Regardless of how magical things started out, hindsight really is 20/20. Sometimes, it can be all-too-easy to turn a blind eye to the not-so-desirable things about a partner for far too long. Maybe it was because you really wanted things to work out. Or perhaps the warning signs totally came out of nowhere, and it took a while for you to realize what was happening. Regardless, recognizing red flags about your ex, even once the relationship has long been over, is the best way to avoid the same situation in the future.
While taking a trip down memory lane can conjure up some unhappy memories, the most important thing to remember is that you learned to be brave and shut down a relationship that wasn't bringing positivity and balance to your life. In some cases, an ex might not even have been a sh*tty person, but a faulty relationship can drive even the best of us to behave in ways we aren't proud of. Thankfully, because of your past experiences, you'll be much more sensitive to shifts in a relationship dynamic from now on, before things grow into a much bigger headache.
Here are five red flags you probably wish you would have picked up on before everything came crashing down with your ex.
1. The Fact That Their Feelings Had Changed
While every couple says I love you at a different point within their relationship, it is most definitely something that should be articulated through both words and actions regularly in a relationship. If not, that could mean trouble.
“If you stop hearing those three little words, chances are it's because your partner is priming his or her way out of the relationship,” says relationship and etiquette expert April Masini, of Relationship Advice Forum.
2. They Stopped Showing You Off
According to Masini, if you look back and realize that your partner had stopped inviting you as their plus-one, this was probably a signal that things were heading downhill.
“When your partner is proud of being with you, he or she will show you off, but if your partner is looking to break up with you, they won't invite you to social events where they might flirt and meet other people,” she explains.
3. They Were Controlling
"Infatuation seeks to control. Love is when you cede control," dating and relationship coach Monica Parikh, of the School of Love NYC, told Elite Daily. "Love understands that we are all autonomous beings seeking our individual fulfillment, which may not perfectly align to your vision."
If your ex was constantly trying to control you, then this was a major red flag that they certainly didn't have your best interest at heart.
4. Sex Was Their Top Priority
While constantly wanting to bang your bae is typically a good sign, if sex seemed like the only driving force behind your relationship, then it may have been lacking in other areas. Not to mention that, for men in particular, a loving bond often leads to a lower sex drive.
"When a man starts to fall in love, his testosterone levels drop," Alyssa Bunn, professional matchmaker at Tawkify, explained to Elite Daily. "They may feel fatigued, moody, and you may witness a reduced sex drive, weight gain, or muscle loss."
5. The Connection Was Mostly Superficial
"Infatuation is mired in surface-level attraction — looks, money, power. Love grows out of an appreciation of the other person's character," said Parikh. If looking back, material elements or status played a major role in your relationship dynamic, then it's likely that your ex was only in it for superficial reasons.
In the end, what's done is done. There's absolutely no reason to beat yourself up about things that are in the past. The best thing to do is to take the knowledge you have now and move forward knowing you won't fall for these red flags again.
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