Red Flags In Relationships: Signs To Stay Away

Seeing red flags in a relationship can save you time and anguish. Listening to these subtle clues can help you avoid mistakes and people who will continue to drain you emotionally.

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The Red Flags To Look For

Often you can see that something isn’t quite right from the start. Intuition or a “gut feeling” is there to tell you things need to change — or that you should walk away from the relationship. So, what are the red flags in a relationship?

Lack of Communication

If one partner avoids discussing important topics or feelings, it can lead to misunderstandings and resentment.

Control and Manipulation

When one partner tries to control or manipulate the other’s behaviour, it can indicate an imbalance of power and a lack of respect.


Any form of disrespect, such as name-calling, belittling, or mocking, is harmful to the relationship and undermines mutual trust and affection.

Jealousy and Possessiveness

Excessive jealousy or possessiveness can signal insecurity and distrust, creating tension and insecurity in the relationship.


If a partner tries to isolate you from friends, family, or social activities, it may be a sign of controlling behaviour and potential abuse.


Lying or withholding information erodes trust and can damage the foundation of the relationship.

Lack of Accountability

Partners should take responsibility for their actions and apologize when they hurt each other. Avoiding accountability indicates a lack of maturity and respect.

Constant Conflict

While conflict is normal in relationships, constant arguing or unresolved issues may indicate deeper compatibility issues or communication problems.

Unresolved Issues from Past Relationships

If a partner constantly brings up past relationship problems or compares you unfavourably to their exes, it may indicate unresolved emotional baggage.

Ignoring Boundaries

Disregarding your boundaries or pressuring you to do things you’re uncomfortable with is a major red flag and can lead to coercion or abuse.

Blaming and Deflecting Responsibility

Constantly blaming you for problems in the relationship or deflecting responsibility for their actions onto you is a sign of emotional immaturity and lack of accountability.


Gaslighting involves manipulating someone into questioning their own reality or sanity. It can involve denying things that happened, trivializing your feelings, or making you doubt your perceptions.

Emotional Unavailability

If a partner constantly shuts down emotionally or avoids discussing deeper feelings, it may indicate a lack of emotional maturity or investment in the relationship.

Financial Control

Controlling or restricting access to money and resources can be a form of abuse and can leave you feeling dependent and powerless.


Partners who refuse to compromise or adapt to changing circumstances can create tension and resentment in the relationship.

Secretive Behavior

Keeping secrets or being overly secretive about their activities and interactions with others can erode trust and indicate potential infidelity or dishonesty.

Disregard for Your Well-being

A partner who consistently disregards your physical or emotional well-being, such as by ignoring your needs or boundaries, is not acting in your best interest.

Constant Criticism

Criticism, especially when it’s unwarranted or excessively harsh, can chip away at your self-esteem and lead to feelings of inadequacy.

Pattern of Unhealthy Relationships

If your partner has a history of toxic or abusive relationships, it’s important to consider whether similar patterns are emerging in your relationship.

Feeling Drained or Exhausted

If being around your partner leaves you feeling drained, exhausted, or emotionally depleted, it may be a sign that the relationship is unhealthy and unsustainable.

If you have experienced, or are at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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