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Relationship red flags: Signs that your relationship is in trouble

Updated on June 6, 2011
Relationship problems
Relationship problems | Source

The importance of detecting red flags in your relationship

The quality of a relationship usually determines the frequency of your good times and how easily you can cope with the bad ones. In long-term relationships, there would be several problems to iron out from time to time. After all, obstacles and conflict are natural. However, there are some signals when a relationship deteriorates into an unhealthy liaison. Missing any one of the red flags in your relationship would not be good for you or your relationship in the long run.

1. Dishonesty

Sometimes persons are dishonest to protect themselves or out of fair of being judged. On the other hand, dishonesty is usually an attempt to deceive. It contradicts one pillar of relationships – trust. Regular dishonesty – even on apparently trivial matters – may significantly undermine trust in a relationship. You know your relationship is in trouble if you do not have confidence in your partner’s words or actions.

2. Abuse

Abuse can manifest itself in various ways. It does not matter if the nature of abuse is verbal, emotional physical or sexual abuse; it is more than a red flag – more like a neon sign that all is not well. Verbal and emotional abuse can be addressed through therapy, but it often happens that the factors that spur them translate to other forms of abuse. Abuse not only weakens and distorts relationship bonds, but it replaces it with fear, distrust and other negative emotions. It is a very obvious red flag, but its precursors – possessiveness, jealousy and sadism – are also worrisome indicators.

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3. Communication problems

In a wholesome relationship, communication should occur frequently and past a superficial level. Indeed, true intimacy is facilitated by communication involving shared personal thoughts and feelings. In Robert Sternberg's triangular love theory, blind love (passion and commitment without intimacy) or empty love (commitment without passion or intimacy) is the direct result of low intimacy. Eventually, the two persons would drift apart, but the emotional disconnect happens slowly.

4. A negative change in your partner's behaviour

Often, when persons are unfaithful, their partners might be able to detect a significant change in behaviour – although they might shrug it off. Whether the negative changes are sudden or gradual, they are not a good omen. A negative change in increases the “disconnect” between partners. In some cases, it is a sign of disenchantment, dissatisfaction or even guilt. Whatever the cause or consequence of negative behaviour, it is a red flag flown at full mast.


5. The roving eye

Although some persons can’t resist eye candy, the more satisfied you are with your current relationship, the easier it will be to resist it. If you find that other persons get your partner's attention all too easily, something might be amiss. Some persons are just flirts, but stream run into rivers and rivers into seas; it could easily morph into infidelity at some level.

What if your relationship has a few blazing red flags? The good news is that not all red flags spell doom for your relationship. Indeed, there are few problems that are too insurmountable for relationship help. Early detection and treatment can eliminate them and preserve your well-being.

How many red flags does your relationship have?

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  • SpiffyD profile image

    SpiffyD 5 years ago from The Caribbean

    Don't mean to boast, but it's cold when it's about 22 degrees Celsius (78 F) down here! :)

  • Theresa_Kennedy profile image

    Theresa Kennedy 5 years ago from Minnesota

    I see you are posting from The this time of year in the frigid North (today the windchill is -52 degrees Celsius, BRRRR!), I sure wouldn't mind writing from one of those tropical locations!

  • SpiffyD profile image

    SpiffyD 5 years ago from The Caribbean

    Thanks for the read and comment Theresa. Of course I don't mind. I look forward to reading a few of yours as well!

  • Theresa_Kennedy profile image

    Theresa Kennedy 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Very honest and to the point. I'm sure you won't mind that I'm linking to this from one of my hubs?

  • SpiffyD profile image

    SpiffyD 6 years ago from The Caribbean

    Thanks Jlava. I hope to read some of your hubs as well.

  • Jlava73 profile image

    Jennifer Vasconcelos 6 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

    Good Article! You provide some great insights. :)