top of page

Recognizing Relationship Risks in New Dating Partners


As a relationship clinician, I encounter partners and couples daily in therapy. Over the years and through countless sessions, like many relationship experts, I've become adept at recognizing certain behaviors when dating someone new. Beginning a new relationship is often filled with excitement and anticipation for the future, but it's crucial to remain vigilant for potentially destructive behaviors. First impressions can be misleading when you're swept up in hopes and dreams for the future.


For relationships to flourish and communicate effectively, both partners must demonstrate respect, trust, empathy, and the ability to communicate their needs. Knowing what to look for and what to expect when dating someone new can instill confidence that the person you're with is ready for a serious relationship.


  1. How do they react when you set a boundary or say "No"? A partner who is emotionally mature and compassionate will respect your boundaries. If your new date reacts with sulking, manipulation, or attempts to get their way, it's a clear sign that they may not be suitable for a healthy relationship. Someone who disregards boundaries likely has control issues, leading to frequent conflicts and trust issues.

  2. How do they react when you're stressed? Stress is inevitable in life, so observe how your partner responds when you're under pressure. A supportive partner will stay present, share the load, and express concern about how they can help. If your date withdraws or abandons you during stressful times, it may indicate a lack of readiness for a committed relationship.

  3. Do their actions match their words, and are they consistent? Trust is built on consistency between words and actions. Pay attention to whether your date follows through on their promises. While the excitement of a new relationship can be exhilarating, reliability and consistency are fundamental. Trust is eroded when words don't align with actions, making a future together uncertain.

  4. How do they make you feel when you're with them? Trust your instincts and physical reactions. Do you feel relaxed and comfortable, or do you experience heightened vigilance or discomfort? Your body's response to someone can be an early warning sign. If being with them triggers negative emotions or reminds you of past trauma, it's worth examining the relationship closely.

  5. How do they speak about people from their past? Pay attention to how your date discusses their exes, family, or friends. Do they take responsibility for past conflicts, or do they blame others? Responsible individuals acknowledge their mistakes and demonstrate growth from past experiences. Beware of derogatory remarks or a lack of accountability, as they may indicate unresolved issues.

While no relationship is perfect, these behaviors can indicate emotional maturity, responsibility, and trustworthiness in a potential partner. Settling for anything less may result in valuable lessons rather than a fulfilling partnership.


Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page