By Mary Grace Garis

What are the 8 red flags you shouldn’t ignore in your partner? My interview with Well+Good gets precise when it comes to real issues that won’t go away.

When someone falls head-over-heels for another person, they tend to cruise by the red flags that should really make them stop and think before heading farther down the road to a relationship. Their friends, bless them, are usually keen on the warning signs first. Like they recognize a 36-year-old Bumble match who’s “just living with their parents for the time being” might not be a keeper. But infatuation has a funny way of blinding people to indicators that something might be off in their potential love interest that would otherwise seem obvious.

So whether you’re getting back into dating or happen to already be in a committed partnership, it’s time to stop avoiding the evidence that doesn’t support your case for staying together. Because if you’re looking to have a relationship that’s long-lasting (or even just healthy), it’s important to address significant problems upfront. Note: This is not about dismissing someone who isn’t perfect. None of us are—not even Lizzo. It’s more about noticing if a connection has the fuel to go the distance.

8 red flags in a relationship that should make you pump the breaks

1. There’s a lack of conflict resolution between you

Look, even the strongest couples argue, that comes with the territory of partnering up. What’s important for relationship sustainability is being able to argue well. On the flip side, if you never argue and dust your problems under the table, that’s also no good. The key is to address problems in a clean, fair way, and make sure they don’t keep resurfacing.

“If your partner the has a disposition that demands they must win or must be right, you will find it hard to come to conflict resolution,” says relationship expert Susan Winter. “A red flag such as this will plague you throughout the length of your relationship.”

2. Critical and demeaning language and attitude is a component of your relationship

Seems obvious, but just needs to be said: You deserve someone who doesn’t put you down and make you feel lesser-than. “If your partner speaks to you in a critical tone or demeans you, that’s a red flag that can’t be ignored,” says Winter. “This streak of cruelty and self-absorption will create a toxic environment for you and result in an unhealthy partnership.”

3. Your partner has an unwilling or unable attitude

Look at language here, because it’s really important. How many things do they say they “can’t” do when it’s really just coded for, “I don’t want to.” “If they are unwilling to work with you, unwilling to listen to you, and unwilling to work on the relationship, you will be in a cycle of unhappiness,” says Winter. “Alternatively, if they are unable to work in tandem with you, you have the same outcome.”


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