Friday, June 14, 2024

What Are Red Flags In A Relationship? How To Deal With It?

Today we will discuss what a Red Flag is, and how as an individual we accept or reject a person depending on our interpretation of what a red flag is to us. 

Also, we will discuss how important it is to see the red flags in a relationship early on, and what kind of impact it will be on our relationship if we fail to recognize them early enough. 

Red Flags in a Relationship!

My personal red flags 

I thought it would be important to give you an example of my red flags so you’ll have some perspective. It’s good to compare in some instances, and this is one of them.

My red flags are: Drinking, smoking, swearing, abusive behavior, not willing to compromise, judging me, and wanting me to be different, just to name a few.

Whoa!…..before you jump all over me, let me elaborate in some detail on what I just said. Let’s start with drinking first. I don’t mind a few drinks here and there, but not drinking excessively. 

What does that mean? It means they have to be responsible when they decide to drink. If they’re driving, they need to know their drinking limit. Drinking can also lead to excessive flirting. 

If they have children, they need to be an example, and be responsible in case they get a call. Drinking to mask personal problems is a definite red flag. 

It should be an obvious sign of a red flag, however, maybe not so obvious when a person is desperate for a relationship because they don’t want to be alone. If you’re one of those people, the obvious signs will not be so obvious. More on that later.

I’m not judging alcoholics or anyone who drinks beyond knowing their capabilities and responsibilities.  However, this is not the kind of person I want in a relationship. In other words this in not a judgment of good or bad, right or wrong, it is my personal preference, and part of my value system. 


Well, I get a headache when people smoke, so that’s an easy one. Maybe the headaches are physiological, but smoking is an unquestionable red flag for me. So there is nothing more to say about smoking. 

One more thing before we go any further. I just want to clarify to you that red flags means to me that I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship with that particular person. 

A red flag to me may be perfectly acceptable to another person. For example, if you’re a smoker, then another smoker may work out just fine for you. To reiterate, it’s not about right or wrong, it’s about preferences. 


Oh I don’t mind swearing, however, saying F**K in every other sentence is not what I’m looking for. Personally, and this is just me, I feel when a lady swears just to swear, it is a very undesirable trait, not sexy at all. 

No judgment and I won’t think of that particular person as less than me. It is just not my preference in someone I’m looking for. 

Abusive behavior

Abusive behavior apparently has several definitions. Not that I think so, but some people see it differently than I do. People get conditioned to treating other people a certain way and they don’t question it. It gets to a point where they think it is normal to treat someone that way. 

I can write a book about this one subject. However, I will just mention one aspect of abuse that really triggers me. That would be abuse towards children and women. If I met someone and they hit, or swore at their kids………RED FLAG!!!! If they treated their kids with little respect, and they threatened their kids, that would be another red flag. 

I see parents in stores threating to leave their kids behind if they don’t listen. What? They don’t realize the consequences that has on a child when they grow up. I won’t get into it because my blood is at a boiling point just thinking about it. 

Not willing to compromise

In forming a new relationship of any kind we need to compromise in order to make things equal. It’s important for you to know that you should never, ever, compromise yourself. 

Don’t ever compromise your morals and value system. If you have strong religious beliefs, and those beliefs keep you grounded, don’t compromise them. That kind of compromise can be very dangerous to you. 

Here’s an example of compromising: “Sweetie, we had a date to go to dinner and now you want to go to the movies instead?” “Yes, please I wanted to see this movie, it’s important to me. Let’s go together and I’ll surprise you afterwards.” 

That’s an example of compromising, and looking forward to the surprise afterwards is a plus. You’re taking something away, and replacing it with something else….maybe better? Basically compromising is a two way street. We compromise, and the next time “they will compromise too”……and please don’t keep score. 

Sometimes we give into family matters and or events when we don’t want to, and sometimes family compromising can be challenging. For example, you might find it uncomfortable go over their parent’s house because you sense that the mother dislikes you. 

I understand that may be a good reason for not going. So what should you do? I can’t answer that question directly because every situation is different. 

There isn’t one answer that fits all. However, you will have to be creative (not sneaky) and work out a compromise where you’ll both benefit as in the compromising example above. 

When someone dislikes you in this instant, I feel you don’t have to make too much of an effort to go see them. But, if you don’t want to go because your mother in law smells like a used diaper, try to make the effort dude. 

Okay, where are we? Oh yeah, judging and wanting you to be different….these are big.

Judging and wanting the other person to be different

This is big, and one of the biggest destroyers of relationships. I believe judging and wanting you to change (be different) are both related. 

