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Intensity is a Red Flag

Some behaviors societally accepted as "romantic," like love-bombing or being obsessive about wanting to spend time with your partner, are red flags and/or indicators that you may not be on the same page in your relationship.

The difference between unhealthy intensity and intensity that is normal in the "honeymoon" phase of the relationship is hard to define. I want to clarify that public declarations of love are not inherently red flags, nor is wanting to spend time with your partner. Being excited about your relationship is normal, but a relationship where one or both partners are too intense is a breeding ground for toxicity. Here are some signs of unhealthy intensity:

  • Wanting to be in constant contact and being upset when the other person doesn't reciprocate

  • Coming on too fast too strong and rushing the pace of the relationship

  • Love-bombing

  • Being obsessive about being together or even jealous when you want to spend time with others

  • Telling you they love you after just a few dates

  • Waiting for you outside of class, outside of work, or showing up to your house

  • Public declarations of love that are inappropriate and/or not wanted. This can include random drop-bys at your workplace and extravagant gifts or visual displays that can be embarrassing

In this video, Rachel, while meaning well, has overwhelmed her love interest with an over-the-top announcement of their VERY new relationship. Rachel tells Sarah she loves her, wants everyone to know she's hers, and sees what she's done as a nice thing that Sarah should be grateful for. Sarah's response indicates they are not on the same page in their relationship.

A healthy relationship moves at a speed and intensity that is comfortable for each person. You should both be on the same page and not be rushed or pressured in a way that makes you feel overwhelmed. That's what's healthy!

Our video series, That's What's Healthy, aims to educate people on the red flags of unhealthy relationships that pop up before the behavior escalates into abuse. Visit our YouTube channel or blog for more videos on red flags.

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