Brace yourself for some real-life examples, excellent movie references and a wisdom-filled blog that is longer than the constitution of India are coming your way.
1. Lack of respect for other people
If you have not watched Lage Raho Munna Bhai yet, I suggest you promptly do so. The series is one of the best in Bollywood although not entirely original. But my objective is not to promote the film. One thing that I learnt from that film is what remains to be probably the greatest lessons in life, which is if you want to judge a person’s character, you ought to observe how they treat their inferiors. No human being with a good upbringing would ever treat someone of lower social or economic status than theirs with disrespect or mock their state.
Now, you would ask what an individual’s upbringing got to do with your relationship? Well, it has a direct relation. People with a good upbringing, high moral values and positive principles in life (no matter how they have gained them) tend to have a better outlook on relationships and life. They have a mature perspective on these matters. Also, if they are not making fun of the weaker, you can count on them to never foul-mouth about you behind your back even if things don’t work out because they know better than to do that.
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2. Not agreeing on the same relationship status
Not that anybody keeps a check on anybody’s relationship status on Facebook anymore, but you and your partner should both agree on the same status. If you feel your relationship status is ‘committed’ and they are not entirely sure of it and prefer to keep it ‘open,’ you may be looking at a red flag there. Of course, it is a completely different subject if you are both willing to negotiate through logical reasoning. However, even after six months of dating, if you are both not just on a different page but in a different book entirely, you should reconsider the future of your relationship.
When both the partners are not on the same page, it is difficult to understand what kind of treatment you should be giving to a certain situation. For instance, if your partner is faced with a family issue that requires you to give them a piece of advice, you should be clear of your position in their life. If they don’t see you as a serious partner, your advice may not be taken the way you intended it to be. But if they see you as someone who holds a lot of importance in their life, your advice may not go unheard.
3. Never apologizing for their mistakes
A major red flag. An enormous, huge, massive red flag. If you see this, run for your life. Because there is no way, your relationship is going to turn out to be even slightly amazing. There are three kinds of people in this world. First – who never apologise for their mistake; second – who apologise easily when they realise their mistake; and lastly third – who apologise only to those who matter to them.
You should be with either the second or the third but never with the first kind simply because these are the people who don’t value anyone enough to say a simple sorry. They have a very messed up priority list. For them, their ego is greater than any relationship in their life, and that is a red flag that you should always be careful of. Ego is one of those things that ruin relationships, and there is no need for me to tell you this because you already know it.
Being with someone who finds it difficult to apologise for their mistakes means volunteering yourself to be disappointed forever because they would never admit to their faults, and all the mistakes made in the relationship would somehow end up being yours. Hence, if you are planning to be with someone like this, prepare to bid adieu to a guilt-free life.
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4. Asking for account passwords
Being a millennial, I am happy to declare that I have witnessed relationships in both the pre-tech and post-tech eras. And in my opinion, the former was much less complicated, if not easy. Reason? There were fewer things to hide and the resources for stalking someone were limited. Honestly, I have never understood the reason behind asking someone for their account passwords unless you have a piece of concrete evidence that supports your suspicion. Otherwise, it is all in vain, not to mention a blatant invasion of someone’s privacy.
Simply put, no matter how ‘do jism, ek jaan’ kind of couple you are, nothing gives you the right to interrogate someone and ask them for their passwords. And the fact that some people think it is acceptable because it is ‘cute’ is something that I can never come to terms with. You are a red flag if you are asking your part for their account passwords. And if they are asking you for your passwords, they are a red flag. In either case, it is wrong.
5. Confining you to one territory
I give a lot of movie examples in my blogs, and this next one is my favourite by far. While the subheading itself seems quite negative, the following example is even more hard-hitting.
We can all agree that we are made for one special purpose, right? But some people are made for more. They are made to have more than one purpose in life. So, their creativity should be allowed to flow through them without limiting their potential. If you have watched English Vinglish, this will make perfect sense to you. Do you remember how Sashi feels really small when her husband, Satish, compliments her cooking by saying, “My wife was made for making ladoos?”
