16 Things Widely Considered To Be Red Flags In A Relationship That Are Totally Normal

There are a lot of weirdos out there, so it’s definitely important to be perceptive and keep your eyes peeled for any potential warning signs when we meet someone new. However, sometimes it feels like we’re so attuned to so-called red flags that we end up seeing problems where none really exist. People got talking over on Reddit this week about the things that are widely considered to be red flags that are actually kind of normal and to be honest, I have to agree with most of them.

  1. Not making eye contact As u/Electronic-Emu-773 points out, not looking someone in the eye doesn’t automatically make you a liar, just like standing with your arms crossed doesn’t mean you’re being defensive. It’s a weird and totally false assumption to make. Plus, making TOO much eye contact is kinda even worse!
  2. Not responding to texts immediately Assuming that someone is ghosting you just because they haven’t texted you back within 5 minutes doesn’t mean you’re being ghosted. In fact, it could very well mean that the person is busy and not glued to their phone 24/7. We need to get used to being out of touch sometimes.
  3. Not having a social media presence While we might think it’s odd that someone isn’t on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and every other social media app, it’s definitely not a red flag. Some people would simply prefer to make real-life connections and not to have their mental health affected by social media (which is a serious problem).
  4. Not getting along with parents For many people, hearing that someone doesn’t speak to their family would be seen as a red flag. After all, who cuts their family out of their lives? However, as u/insertcaffeine points out, some people do have legitimate reasons for this. “Some parents are abusive, neglectful, or toxic to be around; and if an adult chooses not to be around that, good for them,” they write. However, they’re quick to add: “Of course, if a person is actively awful to their parents, that’s another story.”
  5. Being a loner The idea that someone is somehow creepy, a loser, or deficient in some ways because they don’t have a big social circle or spend a lot of time with friends is unfair. “Sometimes we’re just shy and have poor social skills. We’re not ‘creeps’ or ‘weird,'” u/BurghsFinFan points out. “I just do my own thing and leave people alone for the most part unless they want me in their life.”
  6. Living with family even as an adult Many people get branded as losers for not having their own place in their late 20s and 30s, but it’s 2022. Inflation is high, affordable housing availability is low, and people have to pool their resources. Judging someone for living at home after college is just silly.
  7. Men having female friends The supposed red flag here is that men who have lots of female friends must sleep around a lot and have leftover feelings for their exes. However, u/freakydude92 says that’s not the case. ” A lot of girls get jealous, but if it’s a real friendship and not a bunch of exes and hookups, it actually shows women consider them reliable and good people to have around,” he insists.
  8. Not dating for several years Someone dropping out of the dating scene despite being single might raise some question marks, but there’s nothing inherently wrong about taking a break. “I’ve been told by girls that if a guy has been single for over five years, that’s a problem,” says u/bigblueberryboobies. “So you’d prefer he’d be in 25 relationships in the last five years and wonder why all those relationships didn’t work out?”
  9. Not wanting your partner to have all your passwords Many would consider this a red flag because you think it means the person has something to hide, but that’s not true at all. “Relationships still need privacy. If you can’t trust your partner enough to allow them that, you are simply in the wrong relationship,” u/WeeabooGandhi points out.
  10. Women with stuffed animals Some men might be creeped out by this and assume that the girl in question is immature and a bit odd, but u/lavenderbleudilly says that’s not it at all. “It’s just comfort and habit. Not that deep,” she writes.
  11. Going to therapy The idea that this is a red flag is slowly fading away, but some people would still be concerned by this and assume the person in question has serious problems. The truth is that there’s no shame whatsoever in talking to someone about how you’re feeling and addressing your issues. In fact, it actually makes you way more likely to be well-adjusted!
  12. Guys not paying for everything on dates Many women do like paying their own way and would prefer to be seen as equals, but there are some who see it as a red flag when a man expects her to go dutch. We need to get rid of such outdated ideas!
  13. Not wanting a relationship/sex Why is it that in the 21st century, people still can’t understand that not everyone has the same goals and desires as them? Asexuality is a thing, and some people just prefer their own company to that of a romantic partner. It’s not a red flag, it’s a perfectly normal reality.
  14. Men liking children/babies Admit it – you might automatically find it a bit weird and/or creepy even though it’s totally not. “Why do we assume every guy that likes perverts and a woman can’t be?” u/Nivasha questions. Good point!
  15. Jealousy  While excessive jealousy that could turn dangerous is definitely a red flag, the emotion itself is actually totally normal. It’s a human emotion we all experience at one point or another. It’s what you do with it that matters.
  16. Being friends with exes While there are some shady people out there who would use “friendship” with an ex to mask an ongoing sexual relationship, most of the time this is completely innocent. “It just means they are nice enough of a person that their ex decided not to permanently blacklist them. I’m more suspicious of people who aren’t friends with any exes or even worse, talk badly of them all,” says u/_jamesbaxter.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia