When I was younger, I didn’t know a healthy relationship needed boundaries, compromises, and commitment.
I rushed into relationships when I fell for a man and felt comfortable in his presence. I didn’t even think about what kind of standards and values were important to me.
When something bothered me, I told myself: “Well, that’s just how he is, and I have to live with it.”
Today I know setting boundaries, feeling commitment, and making healthy compromises are part of every good romantic relationship. My past relationships and almost-relationships showed me the necessity to discover what’s important to me to find fulfilling love.
Here are 7 red flags you should keep in mind when you just started dating someone new.
Don’t rush into a relationship but find out your priorities to get what you deserve!
1. He doesn’t speak the same love language
During my first romantic relationship, I felt starved of love. Back then, I wasn’t able to name or justify this feeling of emptiness, but today I’m convinced that our love languages weren’t compatible at all.
The five love languages are:
Words of Affirmation (Supporting each other, Lifting each other up)
Acts of Service (Doing things to help and spoil each other)
Receiving Gifts (Getting regular gifts from your partner)
Quality Time (Taking trips and having common hobbies)
Physical touch (Hugging, Having Sex, Touching each other often)
All five love languages are part of every relationship to some extent, but everyone has priorities.
I need lots of hugs and cuddles in a relationship. I feel happy when someone touches me often and makes sure to be near me. My first boyfriend hated cuddling, and even though I sometimes asked him to hug me for a few minutes before sleeping, he didn’t like physical touch. The only possibility to be near him was having sex with him, which became quite frustrating for me after a few weeks.
Our relationship failed because of other reasons, but today I’m grateful that I can choose to be with someone who loves physical touch as much as I do.
Take a test and find out your love language. It’s okay to have different love languages, but it’s time to move on when they are entirely incompatible.
2. You do not share the same values
Last year, I fell in love with a workaholic.
I knew from the beginning his career plans played a significant role in his life.
I admire and support people who follow their dreams, but I sensed a toxic and unhealthy dynamic in his behavior after a while. He neglected his mental and physical health. Also, he didn’t treat some people around him how they deserve to be treated (including me).
Social contacts, friendships, and romantic relationships play THE most significant role in my life.
Even though it was hard for me to cut off contact, I knew that we didn’t share the same values and priorities. I’m convinced that shared values are crucial in a good relationship.
Write down your values and priorities in life (family, career, creativity, money, physical appearance, etc.)
Don’t hesitate to ask your date what his values are
3. Your future plans are not compatible
Talk about your future plans sooner rather than later.
Of course, you don’t have to talk about marriage, kids, or moving in together on your first date. But if you wait several weeks or even months, you will be even more disappointed about your incompatible plans later.
My first boyfriend told me he hated babies. According to him, they were too loud, exhausting, and annoying. Back then, I thought he’d change his mind in the future, but now I know that I’d never been happy with someone who thinks about kids the way he does.
Ask yourself these questions: Where do I want to live? How do I want to earn money? What kind of relationship do I want to have? How much freedom do I need to feel happy?
You don’t have to know all this right away, but don’t ignore these crucial questions. Find a partner with whom you can talk about your future easily. If you both are open to growth, you will create great plans and compromises together.
Address what’s important to you at the moment and see how your conversation goes.
If you feel like your plans are not compatible, address your concern. But don’t cling to a future that doesn’t seem suitable for you.
4. You want entirely different things in bed
If we start a new relationship, we often ignore unsatisfying sex. Talking about it feels uncomfortable, and we rather trust the process and hope that everything will turn out fine in the end.
But communication about our deepest fantasies and desires should be addressed right from the beginning even though we aren’t committed or exclusive yet.
A few years, I met a man who was into BDSM. In the beginning, I was curious, but very soon, I realized that pain wasn’t something I was enjoying, so I told him what I needed to feel happy and satisfied with my sex life.
We talked about our desires and fantasies and resolved that we would never be able to satisfy each other in bed. We couldn’t find compromises, so our connection vanished, and we both moved on for good.
Never neglect your sexual desires. Even though you are just about getting to know each other, allow yourself to find a sexual connection to the man you like without settling for less.
Talk to each other and find compromises.
If you feel like you want entirely different things in bed, it’s time to move on.
