that you see red flags where they do not exist because you’re feeling anxious about things. Meanwhile, dating advice is tricky and complex. You definitely cannot trust memes or quizzes to provide nuanced guidance.


An excellent way to sort out this scenario is to ask for professional help. You might start individual therapy. In some cases, you and your dating partner may opt to try couples therapy. Either way, it is an ideal setting to discuss grievances and concerns directly. Let’s connect and talk about it.


Contacting us is a step in the right direction towards your healing journey.

(248) 2-EMERGE (248-236-3743)




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