Disclaimer: These are based in the context of mostly “he” because they are from my personal point of view, but these are signs that reflect off of both men and women.

1. Public fights

Instead of discussing an issue when you get home, he starts fighting with you right there. He doesn’t care who hears, but it’s incredibly embarrassing for you and you would just prefer to fake a smile until the night is over so you two can discuss it alone. Public fighting shows that him/her being right or getting their point across right there is more important than the quality time you’re spending with your friends or family.

2. Going out without him

If going out without your significant other starts fights, this is a red flag. If he gets upset over other guys being there, this is also a red flag. This shows that he is insecure and isn’t trusting you or your judgment. A relationship without trust can become toxic very quickly and isn’t healthy for either of you.

3. He checks your phone

If your man is checking your phone or reading your texts, he doesn’t trust you. He is obviously looking for something specific, maybe to see if you’re texting other guys or talking to your girlfriends about him. Either way, it’s just not healthy and shouldn’t be happening in the relationship. You also shouldn’t be checking his phone either; if you have questions, ask him. If you don’t believe his word, that’s a question of the trust in your relationship as a whole.

4. He doesn’t follow your social media accounts

Because it makes him “upset or jealous when he sees you responding to certain people”. This should be an obvious red flag but apparently, some of us don’t realize it until after the breakup. This is a major sign of insecurity in themselves as well as the relationship. He should support you always, even on something so small as social media.

5. Can’t have friends of the opposite sex

That you talk to on a regular basis without them thinking you are catching feelings or being unfaithful. You should be able to have guy friends. Guy friends are a great resource to confide in to understand the “guy side of things” and can enhance your relationship with your significant other. Furthermore, it is another red flag of a lack of trust in your relationship and an insecurity of themselves, as a lover and/or as a confident individual.

6. Holds you back from opportunities

You are young right now! I cannot emphasize this enough. You should be taking advantage of being young and travel as much as you can as well as other things you enjoy without constantly working around a man’s schedule. If you want to study abroad for a semester and your significant other says your relationship won’t last long-distance, then forget him! If you aren’t strong enough to make it long distance for a short amount of time, you probably aren’t strong enough to stay together forever. You have to be honest with yourself; if he doesn’t support your decisions to pursue your dreams or doesn’t have the same expectations or goals for life as you do, in the long-run it could be catastrophic. Do NOT make your life decisions off of a boy/girl you will most likely not get married to. You will regret it so much later on.

7. Pressures you to unfollow/block certain people

This is just weird. Do you see your parents making each other block/unfollow people on social media? I sure hope not. Not only should they not be allowed to control who you talk to, but this shouldn’t be okay to you either.

8. Tells you what to wear

If you’re rocking a hot bikini or a cute mini dress that makes you feel good and he tells you to change, it’s not his place. He shouldn’t feel threatened by other guys seeing you in a bikini or a “going out” outfit. You decide what you wear. There is a difference between being concerned about the way you’re dressing (like a dad) and controlling how you are dressing as a boyfriend/girlfriend.

Most of these issues come down to trust and insecurities. I’m sure we’ve all experienced an unhealthy or toxic relationship in one way or another. We may have been in one, or maybe we’ve seen someone else go through it. Either way, a lot of the time you can tell if these issues are going to develop before you start dating. If not, they may develop over time and you may realize that this person isn’t who you thought they were. That’s completely okay. It’s okay to not be with your first love forever and a lot of us learn that the hard way.

Even as we go through these battles, as easy or difficult it may be, we have to be strong. You always have to remember to put yourself first. I know what you’re thinking -- this sounds selfish. But you can’t truly be happy in a true relationship unless both parties feel that they make each other better as individuals and as a pair that can stick together through life’s many curveballs. It’s a journey you have to experience together. If any of these red flags ring true, it’s time to reflect and resolve those issues if they can be resolved. If not, the choice is truly up to you.