When it comes to relationships, you can’t see red flags if you have on rose-tinted glasses. You have to be honest with yourself and know when to bring out the scissors and do some snipping. There’s no need to pressure yourself into staying in a relationship for the “look” of it or any other silly benefit you can conjure up. A relationship needs to bring positivity to your life. If your partner is doing anything other than that, it’s time to let them go.
We talked to relationship expert and author Shauntay Dunbar about red flags that may indicate it’s time to cut a partner out of your life, at least romantically. If anything on this list looks familiar, you know what to do, sis.
1. You’re purposely avoiding seeing your significant other.
Though it’s great to have separate lives and spend time away from each other, you probably shouldn’t get in the habit of creating excuses/making yourself busy just to avoid seeing your partner. This often indicates that something is wrong, or that you’ve mentally checked out of the relationship. If the reverse is happening and you’re the one being avoided, the same logic applies. “People make time for the things they really want to do,” Dunbar said. “If this person is not making time…just for you, then clearly the interest is not there.”
2. Your partner is ignoring your boundaries.
Dunbar believes that some people who ignore others’ boundaries think those boundaries are flexible. During our conversation she said, “They don’t respect your choices. [Your] boundaries are like a challenge to them…It’s up to you to put your foot down and walk away from people like that.”
If you tell the person you’re dating that you’re not interested in sex, but they continue to bring it up, they’re disrespecting you. Your boundaries exist for a reason and you shouldn’t even think about altering them for anyone.
3. Issues fester without being handled.
A major part of emotional maturity is being able to discuss and tackle problems head on. It’s not always a super exciting process, but it’s necessary for a healthy relationship. If your relationship has a bunch of small, but obvious, problems that aren’t being addressed, then it may be time to head out. Dunbar added that the manageable issues could manifest into something bigger. You don’t want to be a part of a team that sets that kind of precedent.
4. You can’t be around each other without arguing.
Having disagreements is totally fine. But it’s not okay if it gets to the point that you all can’t spend time together without it becoming a war of words. Especially if you’re starting to argue for the sake of arguing! You deserve peace of mind when you’re in the presence of someone you care for.
“In the early stage, everything is great and fun,” Dunbar said. “You should be laughing, enjoying each other’s company, and getting to know each other. If you’re with someone and every time you’re about to hang out, you [have to] take a deep breath, that is not the person for you.”
5. You’re encouraged to isolate yourself.
This is one of the biggest red flags of all. Your partner should not be the only person that you spend time with. This is a control tactic that may lead to some sort of abuse. Please don’t let healthy relationships with friends and family die out because your partner wants all of your attention. Dunbar agreed, adding, “[This is] a problem!” “They want you to think that they’re the only person that’s there for you or they’re the only person that’s going to love you that way.”