We’ve all been there. You have been dating someone for a few weeks, they seem perfect and then they’re rude to a waitress or trash-talk their ex. Don’t ignore red flags. “Red flags are important, because they mean you should step back from that relationship,” says Kenny. “Maybe you hate it when people raise their voice, then they shout at you – but you find them so attractive, you ignore it. ” Besides, anyone who is rude to a waitress is definitely not worth your time.
Posting too much online
Be mindful of what you post on social media. “It can feel wonderful to think you’ve met your soulmate, but remember that if it’s going to be an important relationship, you don’t have to rush things,” says Major. Which means: hold off on the loving romantic tributes, for now. “If you post: ‘I’m in a fabulous relationship, I think this is the one,’ your new partner might see that and if that’s not where their head is at, you’ve kiboshed it before it’s even started. Or if it doesn’t work out, you might feel embarrassed.”
Not establishing clear boundaries early on
The first three months of a relationship set the tone for the rest of your time together. If you’ve allowed the relationship to be on your partner’s terms, you will find it hard to come back from that. “You need to respect yourself and have clear boundaries when it comes to dating someone,” says Lawson. “Be brave enough to put your boundaries up and say: ‘This is what I need and what I desire.’ A lot of people are scared to express how they want to be treated for fear of being rejected. But it’s better to know now than later. Besides, people are attracted to people who know their own worth, rather than accepting the crumbs and scraps of poor behaviour, because they think it’s all they can get.” Don’t be afraid to challenge your partner or pull them up on their behaviour in those early months – if you let things slide now, you will be letting them slide for ever.
Glossing over sexual incompatibility
It’s completely natural for sex with a new partner to not be mindblowing initially – you are only just getting to know each other. But if things continue to misfire in the bedroom department, that may be a sign you’re not right for each other. Long-term, you can only have a healthy relationship with someone with whom you are sexually compatible. “If your intimate life isn’t working out, you must not ignore that,” says Major. Try to address things head-on. “Communicate your desires openly and share your kinks. You have to deal with things as soon as possible, otherwise you’re going to have problems.” If things don’t work out, move on.
Being too available
When you think you have found the one, it can be tempting to cancel all your plans and hole up together. “You stop contacting your friends, and start scheduling your entire life around when you may see them,” says Lawson. “You sideline any hobbies or interests you have.”
But if you do this, you may end up isolated from your support systems in an unhealthy relationship. “In my experience, couples who spend all their time together don’t seem to work out,” Lawson says. “It becomes toxic and codependent.” Rather, embrace some healthy distance. “You need to have friendships, hobbies and interests outside your relationship.” Beware the love bubble – it always bursts, whether you like it or not.