The concept of the relationship red flag is one that most people have some knowledge of. These are serious warning signs in a relationship that consist of actions that you should never ignore but instead, use to decide if this is a relationship that is healthy for you to pursue.
Common examples of red flags are when your partner tries to separate you from friends and family or refuse to respect your physical and emotional boundaries. These actions tend to be more obvious signs that a relationship might be toxic.
On the other hand, pink flags consist of actions that don’t spell disaster but they could be signs that the relationship won’t work out in the long run.
1. They are unwilling to engage in difficult conversations.
Communication is important for any relationship. In a romantic relationship, it’s even more so as there are more elements of your lives that are intertwined. Depending on the stage of the relationship, your finances, career prospects and where you want to live become intertwined with the other person’s.
Naturally difficult conversations, even arguments, will arise when yours and your partner’s futures are dependent on each other. Possessing not only the ability but the desire to solve issues with conversation is a sign of maturity and a green flag for a relationship. The reverse can be a cause for concern.
An aversion to having difficult conversations might manifest in your partner brushing off your concerns as unimportant or even laughing at them.
They may also leave the room instead of hearing what you have to say. You should not be the only one initiating difficult conversation nor should it be your job to compel your partner to voice when they are upset or frustrated about something.
If they are unable to communicate effectively, it doesn’t make them a bad person but that isn’t necessarily conducive to a healthy relationship. An aversion to difficult conversation may even be a response to trauma, but you cannot manage it for them. This could be a sign that your partner needs to seek counseling or that the relationship as it is, is not for you.
2. They refuse to admit faults in themselves.
Everyone makes mistakes, even your partner. Often it is not what we’ve done that defines us but instead the way that we behave afterwards. If you explain to your partner how they hurt, disappointed or offended you, it is their responsibility to hear your perspective.
Situations are often complex but there are scenarios where your partner is clearly in the wrong. For example, if you and your partner scheduled a date night and your partner fails to show because they forget, they should apologize.
Of course they can give you an explanation but should not try to justify it. Whether they were working or had a previous engagement, they should be able to understand how you’re feeling and apologize for making you feel that way.
If it is a situation where you are both in the wrong, it’s perfectly reasonable for both of you to apologize to each other. It becomes an issue when the other person constantly tries to explain away or excuse everything they do instead of acknowledging their mistakes.
This might manifest in your partner claiming that you’re too sensitive. This is effectively putting the blame on you for having emotions rather than taking responsibility for hurting you. In a relationship, you shouldn’t feel like you are always the one apologizing or to feel the need to apologize to keep the peace.
3. You don’t like the people they hang out.
We often hear that the way your partner treats other people should be just as important as the way they treat you, but this also holds true for the way that your partner’s friends behave.
If your partner’s close friends are continuously rude to service workers or often make offensive jokes, this may be a pink flag. The people we choose to spend our time with are often a reflection of our own values and morals.
If your partner is close with toxic people, that means they don’t have a problem with the negative traits that their friends exhibit and may even behave in a similar way when you’re not around.
It’s easy to think in extremes. We’re led to believe that if our partner doesn’t exhibit the well-known red flags, then the relationship is healthy.
But before those red flags make themselves known, or even if they never do, there are behaviors that signify that there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Unlike red flags, none of these pink flags inherently mean that a relationship should be ended. Rather, they have the potential to turn into an actual problem if they go unaddressed.