Deal breakers and red flags can show up at any point during your relationship. Knowing what to look out for can help you evaluate whether your current relationship is the healthiest fit for you.
For some, the choice to break up may seem obvious. Maybe your partner cheated on you, or you're no longer getting along, and maybe you're not in love with them anymore. But sometimes breaking up doesn't seem like the right choice, so it's important to think about your own personal deal breakers so you can make an informed decision.
Disagreements About Finances
In the beginning of a relationship, financial disagreements may not come up often, but they are definitely something to look out for if you are planning on committing to this person down the line. Disagreements about finances tend to bubble up for couples early on in their relationship and continue to increase in frequency especially after they have decided to get married or have committed exclusively to each other. To avoid conflicts with your partner, be sure that your ideas around financial spending and saving are aligned.
Your Thoughts on Marriage
Some people are adamant about marriage. If you and your partner disagree about marriage and neither of you is willing to compromise, it is best to find out as early as possible. This way you can decide if you'd like to continue seeing your partner, or if you should move on to someone whose marital notions match yours.
Disagreeing About Children
Raising a child is a huge lifetime commitment, and it's critical that both partners agree on whether they'd like to have children, how many they'd like to have, and when they would like to do so. It's also important to discuss scenarios where one or both partners change their minds about how many children they'd like to have. Ideally, it's best to find out your partner's thoughts regarding children if you are considering becoming serious with them.
If you are close with your family and trust their opinions, it may be important to you that they accept your partner. Before taking your family's opinion about your partner to heart consider if your family members are healthy individuals in stable relationships. If your family does not like your partner, discuss with them why. They may be noticing some red flags that you've missed. Either way, it is up to you to make the best decision for you.
Although having a difference of opinion when it comes to life decisions can be challenging, red flags are incredibly serious and potentially dangerous traits to note before committing to anyone. Your wellness, safety, and happiness should never be taken lightly when it comes to relationships.
Abusive behavior includes any physical, mental, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse and should not be tolerated whatsoever. Typically perpetrators of abuse enter into relationships as charming, sociable individuals. They will, however, show subtle slip-ups in their behavior prior to escalating to more dangerous abuse. Look out for:
- Inappropriate jokes centered on themes like harm, pain, death, and objectification
- Manipulative behavior like testing your loyalty, trying to get you to change your opinions and thoughts, and finding ways to make you prove how much you like them
- Gas-lighting means intentionally making you believe that something that occurred didn't happen (ex: telling you that you lost your keys when your partner actually hid them - otherwise known as crazy-making)
- Isolating you from important people in your life slowly over time, or turning you against people who really care about you
It can be really challenging to have a fulfilling relationship with someone who seriously lacks insight. People who lack insight have a really hard time understanding how their behavior impacts others and find it challenging to take responsibility for their actions. It can feel like being in a relationship with a toddler, and it can be incredibly frustrating to be their partner.
People with low empathy find it very challenging to understand other people's perspective. If you have a disagreement with someone with low empathy, they may lash out, disregard your feelings, and make you feel like your emotions are invalid. Learning about empathy early on can prevent you from getting in too deep with someone who is unable to understand your emotional perspective.
Listening to Your Gut
When it comes to your relationship, you ultimately have to decide if it's the right choice for you. Keep in mind your own deal breakers and look out for red flags. Remember you deserve to be in a healthy, loving relationship with a respectful partner.