Arguments and disagreements are a healthy part of being together but certain relationship behaviour can highlight more serious issues that could even put you in danger. We identify the key warning signs that indicate it’s time to move on.
Not all aggressive behaviour should be seen as a danger sign. It’s natural for someone to lose their temper occasionally, but a pattern of violent threats or even physical abuse towards you are the clearest warning you need to extricate yourself from the relationship. Kate Taylor, relationship expert at Match.com offers this tip on how to spot this type of behaviour before it’s too late, “Aggression shows a lack of control which might one day be directed towards you, perhaps violently. You often see this early on, directed towards animals, children or people felt to be ‘beneath’ the aggressor. If it’s directed at someone you know, it’s only a matter of time before it’s directed at you.”
A recent survey published by the American Psychological Association found that women were more attracted to moody men than those with a cheerful smile. This is a worrying revelation since excessive moodiness and grumpiness are an indicator that your partner is using selfish emotional mind games to manipulate you. Kate says, “People who don’t bother to moderate their moods – or even simply warn you about them – are putting their feelings way before yours. They feel self-centred, as if they deserve love no matter how they behave and you shouldn’t put up with it.”
Lack of respect
One of the most basic of expectations from any relationship is mutual respect for each other. While you may not share the same tastes or have the same opinion, your other half should always be respectful of you. Kate says, “If someone is disrespectful of your possessions, your time or your feelings, they are displaying their own feelings of superiority. Don’t tolerate it. Instead, call them on this behaviour calmly and quietly. If they persist, finish with them. You can spot this on the first few dates – if a new partner is rude or abrasive with waiting staff in a restaurant, for example, realise that one day they will behave exactly like that towards you.”
Both men and women tell the occasional white lie – be it to protect the other person or save hurting their feelings – but if your partner seems to be caught in the perpetual pattern of deception, it’s time to flag up the issue. “Dishonesty destroys trust, which is the backbone of every healthy relationship. Even the smallest lies are destructive, creating doubt and anxiety.” explains Kate, “If you catch your partner out in a lie, immediately point it out to them and ask them why they felt they couldn’t tell the truth. If their answer fails to reassure you, leave.”
If you feel as though your partner tries to have too much sway over how you spend your time, whom you see and what you do, there could be some control issues at play. According to Kate this is usually a sign of insecurity, “A controlling person fears rejection so hugely, they will manipulate situations to get the outcome they want. This is behaviour usually learned in childhood, if parents were angry or inconsistent. Be aware though, not all such behaviour is ‘controlling’, some is simply caring. A partner asking you to call them when you arrive somewhere, for example, is just expressing concern, but a partner stopping you calling anyone when you’re together is being controlling.”