7 Warning Signs of a Bad Relationship

Relationship red flags are all of those things that you know aren’t right about your partner or relationship, that in hindsight are always so clear, that you push away or choose to ignore.

It’s those things that you say to yourself later, “I should have seen that coming” or “now it all makes sense”.

But in the moment, in a relationship that you care about maintaining, we often miss the warnings. The red flags could be waving in your face, and you still might not see them. Maybe, you just need to know what to look out for in order to trust yourself and your intuition a bit more.

7 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore:

  1. You do not feel secure in your relationship. You are always wondering what the status of the relationship is, as your partner never fully communicates to you where you stand.
  2. You are working really, really hard all of the time to make it work. True, relationships are hard work, but if you feel it’s a lot of work simply to ensure the security of the relationship, then the foundation has already crumbled, or was never there in the first place.
  3. Your family and friends don’t like your partner. If it is just one or two people who don’t like him, you can ignore them. But if the majority of your friends and family dislike him, they might actually have a good reason. They probably see a red flag that is invisible to you.
  4. Your partner is spending less and less time with you, and then says something about a movie you never saw or restaurant you never dined in together. When you question it, he tells an elaborate story to cover up. No, you are not crazy. He went with someone else.
  5. He is always apologizing for something. While it is noble to apologize when you’ve done something wrong, he shouldn’t be doing THAT many things wrong. If he’s always sorry, it means he does whatever he wants without any concern for you, and knows that he can simply apologize afterwards. He can only do this if you accept it.
  6. He tells you things about his past, which concern you, if even just for a fleeting moment. The kinds of things that you know a good person doesn’t do. You find yourself wondering, “Who is this person?” Past behaviors can tell you a lot about a person.
  7. You are having dreams about breaking up, running away, your partner cheating on you, or you cheating on him. It’s a lot easier to laugh it off than to consider that your intuition is usually right and maybe you should trust it.

Obviously, noticing red flags is easier said than done.

Love really does make us blind, deaf, and mute.

Our minds can play tricks on us, often making us doubt reality. So listen to your gut feelings instead of pushing them away. Ask yourself “what is (this feeling) trying to tell me?” And maybe, just maybe, you will save yourself from a lot of pain.

Be aware of relationship red flags.

Lori Freson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Southern California. She has been working in the mental health field since 1997, and has been a licensed therapist since 2002. Lori currently works in her own thriving private practice in Encino and Sherman Oaks, where she serves the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles areas. Contact Lori at or call/text 818-514-LMFT


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