Most of us have experienced that moment in a relationship when we realize that things have turned bad. One person says something that they instantly regret or another one finally notices the myriad of changes that have been brewing beneath the surface for perhaps weeks or even months. Unfortunately, we're generally blind to the early warning signs of trouble, and only notice things when it is far too late. If we could only notice things sooner, then surely problems could more easily be fixed. Well, it is really only a matter of knowing the early signs to watch for that prevents us from doing just that.
The first red flag to notice is when someone else is still around. While partners should always be trusting and never clingy, that doesn't mean that you have to be oblivious when an ex is moving back into the picture. If the ex and your partner have had children together, of course there will always be that connection between the two of them. But if the ex is hanging around too much and seems to be getting between you and your partner, then there is definitely a problem. The best solution is to communicate openly with your partner about the anxiety this is causing. A loving partner will fully understand and will seek to assuage your fears.
The second red flag is lying. Even small lies are often evidence of a bigger communication problem within the relationship. Trust is a very important thing between people. There is nothing that deteriorates trust quicker than the inability of one partner to be honest. As the old saying goes, honesty is the best policy. Even if what we say can sometimes be hurtful, keeping the channel of communication open will be beneficial to both parties. Once that trust is severed and partners stop speaking honestly with one another, then there is little hope that a relationship will survive.
Another red flag is when you don't like his or her friends. This is particularly important because it means that you're probably refusing to accept that your partner is more like the friends than you'd like to think. The reality is that while people occasionally have a weird or eccentric friend, most choose to socialize with like-minded individuals who share the same interests. As such, if you're partner's friends are immature scumbags, then he probably is one too.
The final red flag is you find yourself reading too much relationship advice. While online advice is very useful, it can never replace guidance from a trained relationship counselor. If a relationship is worth saving, then it is definitely worth the minimal investment required for counseling. So stop reading and seek help.