The biggest red flags in women can range from a disconnect in values to a lack of accountability, commitment pressure, and downright disrespect. Identifying these red flags will go a long way in ensuring you wind up in a healthy relationship that’s truly right for you.
If you’re unsure if a behavior is a red flag or are unclear about red flags in general, this list will help you discern negative qualities to look out for and when you should consider heading for the hills.
While red flags can crop up in almost any relationship, it’s all about how we confront and deal with them. In this article, I unpack twenty of the biggest red flags in women, along with when they can become an issue while dating and, ultimately, how to deal with them.
To uncover the biggest red flags, I delved deep into the psychology of relationships to understand what to look out for. The twenty qualities on this list cropped up repeatedly during my research and while speaking to the men in my life about what they tend to steer clear of while dating.
While there are hundreds of potential red flags, the twenty on this list are some of the biggest, and identifying them early will save you plenty of strife down the line.
Keep reading to discover the biggest red flags in women and, more importantly, what to do about them.
The Biggest Red Flags in Women: 20 Qualities to Be Wary Of
1. She Doesn’t Share Your Values or Lifestyle
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that creates more conflict in relationships than different values and lifestyles. A disconnect here can be one of the biggest red flags in women because you’re likely rocking on different wavelengths.
If one of you likes to stay out all night while the other refuses to step foot in a club, you’ll run into a world of trouble. Even worse when it comes to aspects like politics and religion.
I’m not saying you have to be cookie cutter versions of each other, but if you have huge differences in values and lifestyles, you’re going to run into issues nonstop. Remember, compatibility is key. You can identify any differences here with simple get to know you questions, which will save you plenty of strife down the road.
2. She Plays Games
Playing games is one of the biggest red flags because it means she’s just not that serious. Sure, she may tell you she likes you, but if she’s constantly leaving you on read, flirting with other people, or impossible to make plans with, she’s playing mind games and likely isn’t worth your time.
3. She’s the Victim in All Her Relationship Stories
Relationships end for all kinds of reasons, but a huge red flag is someone who always plays the victim. Being able to take responsibility and own up to her part in conflict shows maturity. If she’s always blaming the other person without acknowledging her part in the clash, she’ll probably do the same thing to you down the line.
4. She’s a Complainer
While complaining isn’t necessarily a reason to dump someone, it can definitely be a red flag in women. Positivity goes a long way, so if you find yourself being dragged down by constant whining and grumbling, it may be time to reconsider things.
5. The People You Love Don’t Like Her
It’s only natural for the people you love to want what’s best for you. If they don’t like the woman you’re seeing (beyond the initial first impression), it’s definitely a major red flag. Since these people are looking out for you, they can probably see some qualities that you overlook. It’s certainly worth considering why these people aren’t your new boo’s biggest fan.
6. She’s Critical and Condescending
Constantly putting you down or making you feel bad? Definitely one of the biggest red flags. The person you’re seeing should lift you up, so if you feel like she’s sending you into the ground, you may want to reconsider whether she’s really worth it (spoiler, she’s not).
7. She Wants to Change You
Growth in relationships is completely normal, but if she’s asking you to change right off the bat, just imagine what things will be like months or years down the road. It’s never worth losing yourself to be with another person. And anyone who would put you in that position is not someone with your best interests at heart.
8. She’s the Jealous Type
Jealousy is only natural in most relationships, but if she’s constantly looking over your shoulder, accusing you of nonsense, or just outright possessive, think about packing your bags.
If you’re not sure when it becomes an issue, jealousy is a red flag in women if she makes you feel bad about spending time with the people in your life or is making up stories to support her own narrative. This is something that only gets worse with time, so hit the road earlier rather than later if chronic jealousy crops up.
9. She’s Not Accountable
Part of adult life is being accountable for your words and actions. If she’s constantly shirking her responsibility or refusing to be liable for her part in conflict, this is a huge red flag. At the core of it, this means she can’t own up to her wrongdoings. Don’t expect any sort of apology from this kind of woman. Even for her major screw ups.
10. She Has a History of Cheating
You know what they say — once a cheater, always a cheater. While people can definitely grow and change, if she’s cheated in all (or most) of her past relationships, or worse, brags about her conquests, consider this one of the main red flags in a girl. This is one of the main questions for a new relationship… ask it sooner rather than later.
11. Her Sense of Humor is Mean
Being able to laugh is one of the greatest joys in life, but if her sense of humor involves putting others down or is flat-out mean, this is definitely a red flag in women. It may be funny to laugh along with now, but at some point, the tables will turn, and it’s definitely not going to be as humorous when you end up as the butt of her jokes.
12. She’s Clingy and Pressures You to Commit
Moving at your own pace is super important in any relationship. You should never feel pressured to commit if you’re not ready, and if a woman is pushing you to do so, consider it a red flag.
That said, most women are eager to DTR (define the relationship), especially if things have been unclear. However, if she’s constantly pestering you when you have plans or tries to force commitment before you’re at that point, you may want to think about moving on. Especially if you’ve been seeing her for quite a while and still aren’t ready to settle down.
