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Relationship Traits & Warning Signs

Take a Relationship Quiz

Is Your Relationship             Is Your Loved One in an                 Relationship

Healthy?                               Unhealthy Relationship?                 Red Flags


At the beginning of a romantic relationship, the partners are nice, even charming, attentive, and/or thoughtful. In healthy relationships, this continues as the relationship progresses. 

Please note, while all the signs to the right are positive traits of healthy relationships, they should not be one-sided. I.e. one person being more considerate, kind, caring, or thoughtful. Or constantly putting your own needs aside for the other person.  

Characteristics  Include:

  • Values the other person's opinions, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs

  • Supportive of each other's activities and goals

  • Helps the other person without wanting anything in return

  • Sincere

  • Authentic

  • Feeling safe and secure in the relationship

  • Listening to the other person

  • Asking thoughtful questions to understand the other person's point of view

  • Willing to compromise

  • Making important decisions together

  • Encourages and is kind to others. 


Unhealthy relationships may also include healthy traits. It's unhealthy when there are more unhealthy than healthy characteristics. Over time, one or both partners may experience tension or feel uncomfortable being themselves. Unhealthy relationships often make one person feel insecure, stressed, cautious, and/or sad. Some relationships can be unhealthy without being or becoming abusive. 

Warning Signs:

  • Ignores or doesn’t care about the other person’s feelings

  • Does not respect their partner’s beliefs or values

  • Not willing to compromise

  • Is suspicious or jealous

  • Lies to the other person

  • Spends most of their time with the other

  • Has limited outside interests or friends

  • Gets upset easily

  • Escalates disagreements into fights

  • Uses a loud voice, harsh words or insults, to hurt the other person.

Emotional & Verbal Abuse

Verbal and emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior in which the abuser insults or humiliates their partner to isolate, control, or frighten them. This kind of abuse can be hard to recognize because it starts subtly and builds, there is a lack of physical signs of abuse, and teens with limited dating experience may believe it’s a normal part of relationships. Over time, the victim starts doubting themselves and their feelings and develops low self-esteem.

Warning Signs:

  • The unhealthy signs listed above +

  • Acting in an intimidating way

  • Calling a date names

  • Using sexually derogatory names

  • Isolating a date from others

  • Driving recklessly to scare a date

  • Displaying inappropriate anger

  • Damaging personal property

  • Putting down a date’s family and friends

  • Humiliating a date in public or private

Physical Abuse

Researchers have found the characteristics of unhealthy relationships could indicate an abusive relationship, although not always. 

To the right are some of the most common signs a partner may display in an abusive relationship:

Warning Signs:

  • Gets angry when one person doesn’t “drop everything” for the other person

  • Keeps the other person from seeing friends or talking to other people

  • Wants the other to quit a healthy activity they enjoy

  • Checks the other person’s cell phone or email 

  • Displays extreme jealousy or insecurity

  • Has an explosive temper (sudden, volatile outbursts)

  • Makes false accusations

  • Has mood swings

  • Tells the other person what to do

  • Raises a hand to the other person when angry

  • Physically hurts the other person in any way

Sexual Coercion

Teenagers may feel pressure from their peers, social media, and TV shows or movies that portray storylines of sexually active teens or sexually coercive behavior.


Coercion is a tactic many use to gain something they want from another person. When an individual experiences sexual coercion, they are being pressured to do something sexually or physically that they are not comfortable doing. The person on the receiving end may give in to the coercion for any number of reasons, afterward feeling guilt and shame.

Tactics Used:

  • One partner gets angry or makes the other person feel guilty. 

  • Argue or pressure the person. 

  • Use alcohol to lower their partner’s resistance. 

  • Intimidation - may threaten to spread rumors or physically harm the other person if they don’t agree to have sex.

  • Physical force, such as holding the other person down.

After believing in Jesus, the most important decision you'll ever make is whom you date and marry.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29

Let's connect.


Dee Dee and licensed counselors are available to speak at schools, churches, businesses, and other organizations or groups to help raise awareness and protect our youth. 


Send us a message and we’ll get back to you soon.

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