Photo by Roselyn Tirado on Unsplash

Warning! Non-stranger danger!

That is a real thing, you know? We tend to not be as self-aware about warning signs and red flags in relationships. Why is that?

Is it love? Is it lust? Is stupidity? The answer is all of the above.

Sometimes we refuse to see what is right in front of us.

Other people see it and try to tell us, and we say they're the crazy ones.

The late, great poet Maya Angelou once said, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

The warnings are there, you don't even have to look that hard.

Redditor Expensive-Bad-1111 wanted to compare notes on what to look for as a warning when it comes to matters of the heart and humanity, they asked:

"What is a red flag that most people are unable to see early on in a relationship or while dating...?"

I can't tell you how many times I ignored red flags.


Threaten You Want Some Of This GIF by Bounce Giphy

"The jabs they claim are just jokes." ~ FreeMindRestFollows

I cut him off...

"Keeping the relationship a secret. Actually hiding it from his/her friend to the point no knows. Not private... secret." ~ Verdigris000

"I had a guy do that. We went to high school together. He knew my family, I knew his. A few years after graduation we reconnected. He wanted to keep it a secret. Why? You are not married, I am not married. He wanted to have sex with me, but he didn't want to define our relationship. I cut him off. I am not a booty call." ~ Bris50

Maybe she's perfectly happy?

"Cutting you off from your friends, and not permitting you to socialize without them. Recently lost one of my besties to a new beau who won't let her out of his sight. We'll catch up when it all goes south." ~ Stormallthetime

"This happened to a friend of mine at University. She was 18, was part of my friend group, and literally lived in our room. Anyway, there were some older uni students who ran the hostel we stayed in and the guy who lived in our block would hang out with us quite a bit."

"It turns out he was only hanging out with us because he was interested in her. They ended up going on a few dates, which we thought was 'cute' because he seemed like a nice and funny guy, but then we never really saw her after that. The last thing I remember her telling me is that, he had written a list of 20 rules for their relationship, one of which stated that they must spend at least 2 hours of quality time together everyday."

"Apparently they are still together, but I still feel like we lost a good friend and that he robbed her of just living a full life. He was in his mid 20s and was also her first proper bf… Maybe she's perfectly happy? But if I had a bf for a few weeks that wrote rules for our relationship, it would definitely not be a relationship!" ~ Wooowaaat


"My ex called herself a pathological liar and told me she would never lie to me, and cried to me multiple times over the phone begging me not to leave when i told her to chill out and I'm not going anywhere. 'I was a bit naive since she had never really hurt me at that point."' ~ KimJongUf_

The Boss

Not Funny No GIF Giphy

"When one person always determines when time can be spent together. If it feels like you're always the one compromising to find time together walk away it's not going to go well." ~ AudienceNervous1665

There is a difference between suggestion and control. Learn it. Fast.


Go Away GIF by Bounce Giphy

"Dismissing your feelings as trivial. A person who actually cares about you would consider your feelings about things as well, or at least attempt to understand." ~ Affectionate-Feed538


"Always having strange reasons to not want to see you, "forgetting" your plans, being defensive or bit of a stand-off."

"Edit: I've seen a few people suggest and tell stories about memory issues or responsibilities that demanded full-time attention, and I just wanted to clarify that the case with my ex doesn't relate to any of these. My ex simply didn't have respect for my time or feelings and was just using me for sex when she was bored." ~ Cyanide_Revolver


"When everything revolves around what they want to do. Their job, their social life, hobbies, where they want to live, go out to, go on holiday to, until you get to the point where you don't even know what you want to do anymore. It starts small, but builds quickly and you might not realise until it's too late."

"When you make suggestions or organise things it's usually met with negative comments, or the other person acting like a spoilt brat because it's not good enough, never good enough, so you just don't bother anymore." ~ MadamTheadoramoon


"Trying to take over your best friend (visiting them without you, confiding in them, telling them one sided stuff about your relationship). They are making sure you don't have a support system." ~ trs58

"My ex did this with my mother. Texted and messaged her, suddenly had the same hobbies as her so they hung out sometimes. I told him I didn't like it and he made it seem like she was the one saying hello all the time and inviting him to go fishing or whatever."

"It's hardly noticeable on its own but it is one of the things I can now identify as unsettling when I look back and see it in the context of everything that was going on. Like I swear he was trying to get me pregnant while I was between jobs and to get me to move to his hometown where I knew no one." ~ gagrushenka

Common Themes

Tell Me More Jeff Goldblum GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"If they keep complaining about multiple exes. In those situations, they are the common factor." ~ TheVantal

Walking away can be difficult. But it can also be the smartest thing you ever do.

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