9 Warning Signs Before You Take Your Relationship to the Next Level

If you recognize these behaviors in your partner, and they are unwilling to make themselves more aware, you should heed the warning.

Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship knows that it can be challenging, with a lot of give and take, and plenty of just letting go. Good, lasting, and loving relationships often mimic the stock market—although there are ups and downs, the overall trend is up. Yet not everyone is capable of riding out the ups and downs.

I have observed certain behaviors that could signal trouble ahead. Often when a partner sees these in someone they are dating, they either think they will be able to change the person or don’t take it too seriously. I say, before you take it to the next level, take them seriously.

These nine behaviors point to someone who is not aware of, what I call, their automatic brain (AB); our primitive, animalistic brain that always causes us to fight and flee whenever it picks up danger signs. Here they are.

1. Road Rage (lite)

You may be thinking your partner is a little aggressive on the road, but not road rage. That’s when someone gets really aggressive. Well, guess what? What I call road rage (lite) is more insidious and may be an easily recognized warning sign. It happens when you are driving along and another car pulls into your lane, many, many car lengths ahead. Does your partner step on the gas and tailgate the car? This is a bad sign and should signal you to drive off into the sunset…alone.

2. Treatment of service staff

How does your partner behave in situations when someone is serving you? Have you ever observed him in a restaurant? How does she treat the wait staff? Does he treat them with respect? Or, does she look at any opportunity to expose their weaknesses in a feeble attempt to elevate himself. This tendency is a big red flag and I suggest you don’t ignore it.

3. Waiting in line

You get ready to check out at the supermarket and the line is long. Does your partner wait patiently? Or, does he start getting irritated, pushy, and rude to you or the others in the line? This signs of impatience is one that doesn’t go away easily and should make you proceed with caution. 

4. Reactions to your friendships

Everything is going great with you and your new beau. But one night while driving in the car, you start getting texts from some friends about a party. While driving he starts questioning you intensely, suspiciously about who is texting you. When he finds out some of the texts are coming from guy friends, he flips out and starts yelling and trying to grab your phone. He never lays a hand on you and you swear he never would. But such jealousy is usually just the tip of the iceberg and I suggest you melt that iceberg, fast.

5. Public vs. Private Treatment

All your friends love your new boyfriend. “He’s so hot,” they tell you. “He seems like such a gentleman.” Players have a way of working the crowd. If he is a gentleman in public, but overtly disrespectful and unappreciative in private, you should decide not to play along and leave.

6. Has a wandering eye

To be sure, we can be attracted to many, many people, not just someone whom we may consider a “soul mate”. However, if your partner cannot be locked into a conversation with you, or be completely present holding your hand while walking down the street, without staring at every ample-bodied co-ed who passes by, or constantly looking on at texts or social media for the next big deal, then that is sign for you to wander your eye right out of that relationship.

7. Requires compliments

Everyone likes to be complimented. It supports our self-esteem and makes us feel good. But there is a difference between wanting and appreciating compliments and needing them. Those with an insatiable need for compliments tend to be insecure. Such insecurity, unless recognized and dealt with, becomes a drain on any relationship. You will never be able to compliment enough.

8. Lying

Like many, I do not look at white lies the same as other types. Those dishing them usually have good intentions. However, I have seen couples early in a relationship, justify their partner’s deceptions as white lies, when they clearly were not grounded in good intentions. What’s the difference? Misleading you so not to hurt your feelings would be a white lie. Telling you that he needs to work late in the office and you later find out later that he was partying it up with his buddies at a strip club is different. He may try to tell you he hid it from you because he didn’t want to hurt your feelings, but don’t buy it. Chalk it up as a strike.

9. Shifting blame

Does it seem as though your partner always seems to blame you? It can be subtle, but she never seems to take responsibility for something when it goes wrong. She rarely apologizes and when she does it always comes back around to you. If only you did this; if only you did that…then we might not be where we are. A person who cannot own up to their mistakes, and worse, try to shift blame, is a person with whom you must be cautious.

Final note

All of these warning signs have one thing in common. They all represent our AB at work. The behaviors arise from our innate sense to fight or flee danger. By elevating ourselves and sometimes by deflating others, it puts us in a higher position—one that our brain processes as being safer, thus fleeing danger. However, this automatic, primitive and animalistic process, can be hurtful, if a person remains unaware. If you recognize these behaviors in your partner, and they are unwilling to make themselves more aware, you should heed the warning. If not, it might result in a volatile, unhappy, and ultimately unfulfilling relationship.

To learn more, get my free eBook


Charles F. Glassman

Dr. Charles F. Glassman, aka Coach MD, is a medical doctor, thought leader, & author who has learned that true holistic care arises when we balance mind, body, & spirit.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

24 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
21 Comment authors
PRABHAKAR RAJARAPUCharles F. GlassmanJackie WilushewskiSue SmithJessica Gilbert Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of


Jackie Wilushewski

Great, great, just super great article!!!