This does not seem like a problem unless you think about it this way. Satish was confining her to one territory even while complimenting her. Since Sashi always felt incomplete and aloof in her well-educated family, Satish publicly defining her life’s purpose on her behalf made her think that this is it for her. That she would never have more in life and that there will always be a hollow in her. And that is why she does not accept the compliment that she is given.
Why it works for Sashi, in the end, is because Satish was unaware of how she felt, so it was an honest mistake. He immediately corrected himself upon realisation. And that is how it should be. You don’t need to leave your partner if they are willing to make amends. But it is a big red flag if you feel that your partner is curbing your potential. And you should probably reconsider your decision about being with them.
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6. Repeated victimisation of self
Personally, I enjoy this kind of people. The drama that they can form around them is fun to watch. But I also realise what it would be like for someone who is stuck with a partner who loves to victimise themselves just to get away with things. Safe to say, it is all an act to draw attention. So, how can you spot out if someone is victimising themselves? You are likely to notice these –
- Every time you point out something they have caused, they would say “Yes, I am responsible for it. Are you happy now?” really loudly, which would make you feel guilty for pushing them.
- All your fights would end with them saying, “I agree that I am the worst human being on this planet.”
- They would also say other things like “I never do anything for you, right?” or “I am a horrible person.”
- You would often find them locking themselves in a room pretending to be hurt when in reality, they don’t have any more defences left, and they need a timeout.
- Your social media would flood with “the saddest people smile the most” posts.
- And lastly, their Brahmastra – you would find them overcompensating by posting about humanity and acknowledging the crimes committed against animals.
And the award for Best Drama in Real Life goes to… *drum roll*
7. Talking about exes with utter disgrace
If you see your partner chattering about their exes negatively and portraying them as Satan’s mistresses know better than to laugh it off. Having two or three bad relationships in your life is possible. However, when your partner’s past relationships begin to look darker than the black hole, there is a high possibility that there is something fishy about it. Maybe the problem is with them. And because your partner can’t accept their own mistakes, they are projecting them on their exes. Also, if they are talking bad about their exes in front of you, there is a 99.99% chance that you would be next.
8. Showing intense commitment right from the beginning
Call it a gift or serious pessimism toward mankind, but I can quickly smell BS. If someone is too nice to you, there is a sincere motive behind it. This motive could be as small as people pleasing or as big as taking revenge. But people are seldom nice to others out of selflessness.
It is important to be on the same page when you are in a relationship; however, if your partner is forcing you for a commitment, you are in the wrong territory. They may be trying to overcompensate or simply feeding their insecurity. Whatever be the case, get out before this red flag ruins you.
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9. Having a long history of rebound relationships
It is finally weekend, and you are all set to have a coffee date on your balcony. You stumble upon the topic of your ‘past love life’, and each of you begins to describe your previous relationships. As your partner is about to finish telling you about their sixth relationship, you realise that all their relationships have a messed up timeline. Each new relationship in their story is starting from the month where their previous relationship ended. You try not to let it bother you, but it does. So, you ask your partner the reason for it. And they tell you that it was impromptu and special.
This either means that all their past relationships were special, which is impossible because they would not be sitting there with you if that was the case or that they have a serious dating problem because all their relationships seem to be rebound. No, you are not overthinking. You are absolutely right, and you should probably not get too attached because it may not last.
10. There is nothing good to learn from them
Even if your partner is lazy, unemployed and hopelessly unmanageable, you should be able to learn something from them. Their experiences and knowledge should add to yours. They should add value to your existence. Spending time with them should result in you learning something that you were not familiar with. Simply put, they should not be a waste of your time. So, if you think you can compare your partner to college because you did not learn anything from them just like you didn’t learn anything from college, you have got yourself a red flag.
11. They are addicted to substance/alcohol
A few years back, I was working with a guy who seemed like a very nice person to me. We shared a great bond even though there was a seven-year age gap between us. However, with time and as I got to know him better, he became darker. He began to show all these red flags that we are discussing today. Literally, everything on this list could be seen in him. It took me one fight and 15 minutes to realise that his behaviour was heavily influenced by his alcoholism. Unfortunately, he had made his life so dull that he tried finding colour in substance. And that was a red flag for me.
