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The Red Lines: 12 Common Deal Breakers in a Relationship

Common Deal Breakers in a Relationship

Making relationships work isn’t always easy, it can take a whole lot of patience and effort. Even the most healthy relationships will run into problems from time to time. Everyone has a different experience, however, there are many common red flags that are relationship deal-breakers. Here are twelve of the key red lines that usually end a relationship.

1 . They’ve been unfaithful

If you’re in a monogamous relationship, and your partner has cheated, this is a deal-breaker for the majority of people. Once your partner has been with someone else, it can be incredibly difficult to build up trust again. It’s not to say that it’s not possible, but getting that trust back can be difficult.

When a partner has been unfaithful you have two options, to break it off, or to try and forgive them. The latter option won’t work for everyone, you’ll need to establish new promises, boundaries, and maybe look into relationship counseling.

For many people, being cheated on leaves them questioning their self-worth and confidence. Unless you can heal these feelings, they’ll be continued unhealthy energy in the relationship. If this is the case, it’s best to cut your losses.

2 . They have issues with anger

Anger issues are a major red flag in relationships, of course, everyone feels angry sometimes, but there’s a line between what’s acceptable and what’s unhealthy. All couples have disagreements, but both parties should look to express themselves diplomatically. It can be difficult when tensions are running high, but everyone can work on their responses to rows.

If your partner is constantly flying off the handle, or making you feel intimidated, this is a strong red flag. Anger issues can escalate to abusive territory, and no one deserves to be in this sort of relationship. If you feel you’re in an unhealthy situation, and you’re out of your depth, it’s important to talk to someone and get help.

3. There’s a lot of jealousy

Jealousy is another key red-line. When a partner is overly jealous, this can quickly become possessive. Jealousy is a normal emotion that we all experience sometimes, but when jealousy becomes overwhelming and even controlling, it’s time to draw the line.

The first step is to have an open discussion about jealousy,  both people should communicate how they feel. It’s very important to set boundaries with a jealous partner. If those boundaries are repeatedly crossed, this is when the situation becomes a deal-breaker.

4. They lack ambition

For many people, a lack of ambition can be a relationship deal-breaker. It all depends on what type of person you are. Many people don’t define themselves by key life goals and are happy enough with simple pleasures. Others find a lack of ambition very unattractive.

When a couple does not have shared values, it can be difficult to make things work long-term. Trying to change a person isn’t usually the answer, it’s far more productive to seek what you’re looking for elsewhere. If someone just isn’t right for you, it’s better, to be honest. This way, you can both find someone who’s a better fit.

5. Substance abuse issues

Substance abuse issues are another common relationship dealbreaker. Many couples can work through these problems and support each other, but it’s never easy. The person with substance abuse issues has to want to change, and do the work. The partner with the issues also has to acknowledge the effect that their problems are having on their other half.

In some circumstances, the situation will become too unhealthy to be salvaged. In other cases, the partners can work through it together. It all depends on the individual circumstances, and how much the issues have escalated. 

When both people are experiencing substance issues, the couple is likely to be enabling each other. In this case, it’s best for both people to part ways and seeks help elsewhere.

6. They cancel plans 

It might not sound like a big deal, but if someone cancels plans too often this can be a major red flag. Whether you’re in the early phases of dating, or you’ve been together for years, canceling plans can indicate a lack of commitment. Of course, it depends on the circumstances, we all have times in our lives when we are incredibly busy. Generally speaking though, if someone repeatedly cancels plans with you, it’s normal to question their lack of effort and dedication.

7. Baggage with their ex 

A very common red line, when someone has lots of baggage with their ex, this can eventually become a deal-breaker. Perhaps the person seems like they aren’t over their ex? Maybe they bring up their ex an awful lot? It could be that they are in touch often and that this makes you feel uncomfortable? Being friends with an ex doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it’s pretty common, especially if there are children involved. Regardless, ex issues can raise problems, and if you’re just not happy, it’s okay to break free.

8. They don’t show interest

If your partner doesn’t make you feel supported, this is another red flag. You deserve someone who shows an interest in your career, your desires, and your hobbies. Does your partner ask questions, praise you and lift you up? Or are they always talking about themselves? Selfishness is a clear red line in a relationship. If you feel like you’re giving a lot to the relationship, and you’re getting much less in return, this is something that you need to address.

The first thing to do is to talk to your partner, some people are a little oblivious to being self-centered. Once you’ve had an open discussion you’ll be able to express more clearly what you need out of the relationship.

9. They are unwilling to commit

Are you dating someone who is unwilling to commit? If you’re looking to make your relationship exclusive, and the other party is resistant, this is generally a red flag. Casual dating or polyamory is fine if that’s what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for monogamy, and it feels one-sided, it’s probably time to move on. Before you start dating it can be useful to figure out what you’re looking for. Going in with an understanding of this makes it easier to set boundaries with other people.

10. Their stance on having children

Not wanting the same things is a real deal-breaker, especially where children are concerned. If one person wants children, and the other does not, this can leave you questioning your future together. Naturally, you won’t be having these discussions too early on in the relationship. It’s important to get to know each other first and see where things go.

Having children is a huge commitment, and it’s not a decision taken lightly. If you’re making this decision, you’ll want to be sure that you’re making it with the right person. Rushing into having children isn’t best advised, but of course, everyone has a different experience.

11. Their attitude to money

We all have a different attitude to money, some of us are keen on saving, while others like to spend it all! When you’re in a relationship with someone, contrasting attitudes to money can cause a lot of clashes. Of course, you can talk about these issues, but you won’t necessarily agree. It’s also a case of what you want to spend your money on. We all have different ideas about what is and what it’s important. Arguing about money can get pretty tense, it’s vital to try and stay calm, and be respectful of your partner’s choices. In many cases, these rows can be resolved by talking it out.

12. Too many arguments

All couples argue from time to time but if you’re having constant arguments, it may be time to call it quits. If your relationship isn’t making you feel happy anymore, it just isn’t worth continuing. You can work on things to a point, but if you’ve done the work, and you still aren’t making progress it’s perhaps time to throw in the towel. When you’re deciding on whether to continue with a relationship, these key questions can help.

Am I getting everything I need from this relationship?
If not, what am I missing?
How can I communicate this to my partner?
Does this relationship bring out the best in me?
Am I receiving as much as I’m giving?
What are the key issues (if any)?
Can these issues be resolved?

Understanding the key red flags in relationships will help you to make well-informed decisions. Of course, everyone’s needs are different, but we all share many deal breakers in common. When you trust your instincts you won’t go far wrong. Too many red flags signal an unhealthy experience, and you’ll want to protect yourself. Some issues can be resolved by relationship counseling, but if the situation has become too toxic, it may be unsalvageable.

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