Book of OD
Published in

Book of OD

Avoid a World of Too Many Red Flags

avoid red flags in your next relationship

Are you paying attention?

They’re right there in front of you. Your friends and family can see them. Hell, people just seeing you interact in public can see them.

But we either willfully choose to ignore them, pretend they aren’t there, or rationalize them away. Sorry, that’s not how it works. You’ll just be burned in the end.

I am lucky to have so many brilliant and emotionally intelligent people in my life and yet hit my head against a wall every time they talk to me of the problems in their relationships. It’s almost always something you can see coming.

Red flags are so very top of mind right now, as so many couple I know are suddenly ending long-term relationships and slowly returning to the world of dating. A lot of heartbreak and change is well underway.
My heart breaks for them.

So, as they are about to approach single-dom, I thought I’d provide a public service with a bit of my own earned “Red Flag Wisdom.”
(And to be clear, these are red flags for varying types of relationships, not just romantic ones)

In no particular order…

  • If they don’t know if they want to be in a relationship, and you know you do. RED FLAG
  • If your partner has a vague and continuing relationship with their past ex. RED FLAG
  • If the relationship model is you give and they take. RED FLAG
  • If your partner finds it funny to belittle you. RED FLAG
  • If your partner is about them and never about you. RED FLAG
  • If your partner’s words never match their actions. RED FLAG
  • If your partner is an asshole. (It’s not cute, it’s a…) RED FLAG
  • If your partner promises they’ll change and says it more than twice without any action behind it. RED FLAG
  • If the people you surround yourself with hate your partner. RED FLAG
  • If your partner has no healthy friendships or family relationships of their own. RED FLAG
  • If your partner is keeping your relationship a secret. RED FLAG
  • If you ever have to provide ultimatums to your partner to get them to change or positively affect the relationship. RED FLAG
  • If your partner never includes you in plans. RED FLAG

A list created from cautionary tales.
Hopefully these flags will help someone to navigate their new single world.
Any you’d add?



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Russel Lolacher

Russel Lolacher

Digital Communication Director, speaker, advocate for healthier workplace cultures and kind candour. Host of the Relationships at Work podcast.