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Relationships are complicated. And while you may feel strongly about your partner and care about them deeply, it’s possible you don’t even realize when her or his behavior is cause for concern.

Sure, everyone has quirks and idiosyncrasies, but if you’re having more than the occasional issue, it’s imperative to take a closer look at your partner’s actions so you don’t miss the four relationship red flags which should put you on red alert.

Your Partner is Controlling

Has your partner ever told you who you can and can’t hang out with? Has this person ever insisted that you dress in a certain way, behave in a certain way, and basically do what you’re told? If your partner is demanding that you fall into line, you should be making a beeline for the door, as this type of controlling behavior totally crosses the line.

After all, being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to lose your autonomy and sense of self, so if your partner is making a power play and telling you exactly how you should act, there’s absolutely no reason that you should stay and play along.

Your Partner Constantly Badmouths an Ex

While it’s normal and natural to have conversations about your past relationships, your partner’s incessant need to put down an ex should actually raise a red flag.

And while you may think it’s a positive sign that your partner views her or his ex in such a negative light, this type of continuous fixation should really leave you wondering if your partner is still into this person and is merely trying to convince you (as well as herself or himself) that she or he’s moved on. In the end, if your partner is still obsessing over an ex, it’s time to add yourself to her or his list of exes and end your relationship.

Your Partner Acts in a Jealous Way

If you’ve noticed that your partner quickly and easily becomes green with envy, this is a major red flag. And while jealousy is something that can arise in a happy and healthy relationship, it becomes an issue when your partner’s feelings of jealousy are seemingly unrelenting.

For instance, if you constantly have to deflect your partner’s accusations that you’re flirting with someone, if she or he’s troubled by your close relationship with a friend of the opposite sex, or if the very mention of the hotness levels of a certain celebrity sets your partner off, it’s in your best interest to break your relationship off.

Your Partner is Overly Needy

Everyone wants to feel needed and significant in a relationship. After all, if you felt completely disposable and unimportant to your partner, you wouldn’t want to be with this person in the first place. However, if your partner acts in a needy and clingy way, it’s you who needs to realize that this behavior is problematic.

Specifically, if your partner hates it when you go out and have fun without her or him, incessantly needs reassurance about your true feelings towards her or him, and/or texts you non-stop throughout the day just to check in and know where you are, these desperate actions are actually red flags that shouldn’t be overlooked. Your partner’s life shouldn’t revolve around yours, and if this person is relying on you for every single thing, you should opt to be single instead.

About the Author

Stacey Laura Lloyd is an award-winning dating, relationships, and wellness writer. She’s the Dating Expert for About.com and is a contributor to several other sites, such as TheBolde.com and TheList.com. Her work has been praised in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly and has also been featured on The Doctors. She’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of two books, including Is Your Job Making You Fat? How to Lose the Office 15…and More!

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