Red flags to look out for when in a relationship [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]

Do not settle for less than what you deserve

Relationships

Relationships have become an extreme sport, especially in Nairobi.

A lot of memes have been developed on how dating in Nairobi should be among the one thousand ways to die.

Ben Sol even has a song on how dating in Nairobi is like being on a merry go round, to mean, whoever you think is your soulmate could be in a relationship with tens others.

It is, therefore, paramount to be on the look-out for red flags and take off as soon as possible to evade heartbreaks.

First, for the ladies, you will need to hear "your" guy ask you if the two of you can be in a mutually exclusive relationship.

Do not assume you are in a relationship. Assumption will be the first step to setting yourself up for a miserably heartbreak. If you feel you need clarification on the direction you two are taking, always ask. The worst that can happen is him leaving and that will be a clear indication that he is not ready.

Second, learn to master your partner’s non verbal cues when they are around you. If they are always on their phone even when you are on a date or trying to spend quality time together or they always go outside to pick calls, that is a red flag! People who are interested in being with you are not distracted when around you.

There are even people who dread taking pictures with their partners. They could be photophobic but if they are always brushing off the idea of a picture together, there could be something they aren't telling you. They could be avoiding being seen with you by someone they are committed to.

Additionally, is your partner always telling you they are busy and cannot make time for you? Red flag. People will always make time for things and people that matter to them.

Third, know where they work and what they do for a living. There are people who disguise themselves as flamboyant business people or they generalize their sources of income.

If every time you ask about their source of income they respond with vague answers, raise a brow and run. They could be involved in money laundering and you end up being an accomplice when things go haywire.

Another red flag is when after dating for several months, your significant other tries to avoid any discussions about exclusivity and labels. This shows they are most likely not committed to the relationship.

We are living in a world where there are a myriad of non-committal and somewhat meaningless phrases to characterize one's relationship. Failing to define what the two of you have will lead to a situationship (a romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to be formal or established).

Look out if you notice your partner is a control freak. Control freaks tend to dominate their partners.

A domineering relationship is one where one party exerts unhealthy, self-serving dominance over the other. You may be in a controlling relationship if your partner makes you feel scared, insecure, or guilty all of the time. Control is a kind of abuse in a relationship. Once you notice they like controlling you, this is a major red flag.

Lack of communication is another major red flag. Diversion, like avoidance, is a challenging communication approach. The relationship will be unable to progress if the other person's inquiries and concerns are not addressed. If you can't talk about problems, you can't have a healthy relationship.

If your family and friends dislike them, that's another red flag. If your friends and family members become increasingly negative, you may want to reconsider your relationship. It's easy to become oblivious and see only what you want to see, but if your family or friends clearly dislike your partner, you need to figure out why.

How they respond when angry or during a disagreement is also a factor to look out for. Fighting is inevitable, but be aware of somebody who appears to turn into an unrecognizable monster when you disagree. If they hurl insults at you, it is a red flag and It can be interpreted as a sign of disrespect or just plain bad dispute resolution abilities, which are not ideal for a relationship.

Relationships are beautiful and when you find the ideal partner, it will be blissful. You deserve it! Do not settle for less than what you deserve.

The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via contributors@pulse.co.ke.

Njeri Kinuthia a freelance writer who is passionate about telling my stories about lifestyle, entertainment and current affairs. I have three years of experience in article writing and a beneficiary of Ajira Digital.

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