We’ve all seen people all over the internet posting their take on red flags. Sometimes, these run from conflicting tastes (like pineapple on a pizza) to simple pet peeves (burping loudly).
Yet, these red flags aren’t always the worst—some red flags are redder than others. While some conflicting tastes and pet peeves can sometimes be tolerable, red flags often suggest you should totally stay far away from that person.
People around us may have told us to steer clear of partners—or potentials ones—who exhibit red flags in relationships. But, what exactly is a red flag?
What is a red flag?
Red flags are signs or warnings—sometimes it’s our gut feeling—of potentially dangerous behavior by a partner. They often come in crumbs, like when a partner gets angry when you talk to boys (or girls). Or, it could be when they expect you to dress nicely and wear makeup each time you meet.
These red flags are often alarm bells inside our heads that set off every time someone does something—potentially—catastrophic. Like weather agencies use red flags to warn others of impending climate risk, red flags in relationships indicate that your date may spell “T-RO-U-B-L-E.”
Common Relationship Red Flags
Red flags can be emotionally destructive in the longer run. However, harsh toxic behaviors would have been easier to recognize than subtle ones—many red flags are too subtle to categorize as such.
To help you steer clear from unhealthy relationships, let’s pinpoint the stifling behaviors a foreign—or even a Thai—date may have already shown you. Recognize the signs and stop brushing things off as another bad mood.
1. Compulsive lying
We are all guilty of telling lies. However, if your partner’s the type to lie frequently, especially in challenging situations, you might have to rethink your relationship. Yes—it’s a red flag.
Be it small lies (like not telling you they’re out with friends all night long) or big lies (like not informing you their “friend” is their ex), you have to reassess your relationship if it happens repeatedly.
Being repeatedly lied to by your partner can make it hard to build a firm foundation. It can also make your relationship shaky or even damage it.
2. Belittles you
Even when it’s just subtle or in a passive-aggressive manner, a partner constantly criticizing you can affect your self-confidence. Or, if they keep an invisible scorecard to all the things you’ve done wrong, it should be an absolute dealbreaker.
Additionally, a partner saying, “No one’s going to love you as much as I do,” or “You’re just like your (mother, father, or siblings),” is a pro at subtly hurting your emotions. If this happens to you frequently, pack your bags and leave!
However, say you still want to give your relationships another go, then be sure to address these behaviors. If they refuse to take accountability or willingness to change, don’t waste time and get away as fast as possible.
3. Gaslights you
Now, this one’s another form of emotional abuse—and a hot topic in modern dating.
If your ‘sweetheart’ holds you responsible for how they reacted to a situation or distorts a narrative, you have a problem. You just landed on a gaslighter as a partner.
A common gaslighting scheme is opposing whatever you say. They might make up new info, question your memory, or deny that something happened.
However, another way is by totally forgetting or denying a situation. You might mention a specific event, to which they might respond, “Are you sure that happened?” or “I don’t recall that ever happening.”
The victims often start to question their judgments and reality. Living with a gaslighter is like being in a mental hell. Take note of the signs—no matter how small they may appear at first—and make a quick exit when you can.
4. Runs away during intense arguments or difficult situations
Debates and discussions in a relationship are healthy as long as a couple does it positively. There isn’t pointing fingers happening or leaving the room when they can’t take the heat.
As such, it’s a total red flag when they won’t hear you out or shut you out the moment things get complicated. Being with a person who lacks the emotional capability to cope with problems can be exhausting.
Helping them overcome this personal struggle is always a great thing. But, sometimes, it might be better to let them fix themselves first before being in a relationship.
5. Inflexible or uncompromising
Having similar fundamental values is highly important to the success of any relationship. While there may be differences in personality and character, your ideas must be in sync most times. Nonetheless, if your partner almost always holds the reigns, that’s undoubtedly a red flag.
In healthy relationships, it’s crucial to consider each other’s wants and needs. And during fights, even when ideas clash or the other is clearly right, one should let the other win—that’s compromise.
6. Over the top jealousy
A little jealousy in a relationship doesn’t hurt as it means someone cares about them and does not want to lose them. But if your partner is overly jealous most times, this may lead to controlling behavior.
When your partner starts to become possessive or controlling of your plans, what you wear, who you hang out with, it may feel very suffocating down the line. It may even emotionally or mentally affect you: you may try to conceal the truth in the future to avoid confrontation.
The moment you feel smothered or have to constantly change your demeanor to alleviate your partner’s jealousy, it’s time to leave. Prioritize your mental and emotional health this time.
7. Alienates you from your family and friends
A little possessiveness won’t hurt you, but that’s a red flag if it comes with hostility or narcissism!
Any foreign or Thai date who demands you to stay away from your family and friends is a cause for concern. The manipulation may come in small forms at first.
They may start by asking you to stay with them instead of going to your high school reunion where they know your former classmates are expecting you. Later, they may try to isolate you altogether.
Someone attempting to control you or alienate you from friends or family is not okay. If this is a dealbreaker for you, let your partner know. If they don’t do something about it, run!
8. Doesn’t listen to you or care about your values
Sharing your life and career aspirations, interests, and family traditions is essential to creating a deeper connection with your Thai or local partner. You’ll know how important they are to you when they grasp how vital these things are for you. Otherwise, they may not be suitable partners for you.
Moreover, sweet texts or calls in the morning are essential to making your day a little better—and perhaps, more productive. Even a simple checking up by the end of the day lets you know they care about you. But, if they don’t check up on you for no apparent reason, it’s definitely a red flag!
Communication is vital here. You have to let your partner know how much you value these things. If they don’t see improvements after some time, get up and leave! Someone who isn’t willing to grow isn’t worth your time.
See the signs!
Red flags can be tricky to spot, especially when there’s so much else in the relationship that’s going so well. But, when you notice red flags early in your relationship with a Thai date, don’t shrug them off. You should take the situation seriously and think about how it might hurt your relationship in the long run.
Along with noting constant behaviors, you also have to pay attention to your gut feeling. Notice how your stomach churns each time your partner does or says something iffy.