5. You feel small in his presence
Have you ever felt small and unworthy in a relationship?
This phenomenon happens to many women, and it’s one of the first indicators of narcissistic abuse. Often it starts with a fabulous first phase where you feel like a princess who finally meets the prince who saves her.
Soon your gut feeling tells you something is wrong, but you ignore it as there are no apparent signs you should be worried about.
That’s what happens when you meet an overt or covert narcissist.
He slowly intoxicates your life with sarcastic comments or subtle gaslighting statements. He uses you to satisfy his narcissistic supply and takes what he needs, just to give you the silent treatment afterward.
You become part of a toxic relationship and start obsessing over what you could have done differently. You ask yourself what went wrong after your great first dates. You feel smaller and smaller, and your life becomes exhausting as you can’t stop thinking about how to fix things and recreate harmony.
But you won’t fix a man like this. It simply isn’t possible.
As hard as it sounds: You have to move on, block him on all social media accounts and never reach out to him again. It is not your job to fix other people’s lives.
You are worthy of love, and if you ever feel small in a relationship, you should end it. Period.
Think about how you feel during/after your dates? What does your gut feeling say? Listen to it.
Does he make sarcastic comments about your look, your clothes, or your job? He’s not the man you deserve. You can do better.
Do you feel like he uses you to satisfy something he desperately needs (recognition, admiration, mental support,…)? You may be dealing with a narcissist. Never commit to a relationship with him.
6. Your friends and family tell you he isn’t a good fit
During the last year, I’ve learned that listening to others isn’t always a good idea.
I’ve received multiple pieces of advice and tips on how to get over my ex. In the end, I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. But when your friends and family doubt the flawlessness of your new lover, you can allow yourself to listen to them. Your friends and family know you best, and they’ll sense negative changes in your behavior.
When I think back to my first relationship, I remember many discussions between my friends and me. They told me right from the beginning that he didn’t deserve me and mistreated me. But I tried to focus on his positive traits and the potential the relationship had. Now I know they were right, and I will listen to their concerns the next time.
If your friends and family are concerned about you, listen to them and take their concerns seriously.
7. It feels like a push-pull relationship
New great love doesn’t need to be rushed.
Last year, I met a man who wanted to be with me the whole time. He told me how beautiful I was and how he loved sleeping with me. He gave me the best feelings and made me laugh. We spent almost every night together and acted like a couple for a few weeks.
But soon, I realized that our connection was too good to be true. He started acting distant from one day to the next, and I thought he just wasn’t that into me anymore. I was disappointed, but I knew I’d get over him.
After a few days, he wanted to see me again, and it went on like an on-off thing for the following weeks.
Even though he moved to another country a few weeks later, his vague behavior kept making me crazy. I never knew where I stood in our connection. It felt like a push-pull thing to me, so I decided to end our communication. Nevertheless, he still tried to call me and sent me funny memes or songs I might like.
I felt flattered when he reached out to me, but I knew he was toxic deep down. Gladly, I know now that I deserve a person who doesn’t push me around. A push-pull dynamic will become harmful after a while, and no one deserves to be treated this way.
You don’t know where you stand in your connection? Question your relationship and end it if the signals the other person is sending you aren’t clear.
Does your relationship feel like heaven and hell at the same time? This isn’t a good starting point, and you should work things out right away.
If you feel like you do not have any control over how much time you spend with each other or not, you should think about how to reclaim the power of your own love life. Set healthy boundaries and stand up for your needs.
Watch out for these 7 green flags!
Being single is fabulous, but it isn’t always easy. But so are relationships!
If we settle for less, we won’t ever lead the (love) life we truly want. The best thing we can do is focus on ourselves, learn from our experiences, and grow from them.
Never ignore the before-mentioned issues, but focus on the following green flags:
His love language is compatible to yours.
You share the same values.
Your plan your future together.
You are able to talk about your sex life and together you find compromises.
He lifts you up. You never feel small in his environment.
Your friends and family say he deserves you.
It doesn’t feel like a push-pull relationship. You can always count on him, no matter what.
When it comes to a new relationship, we should never lower our standards, just to be with someone.You deserve the relationship you desire. Don’t settle for less.