The Relationship Red Flags People Regret Overlooking, Because Your Cat's Disapproval Is A Bad Sign
Sometimes, you have to learn things the hard way. And then learn them again and again before they really sink in. One of the things that tends to work this way is identifying red flags in relationships. When we really want something to work, it turns out, we'll forgive people for a lot.
There are some signs of a potentially unhealthy relationship that just should not be overlooked, though. Sure, people can change, but if you get into a relationship with someone, it should be because they're the kind of person you want to date — not because they may one day be.
Even when you know that, though, the question remains as to whether an issue should really be a deal-breaker or whether it's something you can compromise on. One way to make that call is to find out what happened to other people in the same situation: Did things eventually resolve, or did matters only get worse?
So, I asked people what early warning signs they regret overlooking in relationships. If you notice any of them, you might want to consider talking to your partner and reconsidering the relationships. At their best, they could foreshadow an eventual breakup, and at their worst, they could be signs of abuse.
1. Keeping Secrets
"An ex's unwillingness to unpack a particular box of his when we moved in together. Turned out it contained items from his childhood and it was too painful for him to face them." —Portia, 36
"Constant unavailability. If someone isn't able to see or spend time with me consistently on a regular basis, the relationship is doomed from the start." —Erin, 22
3. Refusal To Apologize
"He would always say 'I'm sorry you feel that way' instead of 'I'm sorry I hurt you,' even when he was clearly at fault and I was sobbing because he'd lied, done something disrespectful, etc." —Ana, 25
"His inability and utter lack of desire to get a job [and] his regular pot smoking (which I am not against unless it's done 24/7)." —Ashley, 28
"People who expect that I should respond to texts or IM right away, making me feel like I'm always on-call, and making me feel guilty for not letting them know if I'm not going to be available. Also, people who try to have full/intense conversations via IM or text." —Eliza, 36
6. A Criminal Record
"When he was drunk, three weeks into dating, he told me he robbed a bank in college. I thought it was cool/quirky at the time, but he ended up lying and cheating on me. I should've bounced at soon as he confessed his crazy crime!" —Susie, 35
7. Badmouthing Exes
"Referring to his ex as 'crazy.' Big surprise, it wasn't long until I was also dubbed 'crazy.' He was abusive and gaslit like nobody's business. In general, I've learned, stable folks will speak positively about their exes or point out a specific deal-breaker that ended the relationship." —Lauren, 33
8. Your Cat's Disapproval
"My cat leaving the room when my ex entered." —Abbie, 59
"On the fourth date, he asked me to be his girlfriend (we were 22), and I thought it was childish. He seemed so sweet that I couldn't say no. I should have said no." —Hannah, 25
"When we first met, he didn't know how to cook and ate dinner at his mom's house almost every night." —JP, 42
Obviously, your deal-breakers may differ from others'. But since these people figured out what not to put up with the hard way, you'd might as well learn the easy way and consider their input.