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5 Red Flags At The Beginning Of A Relationship You Should Look Out For

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So, you've met someone new and they check all of the boxes. They're witty, smart, and attractive. Now, things are starting to transition into possibly exclusive territory, and you're counting the days until you're officially an item. Only problem? There's something about them that makes you wonder if you can really trust them. If you have a sneaking suspicion that something could be off about the new person in your life, keep an eye out for red flags at the beginning of a relationship before you let them get too close.

It can definitely be a bit difficult to completely figure someone out in the early stages of a new relationship. Even though, at face value, it seems like you are obviously spending time together with the hopes of getting to know each other better, we all know that at the start of any promising relationship, everyone is usually on their best behavior. Sometimes, it takes a while for the real person behind the shiny mask to rear their ugly head. Fortunately, most people (who aren't complete sociopaths) have trouble keeping their problematic tendencies from slipping through the cracks.

If you notice any of the following red flags, it might be a good idea to take a step back.

1. Controlling Or Overly Critical Behavior

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Look, there's a pretty good chance you've either dated or been friends with someone who is really bossy. Some people just really can't help but make it their personal duty to shower you with unsolicited advice on what to do and how to do it. It's totally aggravating, but in the end, pretty harmless. But then, there are people who, instead of making presumptuous suggestions, feel the need to make decisions on your behalf or intensely criticize decisions that you make.

At the beginning of a relationship, if the person you're dating does or says things to make you feel inadequate in any way, this could be a sign that they are a control freak. Whereas bossy people tend to remain at a consistent, albeit harmless, level of annoying, potential control freaks tend to get more and more controlling as time goes on.

2. Recklessness

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As an adrenaline junkie myself, I totally sympathize with those thrill-seekers out there who aren't afraid to really turn up or try something spontaneously cray. That being said, if the person you've just started dating ends up completely trashed and throwing punches on even a semi-regular basis, then it could be that they are dealing with some deeper issues.

This may not be a reason in and of itself to cut the cord, but if at any point they ever put you in a situation where you feel unsafe or pressured, then it could be that they don't have your best interest at heart.

3. Selfishness

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Early on, selfishness can be a bit hard to detect. This is because in the beginning, we're still putting in a ton of effort to impress each other. Most people are smart enough to know that if they were to do something completely self-centered, not many people would want to stick around. So the signs may be a bit more subtle.

The thing about selfish people is that they have this paranoia that if in any given situation, they aren't looking out for themselves, then somehow they are going to end up with less than they "deserve." This fear of not having enough (attention, love, money, etc.) makes them act quickly and impulsively to try to manipulate situations so that they are on the receiving end of the best case scenario. For instance, if the person you're dating regularly "forgets" to carry cash with them on a night out, thus always leaving you to front the bill, that is selfish. If they are bad about making plans in advance or even responding to your texts, but love to blow up your phone at the last minute trying to scrape together a "date," that is selfish. If they avoid putting a label on your relationship when you've been dating for months without being communicative about what kind of arrangement they are looking for, that is selfish.

4. Commitment Issues

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Not everyone who is actively dating necessarily wants to be in a committed relationship. This is totally fine. If the person you're seeing has told you they are looking for something casual and you keep pursuing them in hopes that they change their mind, then it's likely that you will end up disappointed. If, however, they have said with words or direct actions (i.e., introducing you to their family) that they are seriously interested, yet continually avoid putting a label on it, then you could very well be getting played.

People who are scared of commitment usually have baggage they need to work through before they are able to be a solid partner for someone else. It may be tempting to suffer through being strung along when you really like someone. But trying to play it cool when deep down their wishy-washiness bothers you isn't only unfair to you, it also sends the message that you're OK with being low priority. Unfortunately, once you've moved down someone's priority list, it's rare that you will suddenly move up.

5. Dishonesty

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Dishonesty should rarely be tolerated. Especially in the beginning of a relationship. If someone can't be honest when things are easy-peasy, they certainly aren't going to be honest the minute the going gets even the slightest bit tough. If you suspect the person you're seeing is being dishonest, it may be worth it to do a bit of low-risk detective work. Since they haven't had enough time to earn your full trust yet, you can afford to be a little guarded. Someone with nothing to hide will be pretty chill about questions as long as you don't get crazy or sound too accusatory.

Ultimately, you shouldn't rush to judge the person you're dating too soon. However, it never hurts to take it slow if the person you're seeing gives you a reason to not trust them.

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