Instead, it involves a pattern of intense and excessive interest, and it becomes worrying when “one person is trying to manipulate the other into a situation of dependency,” Adekunle says. If someone you recently started dating is overwhelming you with overly indulgent compliments like, “You’re all I’ve ever wanted” or showering you with extravagant gifts, those behaviors can veer into unhealthy relationship territory. In the context of love bombing, these seemingly sweet gestures are often followed by more insidious actions, like guilt-tripping you for spending time with others or getting angry when you don’t do what they want.
Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a fast-moving or expressive love life, as long as it feels right. Adekunle just suggests that you check in with your body: If you’re anxious about your partner pushing the relationship forward at warp speed, it’s probably a sign to pump the brakes and examine where your emotions are coming from.
6. They’re rude to people in the service industry.
The good news is that this one should be clear early on, like on the first date, before you’re invested in a romantic relationship. Dr. Senarighi explains that because our culture undervalues service industry workers, the way your date talks to the waiter or the Lyft driver will give you great information about their views on social structure, their sense of entitlement, and how they respond when they’re in positions of power. In short, do you want to be with someone who feels it’s their right to be rude to the bartender? If not, order your martini to go.
7. You’re fighting constantly.
It’s one thing to occasionally argue about who forgot to take out the trash or accidentally snap at them (and then apologize) when you’re in a bad mood. If you find that fighting—or even passive aggressiveness—is a recurring pattern in your relationship, though, that’s something to reflect on, according to Dr. Marshall.
“There’s no way to say how much is too much conflict,” she says. “But the important thing is whether or not arguing is balanced with higher, or at least equal, levels of positive interactions.” After all, your romantic partner is someone you’re supposed to generally get along well with, so if you most of your time at odds with each other, that can mean you’re simply not a good match—at best. At worst, it could be a sign that these conflicts are indicative of a more toxic relationship dynamic, Dr. Marshall adds.
8. They don’t truly listen to you.
We’re not talking about your significant other forgetting to pick up eggs or needing to be reminded of your adorable dog’s birthday, again. This is about those important aspects of yourself that you share with them, like your hobbies, your traditions, and the people in your life who make you feel whole.