13 social media red flags you should never ignore in a relationship

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Social media has allowed people to find partners and go on dates much easier than before.

It’s helped couples separated by time zones stay connected despite the distance.

Despite these benefits, social media might also be the cause of break-ups too.

Since it’s largely a public space, it’s easier than before to catch your significant other when they’re up to no good.

You might catch them flirting with strangers in the comments, or see they were tagged in a recent photo with their ex.

These are red flags that could be a real cause for a break up.

Below are 12 to watch out for to help you protect your relationship and, especially, yourself.

1. They Don’t Accept Your Connection Online

Maybe you work in the same building or beside each other.

And you’ve been seeing each other for some time now.

On the surface, everything appears fine.

You may have been so engrossed in the daily interactions that you never noticed that they haven’t even followed you back on Instagram or added you as a friend on Facebook.

It’s definitely strange, especially in your social media-crazed world today, that they haven’t done those things yet.

It’s something seemingly harmless – but they just won’t do it.

It could raise a small red flag, meaning that they don’t plan on keeping the relationship for long.

2. You’ve Seen Them Making Flirty Comments With Others

You’re scrolling through your timeline until suddenly something catches your eye. It’s them. They posted a flirty comment… replying to someone you don’t even know.

They didn’t stop to think about how other people might catch them doing that.

This is a clear red flag that your significant other might not be as committed as you think.

To be flirting with someone else is a behavior that doesn’t tend to be tolerated in healthy relationships.

This can help you make the case of breaking up with them and getting yourself out of the relationship.

3. They Don’t Post About Your Relationship

It’s understandable for some people to not want to share things about their life. Everyone is entitled to their own privacy, and you respect that.

What rubs you the wrong way, however, could be the fact that they rarely post anything about you.

It could be made much worse when they post about just about anything else – their food, their new outfit, the places they traveled to, the friends they met up with – but not you.

You might’ve already posted about them, even changed your relationship status.

But they haven’t.

That might be a sign that means that they don’t want to have your face on their profile for long, or they aren’t as committed as you think.

4. You Discover They Took A Trip Without Telling You

You asked them if they wanted to have dinner somewhere but they said they were too busy.

Being the respectful partner that you are, you understand and support them as much as you can.

But a few minutes later, you see a photo one of their friends shared online: it’s your significant other somewhere that’s definitely not their office, having a good time with people you haven’t met.

They’ve gone behind your back; catching them this way could be troubling.

They clearly didn’t want to be honest with you, so they kept that information from you.

Holding secrets in any relationship could fester into something nasty.

5. They’re Always on Their Phones

When you’re on a date, it doesn’t feel as romantic as it could be.

The reason?

Well, it might be because your significant other has their head down, staring at their phone the majority of the time.

You’re having lunch and you see them scrolling through social media.

There’s a beautiful sunset ahead of you, but they never notice.

It might not just mean they like social media; it might mean they’re addicted to it.

This can be a clear red flag that means you’re not even their priority; their attention is clearly placed somewhere else.

6. They Constantly Seek Attention Online

While you do enjoy seeing selfies of them, sometimes it might feel like they post too much about themselves.

They post selfies of themselves doing the most mundane things, modeling and posing in almost the same positions every time.

It might eventually get awkward with how many albums of selfies they’ve posted.

This might be a subtle-not-so-subtle way of seeking attention.

It could be a red flag since they don’t see validation from you being enough for them, so they look for likes instead.

What might make it a little more questionable is when they constantly post photos of themselves donating to charities and helping others.

While it might be nice to encourage others to do the same, you can’t help but get the feeling they’re bragging about how kind they are – even though you know they aren’t normally like that.

7. They Post Suspicious Photos

After they’ve spent a night out with their friends, you might see their photos online in the morning.

You’re scrolling through the photos, enjoying how silly they look, until something makes your heart drop: it’s a photo of them with their ex.

They didn’t tell you anything about that.

This is a clear red flag; they intentionally didn’t tell you about it for one reason or another.

If they say they don’t even remember what happened, that could be more cause for suspicion.

8. They Refuse to Add Your Friends and Family

Social media allows for another layer of meeting their family in the digital age: connecting with them online.

But the problem is that they don’t want to, despite having met them already.

It might not be the biggest deal-breaker out there but it could also make you doubt how committed they really are to you.

They might not want to be connected if or when they eventually call it quits with you.

9. Their Offline and Online Behaviors Are Inconsistent

They constantly share inspirational posters, videos; they post positive affirmations that focus on being happier and living a better life.

While you might admire these, there’s a problem: in real life, they’re wildly pessimistic, or even aggressive.

You know that’s not like them to be so positive. They’re being inauthentic and lying to people.

If they don’t see this as a problem, that’s a red flag.

Their relaxed attitude towards casually lying to people online could lead to some nasty things in your relationship down the line.

10. They Publicly Support Figures You Disagree With

When you go on dates, you’re able to connect on deeper levels with them.

There’s no one you’ve met that you can have such meaningful conversations with.

It feels refreshing and you’re all the more thankful for having them in your life.

But then you scroll past something they shared and it doesn’t make you happy.

They might have shared a post supporting a presidential candidate you vehemently disagree with.

Or they constantly share controversial and radical content that completely goes against your political or religious beliefs.

These are major red flags that you need to be aware of. They might not be someone you want to associate with, romantically or even platonically.

11. They Follow Many Sexual Accounts

Now that you’ve committed yourself to one another, there’s an unspoken expectation that no one would be looking at other attractive people anymore.

You’re so engrossed in them that other people simply don’t compare to their looks and personality.

You’d wish they thought the same – until you accidentally peer over their shoulder and see what’s on their phones: photos of naked models doing sexy poses.

They might even be following more pornographic accounts.

While expressing one’s sexuality might have its benefits in any relationship, it could also make you feel uncomfortable and insecure about yourself.

It’s a clear red flag that says they might be more sexually active than you thought.

It could be made worse if their phone wallpaper was a sexy model too.

12. They Have A Secret Account

You might’ve discovered from a friend or you caught a glimpse of their laptop or their phone that they have an account… that doesn’t have their own name on it.

At first it might be odd to you; it could be confusing.

But what it might actually be is an account they’re hiding from you.

This might be like they’re living a double life, keeping secrets, and talking to different people under a different name.

This is one of the clearest red flags to watch out for.

13. Dealing with the Red Flags

When you catch these red flags, it can be heartbreaking.

The most important step is to be honest with your significant other.

Bring it up to them, and openly express your concern over it.

It might be easy to launch a tirade of insults at them, but that may not solve anything.

Instead, be honest and civil.

Try not to be too aggressive because they might just deny their behavior even more.

If you can’t talk it through, or if you’ve completely lost your trust in them, it might be time to separate to save yourself from a potentially toxic relationship.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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