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Love is blind, but lust knows it’s a bad idea and wants to do it anyway. How bad could it get, amiright?

Pretty bad, actually.

One time, a guy broke up with me while we were fooling around. If I have to say, “Hold on, let me get dressed,” so we can talk about why you’re leaving me, you’re a terrible person and you suck at breakups.

I knew he was a terrible idea. But new partners can feel literally irresistible.

Whether you’re ready for a new friend with benefits or a significant other, try to figure out who they are and what they want before you fall too hard.

1. Your partner can’t define what they like about you? You might have nothing in common except desire.

5 Relationship Red FlagsPhysical desire is an important part of a relationship. Especially in the beginning when passions run high. But if your partner isn’t sure what they like about you other than your appearance, be wary.

Healthy relationships are built on a foundation of respect. Your partner should admire your best qualities: intelligence, humor, ambition, kindness, etc.

Same goes for you. If what you like most about your partner is their eyes or abs, you might be confusing lust with love.

2. You Didn’t Define The Relationship? Make Sure You’re On The Same Page.

5 Relationship Red FlagsFriends with benefits means many things to many people.

Will you hold hands in public? Hit on other people in front of each other? Sleep with each other’s friends?

Before you agree to be friends with benefits, make sure you each understand what that means to the other person.

3. You have to minimize or deny your feelings to maintain the relationship? They might not be that into you.

Relationship Red FlagsBit of a contradiction here. In a previous post of relationship red flags, I warned you about people who feel too much too soon. Relationships that start with that level of intensity tend to burn out quickly.

But if you have to lie about your feelings to maintain a relationship, you should probably keep looking.

Never pretend you want to keep it casual, or are satisfied with friends with benefits, when what you really want is a significant other.

4. If You Disappeared, They Wouldn’t Notice? They’re Definitely Not That Into You.

5 Relationship Red Flags

New relationships are exciting. But if you’re always texting first or asking them to hang out, it’s a problem.

Relationships should be give and take. If you’re chasing after someone, eventually it’s time to stop.

If you never hear from them again, you have your answer. Fortunately, you’re not losing anything other than a pleasant distraction.

5. You only do what they want? Your Relationship Might Be Toxic.

5 Relationship Red FlagsThis is a major red flag. We expect toxic relationships to be obvious. But most relationships don’t start out with emotional or physical abuse.

Controlling relationships can be subtle. Instead of, “You can’t see your friends,” it might be “I’m tired tonight, how about tomorrow?” But tomorrow never comes.

If there’s always another excuse to do what your partner wants, or you have to lie to maintain a relationship with your friends and family, it’s a very big problem.

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About Penelope Strange