Many individuals may look back at their past relationships and wonder what on earth they were thinking. It can be easy to get caught up in the infatuation and honeymoon period that should hopefully accompany the start of every relationship.
Unfortunately, many individuals allow a healthy start to the relationship to turn into an incredibly unhealthy experience that can last for far too long. The damage of this is not only time that you cannot get back. A bad relationship can be incredibly draining on your own sense of self.
When you are starting to date someone, you may have your own set of strict boundaries or guidelines that you know you want in a partner. This can be huge in making sure that you are not wasting your time with someone that you know you are fundamentally incompatible with.
There are certain traits that may make a partner more susceptible to being unhealthy for you. This does not mean they are an awful person, just that who they are and their style of love does not exactly match with yours. This can be hard to admit, especially if you realize it after a certain amount of time, but it is still an important realization.
For every positive thing that a relationship has at the start, there should be certain warning signs that help distinguish if someone is "dating material" and who is worth settling down and having a committed relationship with. Who you choose to date is an incredibly important decision, and can impact every area of your life in a (hopefully) positive way. There are no shortage of ways that my partner improves my life, but if our relationship was not healthy, I cannot imagine how draining it would be.
It is important to set up red flags of your own, as everyone has their own preference, but these are 10 of the potential warning signs that may emerge and impact the start of your relationship. If you see these traits displayed in your partner, you owe it to both of you to have an open and healthy conversation about it.
10 They're Possessive
There's nothing wrong with wanting your partner to feel like they want to spend time with you. However, make sure you are careful that you are not inviting someone into your life that becomes possessive of your time and activities. People that are possessive may start trying to make demands concerning what you do or who you see. If it continues for too long you may find yourself with a damaged sense of self and in an unhealthy relationship. It can be important to take things slow as relationships start out, and you need to make sure you are with someone that respects that.
9 They're Clingy
It is important that your partner has their own life too. Nobody can expect any one person to be their only source of entertainment. You have your right to your own free time, and you deserve to not feel bad about that. Someone that is clingy may leave you feeling like you can never give them enough attention. This can be different from being possessive, as they may not make demands of you, but instead try to guilt trip you or manipulate you into spending more time with them. A Clingy person will also come off as someone that is not a strong independent person, and this can lead to a relationship where your partner has unrealistic expectations of you.
8 They Hate Your Friends
My friends are incredibly important to me and have all been in my life for several years. As a result, it is always important that my partner gets along with my friends. They do not have to love them or become best friends, but they should respect that you love them and care for them. If your partner is constantly insulting your friends behind their back. If your partner is trying to eliminate your connection with your friends, you may also start being concerned that she is getting possessive. This may also make an uncomfortable situation in which you live with your partner but do not feel comfortable bringing friends over.
7 They Don't Have Friends/Outside Interests
There is nothing wrong with being introverted. Sometimes my favorite thing to do at the end of the day is to see absolutely nobody and rock out with some Netflix. That being said that it can be concerning if your partner has no outside friends. This may leave you being their only source of entertainment and that is unfair. It may also be concerning that only you like your partner and other people are driven away from them. They don't have friends? That's okay, but why? Is it because they're not a nice person or because they just don't value friendships?
6 They Are Inconsistent
Nobody likes someone who is not consistent when they say they're going to do something. It might seem like a small thing now when he doesn't show up to the movies, but it can set a dangerous pattern and is a big sign of disrespect. You want your partner to be someone that you can rely on, and if they're constantly flaking on you it may make you wonder why they want to spend time with you at all. If you stay in this kind of relationship for too long you may find yourself damaging your sense of self and forgetting what it is you deserve
5 How They Treat Others
Why would you want to be with someone that is mean to other people? How somebody treats others can provide insight into someone's sense of character. There is nothing more annoying as a friend than someone who insults others behind their back, especially when it is done towards people that you know. That quality is an ugly one to see in a person, but in a relationship, it can be even more concerning. If you know that your partner has so little respect for other people, then how do you know they are not insulting you behind your own back?
4 They Are Selfish
Relationships work because they are a team effort. One of the most evident ways that teamwork is tested is through open discussion with your partner. If your partner displays selfish behaviour, you may start to feel like they are not receptive to having open discussions or compromises. Someone who is selfish may also be dismissive of the partner's feelings in favor of their own, and as a result may make the relationship feel unequal. I will do anything I can if it means making my girlfriend's days easier, but I'm able to do that so easily because I know how much we love each other and that she would do the same for me.
3 They Got Attached Too Early On
The start of any new relationship can be exciting, but you must not rush into it. It can be very overwhelming if you feel like your partner is more invested than you. Even someone that was as cool as Ted Mosby blew it by dropping the love bomb on his date with Robin. You need to hope your partner has a realistic expectation of love, and that can include not expecting the relationship to start in a super serious place. Someone that gets attached too quickly may also display some of the other negative traits that have been mentioned such as clinginess.
2 You're Sexually Incompatible
Sexual chemistry is incredibly important to a healthy relationship. One of the first red flags you may come across in a relationship is sexual incompatibility. Sometimes you libidos do not match or you guys just do not have chemistry. That is made 10 times worse by a selfish lover. You deserve to feel loved and sexy, and someone that is lazy is not going to give off that impression. Do not let sex become a chore and definitely do not let it become something you do just for him/her. Why stay with someone who clearly care so little about your own sexual satisfaction in favor of their own?
1 They Have No Dating Experience
The age at which you start your first relationship can sometimes be out of your control. That being said, one of the most helpful things going forward in a relationship is to have previous experience. I am able to know what type of person I do and do not bond with due to some of my past relationships. It can also be intimidating to know that you may be the only person that your partner has ever loved. Sometimes someone with limited experience can make a great partner, but there are areas that can be concerning and are worth communicating.