The beginning of a relationship can be exciting and, at the same time, awkward. It’s exciting for obvious reasons: you are spending time with and getting to know someone you find interesting and attractive. It’s awkward, however, because in spite of the extent of their digital footprint, or whether they like to share their innermost feelings with friends on social media, the person you are dating is usually someone you barely know. That, of course, is the point of dating. Dating allows you to get to know someone and to identify whether you are compatible, have mutual interests, and whether you have “chemistry.”
Dating, however, also allows you to identify red flags. Red flags are those things that could potentially have a negative impact on the relationship at some point, or may cause you to end the relationship altogether.
Red flags can fall into one of three categories: Little things, possible deal breakers, and deal-breakers.
These are traits, habits, or circumstances that may be mildly annoying or concerning, but which can be overcome by correcting the issue or learning to accept it. These may include things such as phrases a person uses, to eating or bathroom habits.
Possible Deal Breakers
Unlike the little things, possible deal breakers usually relate to standards, expectations or beliefs that may be non-negotiable, and therefore, deal breakers. Examples of possible deal breakers include having differing positions related to political views, religious beliefs, whether to have a family, and/or other issues related to whatever “baggage” each partner brings into the relationship. The baggage a person brings to a relationship may include things such as physical or mental health issues, addictions, employment or financial problems, prior legal history, or prior relationships. Whether any of these issues are problematic will depend on the extent of your knowledge, individual preferences, beliefs, ability, and preparedness to deal with these issues.
Some red flags can signal some pretty serious issues and can be signs of bigger problems to come. Early signs of jealousy, possessiveness, mistreatment, anger, mental or physical abuse should never be ignored, nor taken lightly, as they may be just the tip of the iceberg. These should be, without question, absolute deal breakers.
As previously noted, it is important to not ignore any red flags that may be raised at any point in the relationship. Regardless of the type of red flags you may encounter, however, determining whether that red flag is something you can overcome is an individual decision.
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