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Red flags in relationships

BrookeeBrookee East Midlands Posts: 1,331 Wise Owl
Hello loves, I hope you're all doing really well.
I know The Mix are running a campaign this week on toxic relationships and I just wanted to start a thread on red flags to be aware of when in relationships, any relationships, it doesn't have to just be romantic. These flags are super important, and I really hope this thread will help someone because I know how difficult it can be to leave a relationship even when there's red flags. Please remember that you're not in control of other people's actions and it's never your fault to be treated poorly or abused by someone else.

I'll start. One big red flag is overcontrolling behaviour, this can be found in friendships, family dynamics and romantic relationships. Nobody has the right to control your movements or your decisions, you're allowed to make decisions that others aren't happy with because this is your life, and your opinions and decisions matter. In healthy relationships with others, there should be understanding and compassion, without you feel guilt or worried about the other person's response. Commonly in these kinds of relationships the other person or people will often frame it as they're doing what's best for you, but you are the only one who knows what's best for you, and you deserve to make your own choices.

Sending love to you all <3
Aifedaisyella12MaisyAislingDMNiamhh1309MikekaiiAzzimanLorryTruck

Comments

  • RileyRiley Moderator Posts: 992 Part of The Mix Family
    I think this is a really good idea for a thread @Brookee especially since relationship red flags can be really difficult to spot without an outside opinion. I was actually going to suggest what you said about controlling behaviour before I got to that part of your post, great minds think alike I suppose. :lol:

    Another big red flag and one I have some experience with is guilt or when people "weaponise guilt" basically when someone will deliberately try to make you feel guilty in order to get you to act a certain way or do what they want you to. You most commonly hear about this sort of thing relating to parents and children but it can happen in friendships and romantic relationships too.
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    Niamhh1309BrookeeMikeLorryTruck
  • Niamhh1309Niamhh1309 Posts: 9 Confirmed not a robot
    This is such a good idea for a thread @Brookee its a very important topic to cover!

    I think a very big red flag is invalidating feelings. As much as someone may not understand how you feel or where you are coming from, making you feel like your feelings aren’t real is never fair. In a relationship, you should work together to understand each other; what upsets you and what makes you happy.
    BrookeeMike
  • enorth1enorth1 Posts: 69 Boards Initiate
    Hey @Brookee! What an important thread topic.I feel that sometimes it can be very difficult to spot a toxic relationship when you are in one, especially when there are deep feelings involved. If we all put our heads together and come up with some general things to look out for, then I really hope it could help some people recognise if their relationship isn’t as healthy as they previously thought.

    A phenomenon that seems to have become more recognised over the past few years is gaslighting, and this can absolutely be a red flag in relationships. This is where you psychologically manipulate someone into doubting their own experiences by convincing them things happened differently or never happened at all. It can happen in all types of relationships, not just romantic. This type of manipulation can be tricky to spot as people will often have different perspectives on things. However, if you feel hurt by a situation and the other person is saying that it never occurred when you know it did, then this could make you feel confused and doubt yourself. If you’re ever unsure about if you’re experiencing gaslighting, then perhaps it could be helpful to speak to someone about your concerns who is outside of the relationship and that you trust. I appreciate gaslighting probably sounds hard to spot, and it definitely can be, but awareness of the concept might help people in unhealthy relationships notice if something isn’t quite right.
    BrookeeMikeLorryTruck
  • BrookeeBrookee East Midlands Posts: 1,331 Wise Owl
    Thank you all for your wonderful input, these are all super important things to be aware of! It can be so difficult to see them when you care so deeply about someone else, but hopefully these invaluable insights may helps someone out there, so thank you all so much <3
  • harpreetharpreet Posts: 6 Confirmed not a robot
    Being judgemental and putting someone down for everything. Picking apart and talking down to anyone's beliefs or whatever makes them them constantly is very bad
    MikeLorryTruck
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 969 Part of The Mix Family
    Such an important point @harpreet !! Especially because those kinds of toxic behaviours are often portrayed as a joke, or brushed under the carpet so the true impact of them upon a relationship is not always 100% clear. It's especially important that we take care to respect those things that are most fundamental to who are person is, because we all deserve respect and to be valued <3
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  • MikeMike Community Manager Posts: 4,099 Community Veteran
    Some great ones here - love to see people talking about this. Spotting the signs of toxic behaviour in any relationship is such a good skill to have. Thanks for starting this @Brookee. 😊