People who depend on other things to give their life meaning are the worst kind to be with. They are unreliable, and unless they are eager to change, you would never be a priority in their life. So, it is best to stay away.
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12. Seeking validation for their existence
Well, I had the privilege of knowing one such person. I remember sitting right next to them trying to ask a question and not getting a response. I also remember sending them a message asking the same question and getting an immediate reply there. (Not fictional. This is truer than all the horror films made in Bollywood. Seriously not joking).
It is one thing to be connected to the outside world with social media, but it is a whole other thing to do so to show people that you are alive just to get their validation on your existence. I know what you are thinking. Who does that, right? Well, there are people who can utilise their 24 hours more efficiently than the rest of us. Likes and follows are more important to them than being present in the moment. They want to show their followers what they are eating before they show it to you. No no, that is not weird. What’s weird is that they do that to you when you are sitting right in front of them because you are accompanying them for the meal.
13. Making you feel guilty
Like I said earlier, if you are with a partner who never admits to their mistake, you should be ready to say goodbye to your guilt-free life. But some people can send you down a major guilt-trip lane where you can never come back from. That happens when you are dating a narcissist.
If you are not familiar with the term, a narcissist is someone who has the highest amount of admiration of their own self. And no one else in the world, including their family, comes close to being even slightly as important to them as themselves.
If you still don’t get it, here is what the priority list of someone who is highly narcissistic looks like –
- Me, again
- Oh. I didn’t see you there. It’s me yet again!
You.Just Kidding. It’s ME!
- Are you waiting for your turn? Too bad because I am my number 5 priority.
Jokes apart, this is a serious problem. Narcissists have a way of making you feel guilty about not only everything they do for you but also about everything that you do for them. And you would not even realise it until you are stuck in their puddle of narcissism so deep that it is difficult to come out of there. If you think I am exaggerating, then perhaps you have never been with a narcissist before, which is good for you. But this would be relatable AF if you are in that situation.
Call it their superpower or just your bad luck, but you would never be able to win an argument against such a person because they are better at pointing out your flaws than accepting their own, and that is when you become weaker. To conclude, if you feel that you have been taking the blame for everything lately despite you being sure that it is not your fault, you see a red flag right in front of you.
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14. Showing disinterest in your interests
Sometimes, you don’t realise there is a red flag in your relationship unless it hits you in the face. Unfortunately, that is too late. The damage is already done by then. One such thing that is not conceived as a red flag is not having any similar interests. I am not saying that you should be poles apart like Sanjana and Prem from Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon. (Quit judging! We have all watched it as kids. We have also watched a recap of it all in Pretentious Movie Reviews. That’s right! I, too, have internet access!!) But there has to be a common ground where you can meet each other. Not quite literally.
You cannot have one partner to be super keen about going on adventures and the other about sitting at home in their cosy cocoon. Because if that happens, they would rarely meet. And it is even a bigger problem if you don’t like each other’s tastes. Imagine going to watch Love Actually in an open theatre where one loves the film so much that they can’t help feeling all nostalgic and mushy whereas the other is simply judging their partner to glory for even remotely liking the film. There may never be a happy ending to such a relationship.
15. Less eagerness to make plans
I am not someone who actively makes plans with people despite having a very close-knit peer group. Don’t mistake me for being an introvert, though. I am every bit of an extrovert. However, I have too much on my plate, and I prefer to keep myself busy with work and other productive activities. So, making plans with people is not something that occurs to me by itself. And this was a huge problem for me during the initial stage of my current relationship.
My significant other was often upset with me because he thought I was not interested in him. While it took him some time to adapt to the fact that I was wired that way and it was not something that I was doing purposely, I tried to come up with plans consciously. This made him feel important. Also, it assured him that he was not wasting his time with the wrong person. So, what could have been a major red flag in just two months of dating was immediately turned into a conscious corrective measure. The result of that? A several year long happy relationship.
What we can learn from this incident is that if your partner is showing an eagerness to change their ways, they are worth investing your time and love in. However, if they show no signs of change despite you pointing out their mistake, that is an enormous red flag right there, my dear.