Disclaimer – The red flags featured in this blog are naming just a few. Red flags aren’t the same for everyone so be sure to do what’s right for you and your situation, and if you need extra support go to: Breathe UK: Talking Therapies, Counselling & Wellbeing Services 

Relationships can be hard to navigate sometimes as not all relationships go to plan. However, relationships can also be a special thing. Many people go into relationships not thinking that their relationship will break up or go their separate ways. 

While having relationships with others, whether they are platonic, romantic or familial, it’s important to recognise red flags. Some examples of red flags that can appear in any type of relationships are: 

🍓Putting you down;e.g. making negative comments about your appearance, intelligence, things you do or mocking the things that you enjoy etc 

🍍Making you feel guilty; e.g. making comments about how you aren’t spending enough time with them or doing things that they want you to do even when you have said no.  

🍇 Pushing your boundaries – this includes both physically and emotionally; e.g. touching you without your consent (doesn’t have to be in a sexual way), expecting too much from you and blaming you for wanting to take a step back.  

🍎 Isolating you from others;e.g. Not wanting you to spend time with your family or friends, not allowing you to connect with others through social media, texting etc 

🥝 Being controlling, obsessive and possessive; e.g. They are always asking what you are doing, who you are talking to, checking your phone, saying when you can do things, becoming jealous, their love for you is extreme, thinking that they own you etc.       

🥥 They guilt trip you; e.g. “you’re never around when I need you”, “I can’t believe you’re going out without me again.” 

🍉 They never apologize and they try to gaslight you when they are in the wrong, even to the point where they make out that you’re at fault. E.g. “it didn’t happen like that, you’re overreacting.”   

🍒 Paranoia –e.g. they show they don’t trust you, “I don’t believe that you are not cheating on me.”, they put restrictions on you to try and push their paranoia away, and they blame you for not helping them feel at ease. 

I know it might feel like being in a relationship that isn’t healthy or good for you is better than being alone but it isn’t. A lot of people stay in toxic relationships with friends and partners for this reason.  

However, before going through with a break up or parting ways,  it may be worthwhile going to couple’s counseling/therapy to go through challenges. It all depends on what red flag that you are trying to work through. This is because some red flags are a definite reason to break up such as cheating. However, others may just need some talking through with a third party. 

If the counseling/therapy doesn’t work, it’s better to be alone than being with people who aren’t good for you and negatively impact your mental health. Sometimes you need to just walk away and know that this doesn’t mean you’ll be alone forever because you will find people who are worthy of you eventually and it’ll be worth the wait.  

Overall, relationships are different at various ages but one thing that is the same is that every relationship needs care and communication. Without these, the relationship can fall apart. Don’t feel afraid of knowing when to leave a relationship where it is, and don’t feel guilty for doing what’s right for you.