The opposite of judging and wanting you to be different is, “Accepting.” The Law of Allowing teaches this. I learned the Law or Allowing several years ago while I was going through my separation and then divorce.

An example of judging and wanting you to be different is: “I don’t think you should take dance lessons, you’re really not that good. Why don’t you try taking a computer class instead?”

Do you sense a bit of a “control” issue here? You bet you do. Judging you because he/she thinks you are not good enough at dancing? Who are they to tell you that? 

Don’t ever let anyone label or judge you. One person’s opinion of you doesn’t make them right. Have you watch the video of how Les Brown was labeled and judged as a young boy? He was labeled “Educable retarded” and he believed he was, until someone told him different. 

He did poorly in school, flunked 8th grade, never went to college, and never got a degree. He is now the third most popular motivational speaker in the US. I think he even dated Oprah. You can watch the video here.   Les Brown

Okay, so this person is judging you by telling you who you are (in their opinion, which means nothing) they are trying to control you by convincing you that they are right (they’re not) and they want you to change into that person they want you to be. 

Why? So they can be happy and satisfied? So they can feel in control, because their not in control of themselves? We didn’t come here to sell our souls so other people can be happy and feel satisfied through us.

This crap goes on in most families. Guess what? We then inherit this dysfunctional programing and pass it on to our kids and then display it in our relationships. The divorce rate as of this writing is over sixty percent. Most marriages and relationships can be preserved if we only knew how to act. 

Okay, done with ranting!   

What Is The Definition Of A Red Flag? 

Red flags are traits (yes there are bad traits too) and/or distinguishing characters that are not accommodating or flexible. That means they are behaviors that can cause great discomfort in your life. So, that said, you want to see the signs early before you get too deep into a relationship.

What Will Happen If You Don’t See The Signs?

I’ve talked to several women after their break-ups about how they did in fact see the early signs. They said they thought he would change, but he didn’t. Most people won’t change unless something drastic happens in their lives, e.g. accident, divorce, etc. 

So don’t count on them changing for the better. Besides, the older you get, the harder it is to change. Try to remember this, and the next time you sense a red flag, then you’ll know what to do.

Also, keep in mind when you meet someone they are on their best behavior. That’s why I have said in previous articles, it takes months to know a person. It’s not really a time factor in how long it takes to know someone. 

It is more of a balance between where you’re at in life, how well you’re aware of your true feelings, and when to act on those feelings. Where you’re at in life means: All that you have become, equals an energy value, and you’ll attract someone into your life that is close or equal to that value. 

Don’t worry; if you’re attracting undesirables, it is possible to change your energy value so you can attract more desirable people.

Being aware of your feelings means: Listening to your feelings when you sense a red flag for example, and then acting on that feeling. 

To reiterate, if you are desperate or lonely you won’t act on the signals, because you can’t see them? 

The problem seems to be not in noticing the signs, but in acting on them when you do see them. If you don’t act soon enough, the problem will grow into a bigger problem, and subsequently you’ll break it off anyway. 

Save yourself the pain, besides, there are millions of singles to choose from. You don’t have to settle for less. 


Here’s a good practice, lists all your red flags on a piece of paper. My list above should be a good starting point, and a good example on where to begin. List them in any order because red flags are definite no’s. 

There shouldn’t be any questions; your red flags shouldn’t change. If you do change or eliminate them, then they were never red flags to begin with. Red flags are UNCHANGEABLE!! They should be a main ingredient of your value system. So if you ignore you’re red flags, what does that say about your value system?

List only the deal breakers. Don’t list something like: If he doesn’t like strawberry cake, then that’s a red flag. Noooooooooooooooo……….that’s not a red flag.  

Don’t look for something that is inconsequential. This is a big mistake people make. They feel they have to find something, and in so doing they start to nit-pick. Don’t do that or you’ll never find anyone good enough.

A part of compromising is taking in some of the pet peeves and idiosyncrasies they may have. We all have something weird about us. Sometimes we’re anal (I don’t like that word) about something. No big deal, as long as the analisim (new word) isn’t controlling. 

Hopefully, from reading this article you’ll get better at identifying the red flags early enough. Then you won’t have to wait months to see the signs that were there all along. 

One last important thing, while people are on their best behavior for weeks or months, we tend to want to please. Pleasing is something that people do without noticing. 

We want to please the other person because of our insecurities and or we feel it’s what we’re supposed to do. The problem with that is eventually we stop pleasing, because it wears us out. Confusing sets in, and then all hell breaks loose.

Please read:

How To Say No And Mean It In A Relationship?

The Abusive Relationship Cycle

Relationships & Self Awareness

Narcissistic Abuse in Relationships