Have you ever ignored a red flag in a new relationship and come to regret it? Most of us have. Hopefully they were small and easy to fix, but for some of us, they caused pain and suffering and eventually led to the demise of the relationship.
Being regretful about ignoring red flags in past relationships is a common thread I have seen in my single clients as well as among people in the dating scene looking for the next relationship. If they could go back and save themselves from heartbreak, most would. Yet, unsuccessful relationships teach us a lot about ourselves, as well as other people. They can help us uncover specific patterns that we can learn to recognize, especially when entering a new relationship.
Sometimes, people are blinded by the initial honeymoon phase and ignore quite obvious red flags.
While you want to remain open-minded when it comes to new love, it is wise to be mindful of red flags to avoid being misled or hurt. Here are some things to watch out for in a new relationship.
How They Speak About Past Relationships
How a person speaks about their past relationships, or simply how often they mention their exes is an indication that there may be some feelings still present. Maybe they haven’t healed from their past or still feels bitter towards their ex. This could indicate that this new relationship is more of a rebound.
Some people have the tendency to jump from one relationship to another without taking the time to heal in between, or reassess their priorities when it comes to dating. Ranting about an ex or accusing them of being the sole reason for that relationship’s problems is a red flag in itself. Even if any lingering feelings aren’t romantic, they may still give a lot of thought to this person, which can hinder how they treat their new partner. It’s a good idea to have a boundary about how much time you want to have passed since they exited a serious relationship.
If one’s romantic partner is overly clingy or possessive, this is another major red flag. Being possessive may signal codependency. In such cases, a person doesn’t may not want their partner to hang out with friends or pursue their own endeavors without them. They want most of the time and attention delegated to them, displaying a sense of entitlement. While we often want to spend a lot of time with a new love, we must continue to maintain our larger network of friends. If your new partner insists on always being together, perhaps they are not comfortable with themselves and use other people as a means of escape. This will not bode well for the long-term health of the relationship.
Jealousy can be a result, or cause of, possessiveness. If your new partner becomes jealous when other people give you attention, it could be that they aren’t secure within themselves. Of course, if you are actively seeking attention from others while out with our partner, that isn’t good either. In either case, there could be issues with self-esteem stemming from not feeling adequate enough for your partner. When someone feels their partnership being threatened, an honest conversation is called for. Healthy relationships can weather these conversations as the couple negotiates clear boundaries and agreements. If a partner repeatedly brings up these concerns, it could signal a lack of trust, or trust issues caused by past relationships. Some who have experienced infidelity still carry baggage with them well into their newer relationships and can quickly become jealous without reason.