If Your Partner Does These 8 Things Early On, You Deserve Better
Dating someone new always feels great. But despite how good you feel about things, the early stages of your relationship are when you might want to be the most cautious. According to relationship experts, one of the biggest mistakes people make early on is ignoring the signs their partner isn't "The One."
"Often times in a relationship we tend to overlook the most telling of signs that the person is not right for us," relationship coaches, Diana and Todd Mitchem, tell Bustle. "But because we either see their 'potential' or we simply like other things about them at the time, we overlook some very telling things."
For example, if your new partner constantly forgets to call you when they say they will or they cancel plans last minute, this is an early sign that they might not be reliable long-term.
"When your partner habitually breaks promises or [their] actions fall short you will always be left with the unease of questioning their love," Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola, relationship experts and authors of How To Keep Your Marriage From Sucking, tell Bustle. "Someone who loves you in the way you deserve will act in a manner where it goes without question."
Unfortunately Behrendt and Ruotola say these red flags don’t usually show themselves (or you don’t usually recognize them) until the newness wears off. So if your partner does any of these things early on in your relationship, they may not be meant for you as much as you think.
1. They're Not Mindful Of Your Boundaries
Look out for your partner ignoring your boundaries, Registered Clinical Counsellor, Jordan Pickell, MCP, tells Bustle. This can show up in many different ways. For instance, if you're at a bar and you say you don't want another drink, they will buy it for you anyway. Early on in the relationship, it's important to set boundaries and enforce them. They shouldn't be pressuring you for physical intimacy or make you feel guilty when you're not in the mood. When you say you're uncomfortable with whatever it is, they should listen and be OK with it. "Your partner may not be meant for you if they don’t genuinely care for and respect you," Pickell says. Respecting your boundaries is one way your partner shows they're a keeper early on.
2. They Expect You To Always Be Available For Them
Early on in your relationship, spending a ton of time together happens naturally. Things are still new, so you're excited to be around your partner in order to solidify and progress the relationship into something more exclusive. But if your partner is too demanding of your time early on, Licensed Professional Counselor, Julie Williamson, tells Bustle, that's not the best sign. "This could mean that your new [significant other] is looking for you to feel a need for them, rather than being in a joint partnership where you give to each other," she says. "If they have unrealistic expectations or demand all of your time, especially at the beginning of the relationship, they may be showing signs of codependency or a personality disorder."
3. They Don't Treat You Like A Partner
Healthy relationships equal well-balanced partnerships. That means you're giving as much as you get, and you have equal say in what goes on in the relationship. As Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics, tells Bustle, this should be reflected early on in your relationship. "If your new date has no interest in it being a partnership, you'll know," Backe says. "It stands to reason that you may not receive what you need from this individual long-term."
4. They're Not Totally On Board With Things You Find Important
As soon as you find yourself in this type of conversation and your partner starts dropping shade on your spiritual beliefs, that's a huge red flag that they don't deserve you, Bernard Charles, relationship coach and author, tells Bustle. "My ex-boyfriend laughed at me whenever I pulled out my oracle cards to consult them," Charles says. "This is my daily ritual, but he wasn't on the same level as me. Now I guide my clients and friends to avoid [this] by picking people that genuinely have the same spiritual beliefs." If you and your partner don't share the same religious beliefs or politics, you can still have a healthy relationship if you're both respectful and understanding.
5. They've Told You They're Not Good Enough For You
Sometimes people will throw the "not good enough for you" line in an effort to break things off in a nice way. But in some cases, they might actually mean it. "People who don’t like themselves very much may have difficulty extending love to others," Backe says. According to him, this could be a potential issue for a couple of reasons. They may have trouble letting you in and will keep you at a distance, or they might become dependent on you in an unhealthy way. Talking through it together can help you figure out why your partner feels this way and what needs to be done in order for them to feel more secure in the relationship.
6. They Make A Ton Of Excuses Or Put The Blame On You
Your partner may not be the one for you if they don't accept responsibility for their own actions. "They'll somehow twist their words to always make it your fault," relationship therapist, Alisha Powell, PhD, LCSW, tells Bustle. "They may even have a hard time dealing with conflict and tend to blow up or shut down when talking about a difficult topic." The only real way to fix any problems in the relationship is to communicate. But if your partner doesn't know how to properly communicate in a healthy adult relationship, that's something that really needs to be worked on if you want your relationship to last.
7. They "Jokingly" Make Fun Of You In Public
Respect is super important to have if you want your relationship to work. "This is demonstrated by kindness and defending the partner, not slamming them, even jokingly, in public," the Mitchems tell Bustle. "We see this often when a partner makes fun of their new [significant other] in front of other people." To them, this is a sign of dominance and disrespect. Some couples may playfully make digs at each other as part of their dynamic. But according to the Mitchems, that's something you should try to avoid. You never know when something you say might be hurtful to your partner. If they say something that rubs you the wrong way, bring it up right away. "If you do confront a new dating partner about how they demonstrate disrespect and they react defensively, the relationship may in trouble early on," they say.
8. They Don't Make You A Priority
New relationships should be filled with excitement and joy. You should be making plans in order to see each other as often as you can. "When a person you are starting a relationship with puts others or other priorities before your new love this may be a time to be cautious," the Mitchems says. "If you are two weeks into a relationship and the partner either leaves your home saying they feel 'overwhelmed' or they simply don't make you the priority, be careful. You could be fighting for affection later."
If your partner does any of the above early on in your relationship, it may or may not be worth sticking out depending on what they do. For instance, if their behavior is manipulative, mean, or controlling in any way, it may be in your best interest to move on. But if they fail to make you a priority or keep you at an emotional distance, these things can be worked out through open and honest communication. Every relationship is different. But red flags are red flags for a reason. As Pickell says, trust your gut. Only you can decide whether this new relationship is right for you or not.