It doesn't matter how cynical you think you are. In those early, intoxicating days of a new relationship, you're not likely to pick up on dating red flags, even if they're waving directly in your face, snapping merrily in the breeze of the impending storm. In fact, you might see them as desirable qualities. He wants to know your social media passwords because he just loves pranking people. She stood you up because she's too capricious and whimsical to keep a calendar. He hasn't introduced you to a single family member because he wants to keep you all to himself. These would be warning signs to anyone outside the relationship, but infatuation does funny things to the human brain.
To be fair, people turn a blind eye to their partner's less-than-ideal qualities all the time. Psychologists even suggest that this can be an integral part of a long-term relationship; a 2013 report found that people who trust their partners tend to view past transgressions in a more forgiving light than those who trust their partners less. As Robertson Davies put it, "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." If you really think your partner is a blessing upon this world, it's going to take a lot to change your mind.
But sometimes, this means that relationship warning signs go over your head, especially in a new relationship. The good news, though, is that friends and family are still on the lookout — and a recent Ask Reddit thread shows just how closely they keep an eye on things. On Wednesday, Reddit user u/Nameshavebeenaltered asked, "What made you realise [sic] there was something off about your friend's SO?"
Boy, did Reddit respond. Half a day and more than 6,000 comments later, the thread was filled with dating horror stories from an outside perspective: a friend's girlfriend with a penchant for threats, less-than-charming husbands that turn out to be bonkers, and so on. You can head over to the thread on Reddit to check out the comments for yourself, but the highlights can be found below.