Red Flags in a Relationship - 13 Toxic Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Posted by Evie Shafner, LMFT on September 21, 2021 at 4:00 AM
Evie Shafner, LMFT

3 minute read

Dating Advice - Red Flags in Dating Relationships

Most of us long to be in a loving, committed relationship. So if we are starting to get some internal signals that tell us our current partner might not be the right person for us, the instinct is to close our eyes to the things we see, to start rationalizing and stay in place, stuck. 

However, being willing to see the truth with open eyes is one of the keys to not staying with someone you shouldn't and making a mess out of your life because you're too afraid to say goodbye.  

So what are some of the signs that you are in a dead-end relationship?

Look Out For These 13 Warning Signs and Red Flags of a Toxic Relationship:

  1. You know your partner is not empathetic and always gets defensive if you try to talk to them. If you don't have empathy, you don't have anything.

  2. Your partner limits contact. You feel marginalized and not a priority most of the time. Perhaps this is the "they're just not that into you" category. We have to face the truth about what is in life and not tolerate settling for crumbs vs. the whole cake.

  3. You were initially physically attracted but never felt there was a person of substance with which to connect. 

  4. Your partner is very reactive, much more than warrants the situation. If you think it's bad now? It can quickly progress.

  5. Accepting differences is part of being a grown-up. There will always be differences in our primary relationship, but that is a major red flag if your partner cannot handle it if you disagree with them. One person can't always be right in a relationship. That's not an equal partnership. 

  6. Your values and beliefs are so polarized. If you can't bear to live with someone who thinks your ideas aren't valid - don't do it! Value yourself more and move on. 

  7. You find yourself wanting space a lot. It's the opposite of feeling like you can't get enough of your partner or can't wait to see them at the end of the day. Maybe you want to be partnered in your head, but your body is telling you something different. Listen. 

    Feeling Anxiety in Relationship

  8. You don't feel like you can be yourself. You feel anxious or have the feeling you’re walking on eggshells. Run for the hills!

  9. Your partner is super clingy or super controlling, and you can't talk to them about it. Run for the hills again!

  10. You don't feel loved and cherished much of the time. You don't get the feeling your partner is thrilled to be in the world with you. You've been together three years, and they still don't introduce you as their boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other.  Please! Run, run, run...

  11. Your family and friends are all warning you to take a hard look. Listen. Look and then listen and look again. 

  12. You don't have that complete green light feeling of seeing a future together. Your body keeps giving you a yellow or red signal instead of green.  Listen.   

  13. You are the only one in the relationship who understands relationships take work and want to bring conscious intentionality to your communication.

It is so important to share your life and even marry the right person for you! Listen to your instincts, stay conscious and aware of what is vs. what you want to become. Observe. Seek the truth. 

Living consciously with intentionality in your relationship will help you find the love you were meant to have and the partner you were meant to live a loving life together to thrive!  Give yourself that gift.  

If you are struggling in dating or finding the partner that's meant for you,  we're here to help.  Check out our Imago Relationship Workshops and Imago Relationship TherapyWe have Online Therapy and Online Workshops now too! 

Discover more about Imago with our Imago Professional MembershipImago Professional Facilitators, Imago Professional Training, and Imago Insights Education


Connect. Transform. Thrive.

Evie_Shafner_LMFTThis blog post was written by Evie Shafner, LMFT.
With a degree in clinical psychology in hand, Evie started private practice in 1979, as a licensed MFT. She was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Women’s Therapy Center, where she worked for over 20 years. 
Evie began training in Imago Relationship Therapy in the ’90s, getting certified in 1994. Evie then went on to become an advanced clinician in Imago, a workshop presenter and has served on the Board of Imago Relational International for the last 6 years.
Check out her website too! 

Topics: Healthy Connection, Online Therapy, Love, Unhealthy Love, Healthy Love, Relationship Red Flags, Keeping the Love you Find, Dating, Dating Tips, Couple Goals, Couples Goals, Marriage Tips, Toxic Relationships, Toxic People, Conscious Relationships, Connection Is Key, Dating Advice, Date

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The Imago Relationships Blog features content from our team of professional therapists, workshop presenters and facilitators who are passionate about helping you discover a new way to communicate and love your life.

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