Remember when you first started dating? You’d get butterflies, you’d fuss over what you’d wear and constantly drop their name in conversation, even when it wasn’t relevant. We hate to break it to you, but the rosy, honeymoon-dating phase doesn’t last forever. And that’s totally normal.
Every partner has their harmless but annoying habits or traits. They might take too many selfies, leave the bathroom in a state, eat off your plate or occasionally have one too many drinks. It’s all about navigating through your smaller issues before they snowball.
But then there are the red flags. The issues that, on their own, might not seem earth-shattering but are life’s way of alerting you that something major isn’t right. These little clues can add up to big trouble if they go unaddressed in your relationship. They might even spell doom for the partnership.
Here are seven relationship red flags you might be missing:
1. They describe all their exes as crazy
So he says he has a “crazy ex-girlfriend”? First of all, what does that even mean? Is “crazy” just a way of dismissing their insecurities or emotions? You need to question why he is using this word, if there’s two sides to the story and if he’d jump to the assumption that you’re “crazy’ if (or when) things don’t pan out. If they’re ALL “crazy” and he’s the common denominator, what does that say about him?
2. Their actions don’t match their words
It’s disappointing when someone says one thing and does another. Relationships rely on give and take, compromises, honesty and transparency. When someone fails to follow through after constantly promising they’ll change, or that you’ll meet their family, or that they won’t lose their temper, actions can speak louder than words. The biggest red flag of all is when they say that they’re madly in love with you and seem incapable of showing it.
3. They lack communication skills and go into shutdown mode
Communication is one of the keys to any successful relationship, helping you to put problems behind you so that you can forgive, forget and move on. If your partner struggles to tell you what’s happening in his or her life, they shut down when the going gets tough (for either them or you), or it feels like you’re talking to a brick wall whenever sh*t hits the fan, it can have a heavy impact on your own emotional state.
4. They subtly (or blatantly) put you down
As kids, we’re taught that if someone teases us, they like us. “Treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen.” But there’s nothing remotely admirable or desirable about constantly being bulldozed by a partner. If your partner continually criticizes you or calls you disrespectful names, that’s NOT OK. And if he or she says, “You’re too sensitive,” or “You can’t take a joke,” when you stand up for yourself, it’s time to back away – you deserve better than this.
5. They don’t include you in their world
When your partner doesn’t willingly give up details about their last relationship or want you to meet the parents after the first few dates, that’s understandable. Seven months on? Not so much. If they constantly deflect or avoid personal questions and keep putting off introductions to their friends and family, ask yourself if you really know this person and why they don’t want to invite you into their world.
6. They never say they’re sorry
Arguments are a normal part of any relationship. No matter what the issue, the most important thing is finding an amicable solution and a way to move on. Admitting a fault is a great determination of character and if your partner isn’t capable of owning their actions, don’t put it down to them being “just stubborn” or “strong-willed”. You’re only setting yourself up to cop the blame for everything throughout your relationship. And yes, Beibs, sometimes it is too late to say sorry.
7. You NEVER have sex
The amount of sex you have two years into your relationship will probably be wildly different to when you first got together. If you’re both big fans of physical intimacy and that suddenly halts completely, be on the lookout. You could be going to bed at different times on purpose to avoid the act, or not even talking about the physical aspects of your relationship anymore – whatever the case, actively forgoing sex could be a major red flag that certain feelings of intimacy are beginning to fade.
Channel Seven’s new series, Seven Year Switch, features four couples on the brink of separation. In an attempt to save their marriages, they embark on a daring new social experiment with the help of relationship psychologists. View the trailer below.
Seven Year Switch begins Tuesday, March 15 at 9pm