I’m a sucker for romance, and there’s nothing I love more than the beginning stages of a relationship. You spend so much time with your significant other during the early days, creating a love fog that only allows you to see your partner’s amazing qualities. But as the relationship grows and the fog fades away, you may start to notice some questionable traits, otherwise known as relationship red flags.

It’s easy to write certain traits off as a personality quirk, but there are others that can cause your relationship a lot of grief. Jealousy, arrogance, and a lack of empathy are often the center of behavior problems, and too often people look the other way on these characteristics when it comes to someone they love. Instead, they make excuses. They blame their partner’s rudeness on a bad day at work, or claim their SO is clingy out of love. And maybe that’s true, but more often than not these are the signs that you are in a toxic, potentially harmful relationship. Maybe you already know it’s time to make a change and move on, but if you’re unsure, here are eight relationship red flags you should never ignore.

1. They’re Rude To Those Around Them

Whether it’s their own mother or the waiter at your favorite restaurant, there’s no excuse for rudeness. It can be a sign of power issues, lack of empathy, or a sign that your partner simply thinks he is above all others. If he’ll treat anyone that way, what makes you think he’ll treat you differently?

2. They’re In Constant Contact With An Ex

If they still follow their ex on social media, you shouldn’t be too concerned. But if they talk daily or grab drinks after work, you might want to pay attention. (Especially if you’re never invited.) Maybe your partner never got over your ex, or maybe they’re trying to keep their ex happy to avoid trouble in their relationship with you. Either way, it’s a red flag.

3. They Never Apologize

When your SO refuses to say sorry, it shows a disregard for your feelings. Whether it’s a lack of empathy or pride that keeps them from apologize, it’s unacceptable. Apologies can repair relationships, especially for small instances, and if your partner refuses to say it now, they probably never will.

4. They Ignore You

You don’t have to be in constant communication, but if your partner goes MIA whenever you’re apart there may be a larger problem. Lack of contact can make you feel unimportant and ignored, especially if they only communicate with you when they’re wanting something. Connecting with your SO should be more than just date nights and sex. Asking about each other’s day, talking about something funny that happened, or sharing a funny story are all habits of healthy, open relationships. If you’re trying to get in touch with your partner while away from each other and feel ignored, take another look at your relationship.

5. They Offer ‘Tips’ On Your Appearance

If your significant other doesn’t look at you and think you’re beautiful exactly as you are, then kick them to the curb. Making suggestions regarding your eating and exercise habits may come off as helpful, but they are actually manipulative phrasesused to mold you into a certain look. They can say they’re only thinking about you, but it’s a control issue that will only get worse with time.

6. They Can’t Handle The Word No

It doesn’t matter why you said no – whether it was to ordering Chinese or having sex – your SO needs to respect your wishes. If they can’t handle that’, then they can’t handle a relationship.

7. They Need Constant Reassurance

While expressing your love is healthy, constantly demanding you do so is not. An emotionally manipulative partner can use their insecurities to make you feel like you’re constantly doing something wrong in the relationship. If your SO needs you to reassure them that you aren’t cheating, that you love them, and that you want to be with them, it’s a red flag. They’re blaming you for not giving them what they need, and that’s not healthy for either of you.

8. They Pack Their Bags After Every Fight

Fighting with your partner is going to happen at some point, but if your SO ends every fight with a threat to pack their bags and leave, you’ve got an issue. Not every fight warrants a “We’re breaking up!” cry and if your partner uses it as their own personal weapon, they’re incredibly immature and need to learn how to communicate before the relationship can continue.

9. They Lie

A little white lie about forgetting your birthday so they can pull of a surprise party? Totally fine. But lying about where they are, who they are with, what they’re doing, or even how they’re feeling is definitely not. Your SO can have privacy obviously, but if they think they have to lie to keep you happy or don’t want to tell you the truth about certain situations, then they have something to hide. Once they realize you’ll let lies pass, they’ll happen more often.

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