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Ladies Corner – Red Flags in Relationships

People enter serious relationships hopeful of a bright future with the other party. It may be the type of relationship where both parties have agreed to go beyond platonic friendship to one geared towards marriage. In other instances, the relationship would have gotten to the stage where the families of both parties are aware of the preparation for marriage. However, there are certain red flags one must not ignore regardless of the stage of the relationship.  


A red flag is a sign that there is a problem that should not be ignored. It tells of serious hazards or potential danger should one act without utmost care, vigilance, tact, and caution. In relationships and courtships, red flags are behaviors that give serious cause for concern. Such behaviors are grounds for the lady to take a relook at her commitment and future with the other party. Sometimes, red flags are pointers to deep-seated issues and fundamental ‘cracks’ in the life of the other party which require the attention and counsel of parents, church leaders, and professionals. Ignoring them could lead to unceasing distress in marriage and family life later on in life.  


A few red flags are listed below:   

  1. Alcoholism and Addiction – The person may be an angel to the outside world but may be battling alcoholism and addiction to drugs or pornography. Ladies in such situations may want to keep this secret hoping things will change for the better. It is better to make this known for counsel on the best decision to take.  
  1. Dishonest Work – The person may be involved in fraud, robbery, gambling, or drug peddling as a source of livelihood. They may tell a different story to the outside world by pretending to be involved in honest labor.     
  1. Unbelieving Partners – The other party may deny or leave the faith or join a sect with very strange doctrines and teachings. Such a person is no more subject to the control of the Holy Spirit and the counsel from leaders of the church. This can become a source of conflict later in the marriage. 
  1. Control Freak- When the man is or becomes too possessive and jealous. He doesn’t want you to do anything in life apart from being with him. He tries to control who you see, who you talk to, where you go, how you spend your money, and even how you should relate to your parents.  
  1. Gold Digger – Such a person is always asking for money. He lives above his means without finding a means of livelihood and expects the lady to support his extravagant living  
  1. Violence and Abuse – Insults and displays violence at the slightest misunderstanding. Such displays may not be limited to you but to family or work colleagues.  
  1. Habitual Liar- Very dishonest and has no qualms about making up stories to cover up. Very unapologetic about lying or deceiving you.   
  1. On and Off Guy – This person is very unstable in the relationship. At one time, he looks serious, and at other times disinterested and detached.  You don’t hear from him for a long time and surfaces again to make huge promises. He may seem unsure about the direction of the relationship anymore.   
  1. Withdrawal and Disinterest – Withdrawal signs may include very little communication, no calls, no visitation, refusal to pick up calls, cold reception when visited, creating a lot of drama over simple issues, no plans concerning marriage, etc. Sometimes, they do not want to call it to quit from their end but expect the other party to take that decision based on their conduct.  
  1. Uncontrollable Anger Tantrums- bursts into anger and becomes violent. Not able to manage emotions well and can go days or months without talking to you because he is offended. 


One should not be afraid to open up to parents, guardians, church leaders, or mentors about some of these issues. They will be of great help in advising and showing the best course of action to take. There is no shame if one has to back out due to any of these serious issues. With some of these red flags, the situation gets better after both parties are counseled to overcome differences. For others, counselors or guardians may advise one to consider a breakup.  


Mrs. Nana Adwoa Owusu-Boateng  

PENSA Sunyani Sector 



The writer is the author of the book, The Virtuous Lady and Courtship  

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