Relationships can be messy, and it can be challenging to know how to spot the red flags in a partner at first. If you are in a relationship and don’t know if it’s toxic, here are some things to look out for, according to psychologists.

Inability To Regulate Their Emotions

In a recent Buzzfeed article, several mental health professionals weighed in on what to look out for when you are seeing someone new. One factor that one of the professionals pointed out is that if you are dating a person who has an uncontrollable temper or cannot regulate their emotions, that is a big red flag. An inability to stabilize a raging temper can potentially lead to physical and mental abuse, which breeds toxicity.

Couple fighting
Photo Credit: Alex Green


A healthy relationship lies on the foundation of truth, and the slightest form of lying can destroy that. If you find out that your partner has lied to you in any way, that can be a red flag. Lying can blur the lines of trust and make it hard to build a successful, long-lasting relationship. There are different reasons why people lie, but ultimately, a partner should make you feel secure and safe. Sometimes, the lies can start off as subtleties, and later grow, and that can be a big problem.


Deflecting responsibility can also be a brain child of gaslighting, and this can become a bigger issue down the line. For an adult relationship to work, it is important to have someone in your corner who can acknowledge and address their wrongdoing, rather than deny them and make you feel crazy in the long run. Deflecting responsibility can be a dangerous pattern and does not bode well for the future.

Your Gut/Nervous System Feeling

If you feel unsafe around a person, then that is something worth paying close attention to. Many times, our bodies physically feel drained and beat down around certain people because in the grand scheme of things, they are bad for us. If you feel heavy, anxious or unsafe around a partner that you have been with for a few months, and they have shown other red flag patterns, then it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship.


There is something very attractive about a person who says that they will do what they promise to do. If you notice that your partner has frequent inconsistencies, no matter how subtle, then it is time to pay attention. Some inconsistencies are more noticeable than others, such as not calling for long stretches of time, or giving excuses that feel flat and unreasonable, at best. In which case, run.


Apathy can be dangerous because it involves the illusion of a lack of care. Any partner who is generally very care-free and nonchalant as far as it concerns you will have a difficult time showing empathy or compassion when you really need it. Life is hard, and can be painful, uncomfortable and flat out cruel. In the moments when life hands us its toughest blows, we need people around us who can show care, and most often, the first person to turn to is our loved one. if that person is persistently demonstrating a lack of care or concern, even in the first few months, there is no use sticking around for six more months to find out.