How to be more like Ariana Grande and spot the red flags in your relationship before it’s too late
Thank you, next!
by Nian Hu
When it comes to spotting red flags in relationships, Ari has got it down to a science. From Ricky (lmao who?), to Big Sean, to Mac Miller (R.I.P.) to Pete Davidson, it's clear she knows when it's time to leave a relationship that's not working out. Red flags, after all, aren't always overt signs of abuse. If they were, maybe they'd be easier to spot and we wouldn't find ourselves trapped in miserable relationships! All too often, red flags are subtle hints the relationship is going downhill — subtle enough to ignore, but persistent enough to take an emotional toll.
I wish I could say we were all like Ariana when it comes to spotting red flags, but most of us just…aren't. We know what they look like and we're experts at spotting them in our best friend's boyfriends, but it's a lot harder to spot them in the people we are dating. After all, as Bojack Horseman once pointed out, when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses all the red flags just look like flags.
So ladies, gird your loins and start streaming "Thank U Next." We're off on an adventure to channel our inner Arianas, because these are some of the biggest red flags to look out for:
Your partner talks shit about their exes…
Hold on a second. This seems pretty standard, no? I mean, who among us has nice words to say about our exes? Except for Ari, I guess, seeing how she wrote an entire goddamn song about how grateful she is for her exes, but for the rest of us, it's a lot more difficult to say anything kind.
That said, there's a difference between saying, "Ugh, things didn't end well" and saying "My ex was a CRAZY bitch." Listen up, girls, if your partner calls any of their exes "crazy" then you need to run away. Why? Because 99 percent of the time, they were the ones who made their exes "crazy" in the first place. They're basically confessing to being massive pieces of shit. Of course, this doesn't count if their ex was abusive, but if they claim their ex was an "insane" for crying when they forgot her birthday, you know a similarly horrific fate awaits you and that one day YOU will become the "crazy ex" he tells all his future partners about.
Your partner has some major unresolved personal issues
We all got issues. None of us are perfect, and that includes your partner. That said, you can't be expected to help your partner become a better version of themselves. You can support them, take care of them, and encourage them — but ultimately, nobody can help them except for themselves.
Ari caught a lot of flack when she decided to end things with Mac because of his drug addiction, but honestly, it was a huge red flag that she was not willing to overlook! Simple as that! If you have a partner who's struggling with something as serious as addiction or mental illness, you might find that it takes a serious toll on your own emotional health and mental well-being. Obviously I'm not encouraging you to break up with your partner just because they have personal issues, because we all do. However, if it's something that they're not actively working hard to resolve, then it might be best — for the sake of your own sanity — to consider ending the relationship before it drags you down even further.
Your partner exhibits jealous or possessive tendencies
So I mean, we all get jealous. It's only natural to feel a little jealous when you see another person chatting up your partner at the bar. But there's a point at which it crosses the line from normal to unhealthy. And unfortunately, society has conditioned us to see extreme jealousy as a form of attraction. Like wow, he loves you so much that he checks your phone while you're sleeping and tracks your location at all times! How romantic!
If it's getting to the point where your partner even thinks about tampering with your birth control (like Pete did) so you don't ever leave their side, then you need to RUN. I don't care if they try to brush it off as a joke! It's fucking creepy as hell, and it shows that they will literally do ANYTHING — including violate your bodily autonomy — to keep you under their control. Talk about insecure!
Your friends and family absolutely hate them
Hey, remember what I said about how it's easier to see red flags in a person when you're not in love? You might be blinded by your love for your partner, but fortunately, your friends and family members are not (unless they're also in love with your partner, in which case, you have a more serious issue on hand). And if they seriously can't stand your partner, then guess what? They're probably right! Sure, there might be that one friend who just hates anyone you date because they're low-key jealous, but most of your friends honestly just want to see you happy.
Listen to your friends! Even if what they say makes you want to cry "How dare you!" and leap to your partner's defense. 99 percent of the time, they're right. Don't believe me? Ari's fans hated Pete. And yeah, fans aren't exactly the same thing as friends (although I like to think that my friends are also my fans) but you know what? Her fans were right — his slovenly appearance, his tasteless jokes, his incessant need to comment on how hot Ari is, even on Instagram photos of her deceased grandfather. It can't be fun to hear that your fiancé is a gross pig, but hey, at least she didn't end up marrying him!