Imagine if we could bottle that feeling that comes with dating someone new— the thrill, the excitement, the flutters and tingles. The nonstop thoughts about that person. The heart flutters that start up every time our phone makes a sound. What a drug that would be.
But beware: In the midst of that “lust high,” we often miss the red flags telling us this person is not a good fit for us. Here are 11 red flags we ignore when we’re blinded by banter and wine buzzes:
1. They refer to their ex as “crazy.”
It could very well be that their ex was “crazy.” But it could also be that they caused the “crazy” by being constantly invalidating. Think about it: People oftentimes feel “crazy” when they are unsupported in any environment, whether it be in the workplace, at school, or in a relationship. This causes them to feel anger, shame, frustration, guilt, confusion, powerlessness, and defeat — all of which can result in irrational behavior.
2. They have no ex… at all.
Don’t get me wrong: Many stable, high-functioning, emotionally intelligent individuals are lifelong bachelors or bachelorettes. A person with a lot of self-worth and independence may be especially selective and intentional about getting into a relationship. Other times, though, an empty relationship history can be a sign of attachment or commitment issues.
3. You feel as though you’re in a hard-core porno every time you’re in bed with them.
If you find yourself wondering we there’s a hidden camera somewhere, it could be a sign your partner sees you as a sexual object. Though mixing things up or getting freaky in bed is generally totally healthy, if you’re sex is strictly porn-star it could translate to a lack of respect outside the sack. On that topic, feeling pressured or guilt-tripped into having sex is another serious red flag.
4. They either have no friends or are hesitant to introduce you to them.
Having very few (or no) friends doesn’t necessarily mean the person you’re dating is a weirdo. But it’s important to understand why that’s the case. Maybe they’re new to town? Did a recent depression cause them to avoid people for a while? Are they obsessed with work? Alternatively, if your new date mentions his or her friends but seems reluctant to introduce them, it could be a sign that person doesn’t see a real future with you.
5. They seem totally perfect.
Most people put their best foot forward in a relationship — that’s not a red flag. But if you haven’t seen a hair out of place or heard an embarrassing story after several dates, it could be a sign that person isn’t being authentic with you. Authenticity and vulnerability are necessary for intimacy, so it will be challenging to deepen your attachment (and your relationship) if they keep up the veneer.
6. You feel insecure around them.
Do you feel inferior? Anxious? Judged? Afraid to disagree for fear of being wrong? A healthy relationship is one in which both people know they can make mistakes and say silly things without feeling criticized. It’s built on a foundation of unconditional love and respect. That said, healthy levels of nervousness and excitement are normal in the beginning stages of a relationship, so try to tune in to what you’re really feeling.
7. They evade questions.
It’s natural for some people to be selective about what they share initially, but if several dates pass by and you still know nothing about their work, family, or last decade, you might be on the path to a seriously unhealthy relationship.
8. You start feeling “crazy.”
As mentioned in #1, feeling “crazy” is generally a natural reaction to being consistently invalidated, undermined, and neglected. If your partner tells you one thing one day and another the next, or questions the validity of your feelings, it might be time to hit the road.
9. You start out being angry with them, yet you end up apologizing and are not sure how it happened.
If this is a common occurrence, you might be setting yourself up for a lifetime of disempowerment and silencing by your partner.
10. They’ve cheated on a past partner.
The jury’s out on whether “Once a cheater, always a cheater” has any basis, but we can agree that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. If your honey has cheated in the past, ask them what they learned from the experience. What makes them confident they won’t do it again? What makes your relationship different? If they can’t answer these questions, it’s a huge red flag.
11. They move REALLY fast.
It’s totes flattering to have someone fall hard for you, but if they’re dropping L-bombs, alluding to moving in together, and bringing you home to meet the parents in the first couple of weeks, it’s probably not the first time they’ve fallen this hard. A pattern such as this is usually the result of an attachment issue that’s best worked through with a therapist.
Many healthy relationships have one or two of these red flags, so don’t take off in the other direction just yet! Do make note of them, though, and consider bringing your concerns up with your partner. Their response might help determine whether or not you invest further or hit the road.