Top Red Flags for Dating in Your Twenties


Olivia Lucero

Too often, we view red flags as challenges or warnings rather than the deal breaker that they should be. We want our relationships or flirtationships to work out so badly that we rationalize, we make excuses for our partner, and we keep grievances to ourselves so that we can stay together. It’s important to discuss the things that make you uncomfortable because unfortunately, red flags don’t just go away by themselves. Staying quiet and trying to ignore them just magnifies their amplitude and creates tension and distance between you. Imagine marrying someone and thinking “red flag” for the rest of your life! Yikes. You deserve better. We compiled a list of some big red flags to look out for, in no particular order.

1. Not Communicating

You don’t have to have something to talk about all the time. There is certainly beauty in silence, but if your silence is awkward rather than soothing, you will feel uneasy. Sometimes, instead of silence, you’ll fill the void with subjects that distract from what you’re really not communicating about and trying to hide from your partner. Other times, you stay silent, wondering why they don’t want to know more about you. Either way, if the way you communicate feels like a red flag, then it is. Others will be comfortable in silence.

2. Lack of Support

If your partner doesn’t praise you on your achievements or share in the excitement about your hopes being formed, dreams coming true, and accomplishments being recognized, they will not appreciate you in the little everyday things you do for them. Imagine texting your partner that you got a 4.0 and they don’t even congratulate you. Been there. Red. Flag.

3. Doesn’t Follow Through

Sure, sometimes someone may make an honest mistake and forget to call after telling you they will, or arrive two hours late because they took a nap without telling you. This really should only be allowed once or twice. Make sure they know you are upset if it does happen. If it repeatedly happens, it’s time to let them go lie to someone else.

4. Doesn’t Adjust When You Acknowledge A Red Flag

If you’ve already discussed that something bothers you and yet it still comes up every once in a while, that’s a problem. If someone you’re dating doesn’t learn from their mistakes or express any interest in improvement, move on.

5. Doesn’t Celebrate With You

You don’t have to celebrate every relationship milestone, but if they know you like to celebrate monthaversaries and they pretend it’s stupid or not happening, that’s a red flag. If they suck your joy in any way, especially by not helping you celebrate something important to you, let them go rain on someone else’s parade.

6. You Feel A Drop in Your Self-esteem.

Something feels off and you feel like you have to be better to get their attention. They don’t affirm you, and it makes you feel insecure. They break you down rather than build you up, even if they don’t know it and don’t try to. This is not healthy. Healthy partners make each other feel competent and appreciated. Great partners make each feel like they can conquer the world!

Some other red flags include:

7. You get anxious about what they are doing and who they are with.

8. They attempt to make you jealous.

9. They degrade your morals, culture, race, religious beliefs, or spirituality.

10. They belittle you, your family, your neighborhood, your job, or your belongings.

11. Puts your safety in danger.

12. There’s a lack of openness on their end.

13. Doesn’t encourage you to be open.

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