They avoid defining your relationship.
“It can be a pink flag if you are seeing someone for several months with regularity and they won’t define the relationship, [or] you find that you are not talking about what you want in a relationship,” Ross said. “Maybe you are getting signals from the other person that they are just having a good time while you are looking for something more serious.”
Perhaps the person you’re seeing tries to avoid meeting or spending time with your friends and family. Again, it’s important to feel open to communicating about the bigger picture of what your relationship is, and what it means to both of you. This kind of avoidance can be a sign that you’re on different pages.
Emotional safety is compromised.
“Feeling emotionally safe in a relationship is essential for the relationship to be healthy, grow, and thrive,” said Sarah Weisberg, a licensed psychologist and founder of Potomac Therapy Group. “We feel emotionally safe when we are respected, heard, validated and supported in our relationships. Emotional safety happens when our partner makes an effort to understand and prioritize what matters most to us.”
She noted that this should be reciprocal in all relationships, whether between friends, family members or romantic partners. Anything that reduces a sense of emotional safety can be a pink flag.
“It could be forgetting to ask about your partner’s big work presentation, failing to truly consider your partner’s point of view on an important topic, not keeping your word, putting your needs ahead of your partner’s, snapping, interrupting, leaving your partner hanging, rejecting bids for connection, etc.,” Weisberg said. “A pink flag becomes problematic when emotional safety is compromised and there is not swift effort to repair the hurt.”
There’s a history of betrayal.
You might find yourself in a relationship with a person who has a history of cheating, lying or betraying. Or perhaps you have this experience in your past.
“If your partner has been vulnerable enough to disclose to you that they have had a past they aren’t proud of, you should appreciate their honesty first and foremost, because obviously we all have pasts and behaviors we have had to learn from,” Jeney said. “Although your partner is being forthcoming and you feel they have changed, this could be considered a ‘pink flag’ to just be aware of.”
She recommended giving your partner the benefit of the doubt and trusting them as much as you can without judging them for their past behaviors.
“But at the same time, be cautious of any potential patterns that show up in your relationship,” Jeney added. “Time will naturally reveal if this is their character, or if these past experiences were in fact mistakes that you both have to let go of.”
You might also want to pay attention if your partner is very close to their ex. Needle noted that this doesn’t have to be a negative thing, depending on the nature of the relationship.
“If it is an unhealthy relationship filled with co-dependency and emotional lability on either side, or if there are unresolved feelings, this could create an issue in your relationship,” she explained. “There need to be boundaries with any relationship, but especially with an ex-lover.”