13. She Gives You the Silent Treatment
The cold shoulder is something many women do extremely well, but it doesn’t mean it’s okay. Unless you’ve really messed up, of course.
If you’ve had an argument or some kind of conflict, and her default reaction is to ignore you instead of making things right, this is a huge red flag in women. Icing you out signifies that her pride is more important than working things out, which is never a good sign in any relationship.
14. She’s Passive Aggressive
Nothing is a bigger mystery than passive aggressive women. Since they’d rather exacerbate conflict than talk about it, you’ll probably find yourself walking on eggshells most of the time.
Passive aggressiveness can majorly hinder communication in a relationship, which is the key to understanding the other person. If she’d rather keep her feelings to herself while acting like she has a problem, it won’t end well for anyone.
15. She’s Not Independent
Look, it’s great if you want to take care of the girl you’re seeing, but if you’re paying her bills, carrying the financial weight of the relationship, and maxing out your credit card to keep her happy, this is a major red flag in women.
Once you set the precedent of caregiver (or piggy bank), it’s super hard to level the playing field later. Remember, relationships should be a partnership, and if she can’t carry her own weight, you will both end up suffering.
16. She’s Not Authentic
You know those people who act one way behind closed doors but become a totally different person in public? You may be dealing with a woman who’s not authentic, which can be a huge red flag.
Authenticity is important in a relationship because you know exactly what you’re getting. If she’s constantly switching her personality depending on who she’s around, you may want to question who she really is.
17. She Runs Hot and Cold
Sweet one second, grumpy another. You never know what you’re going to get. Running hot and cold can be a major red flag in any relationship because it adds a layer of unpleasant unpredictability. Rather than knowing how she will react to a given situation, a woman who’s constantly moody for no apparent reason might drag you down with her. After all, misery loves company.
18. She’s All Drama
Girls and drama go hand in hand, but if there’s nothing else to her life, this can be a massive red flag in women. If she’s always gossiping, talking smack about others, or worse, known for picking fights, you can kiss the peace in your life goodbye. An ultra-dramatic woman is one you might want to avoid, especially if you’re more of a pacifist.
19. She Monopolizes All Your Time and Attention
Individuality in a relationship is key, so if she’s sucking up all of your time and attention, consider it a red flag in women.
Yes, it’s great to give the girl you’re seeing the five star treatment, but if there’s no room for anything else in your life (friends, family, and your own interests), you will wind up having a grueling time.
20. She Doesn’t Reciprocate
If you’re constantly sticking your neck out for a woman, treating her nicely, and going out of your way to make her happy, it can be super frustrating when you don’t receive the same treatment in return.
This can also signal red flags in women because if she’s not reciprocating now, will she ever? Probably not. You deserve the love you put out into the world (corny, I know), so don’t settle for anything less.
What Should You Do if You Identify These Red Flags in a Girl?
If you identify some of the biggest red flags in women that you’re dating, the first step is to address them. The sooner you address the red flags, the earlier you’ll know if the relationship is worth pursuing.
If the red flags show up consistently, you can address them by talking to the woman you’re seeing about your concerns. Whip out some of the best questions to ask a girl and you’ll be able to uncover more than you think. Any mature individual will be open to hearing out your apprehensions and hopefully modifying their behavior accordingly. This is especially true if you care about you on a deep level and value your relationship.
However, toxic behavior can be challenging to change, and if she’s not ready for the work involved, it’s time to consider packing your bags. If she’s not interested in hearing you out and making improvements, it will only be an uphill battle.
Remember, lack of accountability is one of the biggest red flags, so if she’s unwilling to address your concerns, especially if you communicate them honestly, openly, and from a place of care, she’s probably not worth your time.
Why You Should Trust Us
As the de facto relationship expert at FashionBeans, I spend most of my time researching and writing about dating, everything from the best pick up lines to questions to ask a guy. After spending a decade dating around, I’ve learned tons about relationships from my own experience, as well as from psychologists, intimacy coaches, and my massive social circle.
For this article, I consulted trusted sources, both academic and personal, to compile the list of the biggest red flags. I hope it will inspire individuals to take a more meaningful look at their relationships and always strive for what’s truly best for them.
At the end of the day, you likely know what’s best for yourself, but it’s always worth keeping the biggest red flags in mind. The earlier you identify these negative qualities, the sooner you can deal with them or, in the worst case, jump ship. Remember, healthy relationships should be a partnership, and if things are unbalanced and you feel like you are not receiving the treatment you deserve, it’s never worth settling for something that doesn’t serve you.
The biggest red flags in a relationship are cheating, putting others down, lack of accountability, and unending amounts of drama. Any and all of these things will lead to a miserable existence, so squash them from the start or suffer the consequences.
The biggest silent red flag in a relationship with a woman is constantly feeling bad. If you find yourself always on edge, walking on eggshells, or overall more miserable than happy, this is a sign that it’s time to reconsider your situation.
Toxic red flags in dating are clinginess, inability to have your own life, and passive aggressiveness. These red flags will drive a relationship into the ground faster than you can say toxic.