    An early stage red flag for me is when someone is kind to you but is unkind to other people for seemingly no reason (e.g. if they treat a waiter badly when you're out).
    Taking a break 🌈
    AislingDMLorryTruck
  • OwlOwl Posts: 105 The Mix Convert
    lots of great ones here!! really appreciate you all for sharing these, and especially if you had to learn these through experience, sending hugs!! ❤️ i hope we'll all bear (bare?) these in mind when dating new people!!!

    bit of a curve ball, but when they make *too much* time for you. they should have a life outside of you, love =/= obsession!! also, that way there's no expectations from them that you'd drop everything for them too

    though this post says a lot more about my ego really 🤣 but really, in a previous relationship (which coincided with lockdown) my partner didn't have many things they did by themselves, so combined with the cabin fever it led to a lot of boredom and a lack of alone time

    a red flag (that makes me look less bad!!), is a lack of communication. being in a relationship where you don't talk about the relationship, is like driving a car with your eyes closed! but considerably cheaper (well, actually...)
    LorryTruck
  • OwlOwl Posts: 105 The Mix Convert
    oh and i suppose a lot of these work for any relationship with anybody tbh!!
    AislingDM
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 969 Part of The Mix Family
    haha these points made me laugh, I appreciate that @Owl :D I definitely agree with the point about communication, although it's interesting what you say about this point working for any relationship, which I definitely agree with, however I reckon I've observed less overt communication in non-romantic relationships than in romantic ones. For example, parents not talking to their children about their relationship or friends not talking with one another about their feelings, instead they might go behind each others' backs. Maybe we should adopt this kind of openness of communication for every relationship in our lives, even professional ones? Not sure how that would work in practice though!! xx
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  • itsquietuptownitsquietuptown Posts: 36 Boards Initiate
    What can you do if you yourself are over controlling? I get really anxious and paranoid about my boyfriend leaving me or not loving me and I’m aware that I can be controlling and he’s said he feels annoyed that he can’t do certain things without worrying about my reaction. I know I need to stop because I don’t want to lose him and I love him so much I don’t want to hurt him, but how can I work on this?
    AislingDM
  • AzzimanAzziman The Mix convert Community Champion Posts: 1,264 Wise Owl
    What can you do if you yourself are over controlling? I get really anxious and paranoid about my boyfriend leaving me or not loving me and I’m aware that I can be controlling and he’s said he feels annoyed that he can’t do certain things without worrying about my reaction. I know I need to stop because I don’t want to lose him and I love him so much I don’t want to hurt him, but how can I work on this?

    You need to learn to trust him. Trust that he is being truthful and faithful. Ironically, what you're doing in fear of losing him is exactly what will push him away from you. x
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 969 Part of The Mix Family
    I can hear how much distress it causes you to feel unable to relax your feelings of trust around your partner @itsquietuptown , wanting to just be at a place of quiet calm is entirely reasonable, because no one likes experiencing the discomfort that jealousy and uncertainty bring us :(

    Azziman makes a point that is widely talked about, fostering trust is of course the best way to make a relationship successful and have a good solid foundation. It's very true :) But, I know this is not always easy, especially if you feel that your mistrust is rooted in a valid reason. (For example, after infidelity it can be hard for couples to rebuild trust because of the feelings of betrayal). Something that I personally found useful when I used to struggle with being overcontrolling was the classic 'faking it until I make it', where I would fight against my 'natural' reaction of fear and mistrust and present a different version that was more rooted in openness. After some time, I was no longer faking and I felt more at peace and less of a need for control. Admittedly this can be tough to do and I feel is only truly effective if both partners are entirely honest about where the mistrust comes from. For example, if your partner is not simultaneously making efforts to reassure you then it feels as though you are putting in all of the hard work, so maybe a conversation about why the reassurance is important might be good? <3
    I'm a community moderator. I represent The Mix on the discussion boards and I'm here to help guide discussions, make sure everything is within guidelines, and take care of the housekeeping. I can't send or receive private messages, but you can message @TheMix or email [email protected] with any questions or concerns and the team will get back to you.

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    itsquietuptown
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