As magical as it feels, falling in love can cause our perspectives to shift in ways that don’t necessarily benefit us. Before we know it, we can become so blinded by feelings that we mistakenly label some relationship behaviors as romantic when they’re actually dangerous.
Even if you’re convinced you’ve found someone who genuinely cares about you, it’s still important to pay close attention to potential relationship red flags that could be indicators of predatory behavior.
Situations we see on TV and in movies — or unhealthy relationship behaviors we witness from our friends and family — all contribute to toxic love ideas we should definitely stop romanticizing. This can include things like being overly clingy, constantly making up and breaking up, or attempting to manipulate, all of which are usually masked as something positive or constructive.
Sadly, those are just a few examples of relationship behaviors that we’ve normalized and romanticized even though they’re actually *really* dangerous.
Not every partner who’s green with envy is a dangerous person, but if they seem more set on controlling you, instead of making sure they’re heard and seen in the relationship, that could be a sign that your partner has unhealthy jealousy.
Psychology Today breaks jealousy down into two categories: suspicious and reactive. The former is demonstrated by “mistrust, suspicious ruminations, and snooping behaviors that arise in the absence of any real or significant outside threat.” Suspicious jealousy is essentially “neurotic” — it relates to individual characteristics of the jealous person, as opposed to reactive jealousy which arises as result of external threats or a partner’s behavior.
2Not wanting you to spend time without them.
On the surface, this may make you feel like all the swoon-worthy confirmation that you’ve found ~The One~. There’s nothing wrong with wanting someone to miss you or at least pretend that they can’t bear to spend a moment out of your presence. However, when your partner won’t give you space in your relationship, it can quickly go from making you feeling adorably fussed over to controlled and manipulated.
This could be a form of praise that’s used as manipulation, so beware the partner who tends to shower you with non-stop compliments if it accompanies some of these other red flags.
4Telling you what to wear.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look attractive for your partner, so we wouldn’t raise a brow at wearing an outfit specifically for your S.O. But if they insist on routinely micromanaging your look, it’s a good indicator that your partner is controlling.
During the honeymoon phase of your relationship, you might be all starry-eyed and weak in the knees if your partner pops up at your job out of the blue to personally deliver you a bouquet of roses. In fact, there’s always a reason to do something nice for your significant other, whether it’s making them feel important or showing your appreciation. However, repeatedly bumping into your S.O. at the office, the grocery store, or when you’re hanging out with friends indicates that they don’t respect you or your boundaries or may be dealing with major trust issues.
6Badgering you about sharing your relationship on social media.
We understand why someone would want to make their romance Instagram official (the #relationshipgoals hashtag finally applies to you), but not everyone is into sharing their love life online. For a partner who trusts and respects your right to privacy, this wouldn’t necessarily be a dealbreaker. But for someone who’s prone to dangerous behavior in relationships, this could represent the start of even more intrusive, obsessive behavior like demanding access to all of your passwords or stalking you online, which couldn’t be further from healthy or romantic.