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5 Yellow Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore in a Relationship

May 07, 20236 min read

Et oui, yellow flag are a thing too!!!! Beware!

You’ve started a new relationship, everything is perfect. Your partner is caring, wants to spend time with you, covers you with thoughtful gifts. This is the right one, you’re thinking to yourself. Finally! No more dating apps, no more awkward first dates, you found it. Fast forward to a year later. You’re on your bed crying and feeding exclusively on Hot Cheetos for the past week. You’ve got orange-tinted mouth corners, and you wonder how you didn’t notice before what person they really were. The problem is this, though, and they weren’t that horrible person at first. You weren’t blinded by love. They changed. But how could you predict it when it wasn’t that obvious?

There are small signs that a person could change (for worse). We call them yellow flags. They are not so apparent as the red ones, but just like a traffic light, it’s only a matter of time before they switch color.

Lights in the street

1. The Way They Treat Others

One evening you’re on the couch watching Netflix together, he gets a call from his mother. He declines it and complains about how she’s always smoldering and annoying.

You smile, thinking how nice and considerate it is that he wants to devote his full attention to you, and move on.

A week later, while you’re eating out, your order is wrong. It’s ok, you like that one too, but he calls the waiter and talks to him in a harsh tone asking for the right one. You admire someone who stands up for you when you’re too shy to do it.

After three months, you’re half an hour late to go to the movies, he reacts, yelling at you. If respect for others, especially people in weaker positions than him, is lacking in the early days of the relationship, it’s often a sign. The way they treat other people is how they’ll treat you as soon as they feel completely at ease.

2. They Cover You With Gifts, but Something Is Off

He always takes you out for dinner, wears expensive watches, and design clothes. You don’t know his salary, but you’vegot a rough idea. You’ve seen the dozens of different credit cards that come out of his wallet. You start to suspect that hehas tons of debts.

According to Forbes, having conflicting money styles is one of the most damaging causes of divorce for couples.

Attaching too closely to a person who has no idea how to handle personal finances will eventually impact you also. It’snice to feel spoiled. Everyone enjoys gifts, but before you make more meaningful decisions, be careful to imagine a long-term future with this person.

3. They Want to Spend All Their Time With You

Since you met, she has been covering you with calls and messages 24/7.

You are flattered that she’s so invested in the relationship. You think it’s sweet that she wants to spend every minute of your time off together. After a couple of weeks, she tells you to reschedule your date with your friends, just for tonight, to spend some quality time together.

After some time, whenever you mention that you would like to visit your family for the weekend, she smiles at you and offers you a trip out of town, just you and her.

Time goes by, and before you know it, she has isolated you from friends and family. You haven’t seen anyone but her in months, and every time you want to have a gathering at a friend’s house, she gets louder and louder. In the end, you give up to avoid starting another discussion.

It’s nice and normal to initially want to spend as much time as possible with your new partner. It’s all so exciting and electric.

However, it would help if you always remembered to keep your spaces, your friends, and your hobbies. You are your own person.

4. Anger Towards the Exes

He’s got a lot of anger towards his exes, but he talks about them a lot.

He has so much resentment that it spills everywhere. In the beginning, it’s almost good to hear that he hates his exes. At least it’s a clear message that he’s no longer into past relationships. Sometimes he comes up with comparisons. He praises you for how good you are at cooking, not like his ex, who sucked at it. This behavior can be flattering. It can make you feel the most perfect person that he’s ever known. But, weirdly, it was always others' fault for the end of his relationships. Showing anger and not taking any responsibility with time could become a bright red flag. He doesn’t even think he has to solve a sign of insecurity and many problems since he washes his hands every time.

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5. Lack of Long Term Thinking

She’s handsome, young, and reckless living day by day. She’s always the first to go on an adventure. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Perhaps you’re a young couple. When you talk about the future, she cuts you right off, but maybe it’s right. It’s too soon to plan things. Living the present is a rare and admirable quality.

People too predictable sometimes turn out to be boring, without any excitement of the unknown ahead.

Being spontaneous is one thing, but never thinking about the future is another.

However carefree you may be in the long run, everyone at some point has to figure out the form of stability they want in their lives. Peace of mind can have many ways but should be an element of your love.

Having a person with whom you can make plans, with whom you can grow together, is one of the greatest gifts of a relationship.

Not all yellow flags will necessarily turn into red flags, but the risk is there.

You don’t have to be totally blinded by love not to notice these things. They are not apparent at the beginning. They’re easy to ignore. But that won’t help you or your partner.

All of us make mistakes. The key is to acknowledge them, learn, and move on. The real sin is ignoring mistakes, or worse, seeking to hide them. — R. Zoellick

Yellow flags are small gestures, actions, that at first seem harmless in a relationship, sometimes we also enjoy them, but they are signals.

Signs of behavior that will not become pleasant over time. Warnings that we might notice only after years. Hopefully, when it’s not too late or too hard to get out.

If you start to notice that something is off, trust your gut. Put your foot on the gas, and get out of there fast, before the red light goes on.

Written by Rachel Alvarado

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Human Connections

Human Connections is a dating agency based in London

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