When you think of a red flag in a relationship, you immediately think of something bad that should either keep you from being with this person, or make you break up with them ASAP. Well, here’s the truth: all red flags are not created equally. Actually, there are a ton of relationship red flags out there that are really no big deal. But before we get into that, let’s talk about what a dating red flag actually is.
The term “red flag” basically refers to that gut feeling you get that something isn’t right. It’s that moment your bae says something off, and something inside you perks up to say, “DING DING DING! This person might be a jerk!” So, it’s a feeling – it’s not a fact. It’s not that your gut reaction is wrong, it’s just that some of the things that raise an alarm inside of your head can be worked through. On top of that, something that is a big deal to you might mean nothing to someone else. For example: a red flag for you might be that your boyfriend is a virgin and you’re experienced. For someone else, that might be a little thing they don’t care about. So, that said, it’s hard to say one red flag should be everyone’s red flag, you feel me?
Of course, there are some warnings everyone should watch out for – like if your BF threatens you but doesn’t actually hit you. We’re not talking about those, we’re talking about smaller red flags. It might feel weird to be calm about something that’s low-key giving you heart palpitations. It’s easier said than done, I admit that, but it’s not impossible. You don’t want to blow anything out of proportion if it isn’t the end of the world. For example, these are 10 relationship “red flags” that are actually no big deal, even if everyone tells you otherwise.
They Keep Your Relationship Off Social Media"It's not official until it's Facebook official" is... so tired. A lot of people say that if your partner keeps quiet about you on social media, that means something shady is happening. That's not always true! I'm not saying they should be ignoring you completely online, but freaking out over a lack of a relationship status (some people just remove it completely), zero mentions in an Instagram bio, or no long statuses about their love for you is usually not worth it. Some people are more private, and that's okay! Source: iStock
They Don't Tell You Everything They Tell Their FriendsAnother common thing that is often referred to as a red flag is if your bae doesn't tell you everything they tell their friends. This is not always a big deal. Sure, if they run to their besties over you every time something big happens, and you always hear last, that might be something you want to bring up. But it's okay if they go to them first with some things, or if they ask them for advice about a problem, or stuff like that. The bottom line is that if you and bae are great at communicating, that's all that matters. Source: iStock
Going A Whole Day Without TextingOkay, so if your bae consistently ignores your texts, but they have time to text literally everyone else, that's a red flag. If they never reach out to you or they always blow you off on the phone, that's a red flag. What isn't a red flag is if they do the day without texting you sometimes or they don't text you throughout the day all the time. After a while of dating, texting bae 24/7 can seem pointless and boring. If you see them in person, you don't need to follow up with a ton of texts. There are tons of reasons why you might not text the person you're with every day, and not all of them are red flags signaling an imminent break up. Relax with your phone, you guys.Source: iStock
Not Feeling Butterflies 24/7I hate to break it to you, but the constant butterflies ricocheting in your stomach will eventually get less intense. This doesn't mean you're any less attracted to the person you're with, or that you like them less (and same goes for the other way around). You could love them even more! But, don't pressure yourself if you don't want to hook up every single time you two hang out or your heart doesn't skip when you see their name pop up on your phone. Is it comforting instead? This happens in every long term relationship. Your relationship isn't dying, it's just changing form.Source: iStock
They Get Jealous Very EasilyThis isn't ideal, but it's workable and not a deal breaker. In fact, most relationships involve some form of jealousy at certain times. And if they're telling you, then at least they're self aware enough to be like, "Hey, I get crazy jealous when I see you talk to other guys." As long as they don't blow up and stop you from having fun or keep you from living your life to its fullest, jealousy is a normal emotion that we all feel at one time or another. Again, not ideal, but it's just another feeling to work through, no big deal.Source: iStock
You Have A Wide Difference In Sexual ExperienceOne of you is a virgin and the other one has tons of sexual partners. Even if the difference in experience is two people versus six, it can feel huge. So long as you both know where you're at and you go at the pace that each of you are comfortable with, you should be fine. There's no reason for this to be a big deal - you can work through this! If you're not willing to be patient with your less experienced partner, why did you decide to be with them in the first place? If you're both aware of what's going on, there's nothing to worry about here.Source: iStock
They Don't Love To Do The Same Things You DoAs long as they don't shame you for what you love, there's no reason that you have to perfectly overlap hobbies and passions. Sure, you want to share everything you love in life with the person you're with, but if you LOVE rollercoasters and bae is afraid of heights and fast rides... that's that, isn't it? You can go to an amusement park with your other friends and bae can do their own thing. Sometimes it's good if you have something that's just *yours*. It's not like you have NOTHING in common, you just don't love all of the same things.Source: iStock
Their Friends Aren't Exactly Your Favorite People To Hang Out WithLook, you don't have to love hanging out with bae's friends. You might not have a lot in common or you might have completely different ideas of what fun means. What matters is that you each respect the role and importance you have in the life of the person you both care about and that's both all you can ask for and the bare minimum requirement. But, if they aren't your new favorite people, congratulations, they don't have to be! So long as you hang all together at a rate your boo is comfortable with, you should be fine.Source: iStock
They're Not Ready To Meet Your Family (And Vice Versa)People are bound to disagree with me on this, so hear me out. Families are a loaded, big thing. Maybe they have super strict parents, a strong cultural identity that has certain ideals about dating (and who you should be dating), or they could have problematic family members they want to protect you from. Every family is different and not everyone loves theirs or wants to introduce someone new to that environment. There's no set rule like "after two months you *must* meet their parents" so if they (or you) aren't ready yet, just be patient or talk it out about why they're not into it. Source: iStock
You Have A Large Difference Of Opinion On A Major TopicOne of you wants to get their masters degree, the other one thinks college is a scam. From differences in religious beliefs to political opinion, differences in point of view is part of view is part of what makes relationships interesting and what helps you grow. As long as you respect the differences and your partner's right to not agree with you on everything without any shaming or teasing involved, there's no reason you two shouldn't be together. Only you know your deal breakers. For some this is a huge red flag. Do you want to date a Trump supporter? Are you okay sleeping with someone who's pro-life? Is it NBD that bae has been shooting guns since they were a kid? Decide these things for yourself so you know how to navigate this red flag in a real way.Source: iStock
Do you think one of these red flags is actually a huge deal?Which one? What other red flags would you let slide? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.