Relationship RED FLAGS

dan·ger zone

Dictionary result for danger zone

  1. an area in which there is a high risk of harm, especially where this risk has been officially identified.
    “this is a danger zone where any one of us can step on a landmine”
    • a situation that is hazardous or controversial.
      “he’s moving and he’s conscious—at least for now he’s out of the danger zone”

As a child I lived near a large park that contained a lake.  In the winter it would often get cold enough for the lake to freeze and children from all around the community could be seen lacing up their ice skates to take a spin around the lake.  The entire community knew and understood the flag system.   Red flags, of course, meant to stay off the ice. Red flags meant that the ice was NOT thick enough; instead it was a DANGER ZONE.

Red flags in a relationship (whether it is a romantic relationship or a friendship) warn you about the danger zone too.  If you’re wondering about your relationship take this brief quiz and then check out the self assessment at the bottom of the page.

Relationship Red Flags:

Are you become isolated from your friends and family?  ____ Yes  _____ No

Sometimes you feel stupid around this person. ____ Yes  _____ No

The other person is becoming obsessed with you. ____ Yes  _____ No

The other person is possessive of you. ____ Yes  _____ No

The other person can’t stand it or gets angry if you talk to another person.

____ Yes  _____ No

The other person wants to know where you are at all times. ____ Yes  _____ No

The other person always wants you to do what they do all of the time. ____ Yes  _____ No

You can’t seem to keep your hands off of each other. ____ Yes  _____ No

The other person has pushed or shoved you. ____ Yes  _____ No

You do not feel emotional safe with the other person. ____ Yes  _____ No

The relationship started very quickly. ____ Yes  _____ No

The other person gets angry and puts you down. ____ Yes  _____ No

You feel that you need to hide who the other person is for real. ____ Yes  _____ No

You have unresolved conflict in the relationship, but it doesn’t matter. ____ Yes  _____ No

You are frequently alone and physical with one another. ____ Yes  _____ No

You are embarrassed and made fun of in front of other people. ____ Yes  _____ No

You feel like there is no way out of the relationship. ____ Yes  _____ No

The other person uses intimidation to make you do what they want. ____ Yes  _____ No

The other person seldom takes responsibility for their actions and blames others for their problems. ____ Yes  _____ No

The other person has a short fuse and gets angry easy. ____ Yes  _____ No

When you are together, you feel guilty or inadequate. ____ Yes  _____ No

Sometimes the other person is extremely charming and loving, other times demeaning and disrespectful. ____ Yes  _____ No

Most of your family and friends disapprove of the relationship. ____ Yes  _____ No

Your attitude toward your future plans and goals is changing. ____ Yes  _____ No

Now count your “yes” answers.  How many do you have?

If you answered “yes” to 1-4 of the questions/statements above, you are encouraged to have an open and honest conversation about these red flags with your partner.

If you answered “yes” to 5-13 of the questions/statements above, this indicates that you are in an unhealthy relationship. You should discuss these red flags with someone you trust or please come into one of our centers to talk to a client advocate for resources.

If you answered “yes” to 14-24 of the questions/statements above, you are in a potentially dangerous relationship and you need to seek immediate help.

The following are resources that can help you get help now.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Love is Respect

Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center

If you are in immediate danger Call 911

Shelby WhitlockShelby Whitlock is Care Net SoMD’s Outreach and Education Director.  She has developed the REEF (Relationship Essentials that Equip Families) program and is passionate about educating people about healthy relationships.  Shelby is a certified Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist.

1 thought on “Relationship RED FLAGS”

  1. Hey Shelby I really appreciate your efforts and I guess its one of those areas where mostly people don’t come to see what’s happening and people don’t talk about. This really is a thoroughly researched post and you summed things up quite well and in a really good manner.

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