I remember my Mom telling me she heard that the way a person reacts to untangling tangled Christmas tree lights is a good indicator of hoe they will treat you – and your Road Rage (lite) re minds me of just that.
The way anyone, let alone a potential serious partner treats others, especially service staff is so important and has really helped me steer clear of some potentially bad experiences.

The waiting in line part is tricky to me because there are times I’ve seen even the most patient person be a little impatient depending on the circumstances. But I do agree that you can tell or get the hint if this is a regular reaction or a one off thing happening.

The reactions to friends, and family for that matter is totally a red flag. I ignored that once and I didn’t realize until years later that I actually was given that red-flag to warm me, but I didn’t pay attention to it (or rather, I saw it and ignored it).

We all can do subtle things a bit differently here or there sort of like how I am a bit more “professional” at work vs at home with my family or even if I am by myself. But total out right drastic differences in treatment, yea – big red flag.

So many of these are just so obvious and if we really think about it, we know them we get them. We are aware of them. But, we talk our selves out of them and then we wonder why we are so unhappy or how we got where we are.

I am grateful for you taking the time to write and share this with all who read it. Though I may have learned some lessons on this, it’s always good to keep on your toes and even share it with others in a loving and compassionate way.

Thank you & Blessings <3

Sue Smith

Wonderful insight and tips! It would be wonderful if things like this were taught in high school! 👑💖

Jessica Gilbert

These are signs that I will keep in mind. Thanks for sharing…great article!

Tiffany Newsome
Tiffany Newsome

This is a very informing


I’ve been dating this guy for two and a half years and I fell in a downspout financially so something in my home needed to be fixed all he wanted to do was come over take me out to dinner and stay overnight while seeing this problem that needed to be fixed so I told him that we had to change this relationship because I felt that’s all he wanted to do now only that been going on trips by hisself, so I told him that we needed to stop this relationship and explain to him I am not a bed partner and not one time have you offered to help me fix the problem that you constantly see and he told me that he has his own problems so that’s something that you have to deal with so I stop seeing them and he constantly Texas me calls me trying to come over but I refused, not one time has he offered to lend me the money or help me with the situation Am I Wrong to not want to keep dealing with him in a relationship

Robina fazal

Nice article💖💐Doc.Charles F.Glassman.yeah it’s true a sound relationship needs to be faithful..true..respectful..loving and have to have the space for each other.. if sometime any misunderstanding..dispute..argue..negativity..or tussle’s changes one have to give other the liberty to clear the mess….where their is pure love with compassion there are chances the both can linger on the relationship with love and trust ..😄and it is v.rare but such loving relationships do exist in this world..I do believe in love…but my life is too busy and heavy responsibilities..that I have no time and don’t concentrate on having a relationship v.few had in the past for little bit times..those were v.good..loving and proved good for my happy life…as I was quite .quite alone after the breakage of my Sweet 7 years was really a mishap..but i had to focus on own routines a lot .quite quite heavy responsibilities after Moms death.. have to be mainly at home and I always prefer home positivity and discipline so I can’t have any relationships with boys I had those were my cousins and class mates…I have to focus on purpose ful life . healthy life with some good to do .for all.. my I quit making boy friends and be on such routines…as music.. therapies.. dances on music.. peaceful mind yoga .to ease Soul..mind and body .exercises..spiritual links with God Almighty.. book reading .writing articles on different topics… be capable to resist sexual desires in better ways o do many positive..productive works . 😄😆😀😘yeah it’s a human desire to have a companion…At times do feel to have one ..but then laugh and concentrate on my works..and my routines that are making me a more happy and useful person for me and for my family..and for others…to be a loving..caring.. compassionate person.. 😄😆😀😘💖💫👍And do hope for a life partner who can be my boy friend too…and we can happily live after…a life of love .and happiness but will work for all humanity..Amen…


In dificult situation only one is not always true…bouth of tham are blamed the same way…


My Father has all those traits. I don’t care about his wandering eye as he is not a boyfriend, obviously, but it mattered to my Mother. He will question phone texts, even though it shouldn’t matter to him as a Father. He will stalk me. My Son’s Father had every trait listed, also. He was violent too, but I was eventually forced to get him out of our lives when my Son was young. That was my first experience of violence and bad treatment in a “boyfriend” relationship. After him, another guy tried it, so he was booted out as well. Sometimes it makes me wonder why all those people felt the need to beat the life out me. Why did/could they hate me so much? They thought I was weak, and found out I wasn’t. That was my saving grace. Just cruel people, and ever since my Mum died, I’ve been surrounded by them. Keeping them all at bay is a heavy burden to carry. I’ve lost my sense of humour and spirit, soul and the spring in my step. But it’s in there, it’s just buried under a pile of hardship and negative bullying tosses.


I really enjoyed reading this article.
I reposted it on FACEBOOK for others to read too.
Thank you so much !
HAVE A good week. <3