Skip to Main Content
Brooks College of Health

Relationships and Sexual Health

Resources for everything you need to know about sexual health and relationships while in college.

Sexual Health  

STD Wizard – Find out if you should get tested – Filter your search to find free testing options right here in Jacksonville, FL.

HIV & AIDS Local Resources    

AHF Wellness Center – STD & HIV testing: (877) 259-8727 or (904) 381-9651
CAN Community Health - Medical clinic: (904) 508-0710
APEL Health Services Center - HIV testing center: (904) 265-1910
Northeast Florida Aids Network - Social services organization: (904) 356-1612
Overflow Health Alliance Inc. - Non-profit organization: (904) 503-2404
UF Center for HIV/AIDS Research, Education and Service (UF Cares): (904) 244-2120 
Positive Attitudes of Jacksonville, Inc. - Support group for people living with HIV/AIDS: (904) 704-2394
HOPE Across the Globe, Inc. - Non-profit organization: (904) 374-4500
River Region Human Services - Non-profit organization: (904) 899-6300
JASMYN - Social services organization: (904) 389-3857
Duval County Health Department - Medical clinic: (904) 253-1000
HIV/AIDS Care - Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida - Care and Education: (904) 448-5995
Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline - Statewide resource for HIV, AIDS, and STD-related information: (800) 352-2437

Dating Violence  

CDC Dating Violence Injury and dating violence or 1-866-331-9474 or text LOVEIS to 22522
Break the Cycle
The National Center for Victims of Crime or 1-202-467-8700 or

10 Red Flags in Relationships

What Are Relationship Red Flags?  

“In relationships, red flags are signs that the person probably can't have a healthy relationship and proceeding down the road together would be emotionally dangerous,” explains Dr. Wendy Walsh, PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships.

Note that red flags in a relationship might not be obvious. While some are very clear, many might present more as a clue or a hint that there’s an underlying problem. Also, it can take some time for a red flag to present in a relationship.

Relationship Red Flags vs. Yellow Flags  

Red flags indicate a reason to cease or back away from a relationship, while yellow flags are less severe and instead caution us to slow down. Often, yellow flags vary according to your personal needs and wants in a relationship while a red flag is more universal in nature.

“[For example], a yellow flag might include difficulty with emotional communication that the person is aware of and working on,” says Dr. Walsh. “A red flag might be someone with a history of domestic violence, chronic cheating, or substance abuse."

10 Relationship Red Flags to Be Aware Of  

If your partner displays any of the following red flags, it’s time to have a conversation with yourself, and them, about the future of your relationship. While all scenarios are different and there’s always room for nuance, a red flag indicates a deep problem that the other person must address to have a healthy relationship with you, themselves, and anyone else.

  • Alcoholism & Drug Addiction
  • Violent Displays
  • Mismatched Relationship Goals
  • Persistent Jealousy & Distrust
  • History of Infidelity
  • Controlling Nature
  • Stories of “Crazy Exes”
  • No Friends
  • They Give You All Their Time
  • Lack of Emotional Intimacy

Alcoholism & Drug Addiction  

If alcohol or drugs are impacting your partner’s life in a negative way—be it their work, health, or relationships—that is a sign of addiction. Similarly, if your partner relies on substances to get through the day, week, or a tough situation then that's indicative of addiction and signifies they haven't yet figured out how to cope without altering their mental state.

Lastly, if substance use ever leads your partner to harm you physically or emotionally, that is a clear sign to walk away.

Violent Displays  

Someone who demonstrates violence toward you, loved ones, strangers, and even animals is a serious red flag. It indicates they haven’t developed a healthy way to properly channel their emotions. In some cases, it could also be indicative they lack empathy for others.

If you or a loved one are a victim of domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential assistance from trained advocates.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database:

Mismatched Relationship Goals  

Dr. Walsh says that if your relationship goals are at odds, this could be a sign that it’s time to walk away. While this is less of a red flag in the sense it’s a personal issue to work on, it is a red flag for the future of your relationship.

If they say, for instance, that they will never get married and that's something you desire, then believe them.

— Dr. Wendy Walsh

Other misaligned relationship goals include where you want to live, whether you want to have children, and how you plan to tackle finances.

Persistent Jealousy & Distrust  

“Another common red flag is jealousy and distrust,” says Trueblood. “Often, the red flag of a very insecure partner looks like attentiveness at the start of a relationship, but there’s an underlying control problem beneath all the attention. Later in the relationship, it’s easier to look back and reinterpret that constant attention or overboard generosity as desperate insecurity.”

History of Infidelity  

Relationships require trust to succeed. If your partner has a history of infidelity, it’s important to proceed with caution.

Even if your partner has demonstrated change, you must ask yourself if you feel comfortable pursuing the relationship, knowing they have a history of cheating. Some people may not be bothered by this, but if you are, then recognize this factor will affect your ability to trust your partner completely.

Controlling Nature  

A partner who is controlling in any way likely has deep personal issues they must work on. Rethink your relationship if your partner tries to control who you see, who you talk to, where you go, how you spend your money, what you do online, what your body looks like, what you eat, or even what you wear.

Stories of “Crazy Exes”  

Talking about old flames is common, especially when you’re first starting to date someone new. Do pay attention to the language your partner uses when discussing those they’ve dated in the past. This sort of perspective deflects any responsibility and demonstrates a lack of respect for the people they once cared for and loves.

"If a potential mate describes their exes as crazy instead of taking 50% of the responsibility for any craziness that may have existed in past relationships, [there’s a good chance you could] become their next ‘crazy ex.’”

— Amber Trueblood, LMFT

No Friends  

If your partner struggles to make and maintain relationships, then that could indicate you will also struggle to connect with them.

Try to understand why your partner has struggled to build connections with others. If you discover a deflection, no personal culpability, or lack of drive, then you will likely experience the same treatment in your relationship.

They Give You All Their Time  

This red flag can sometimes tie into the last one. When a partner doesn’t have other relationships, hobbies, or goals, that is a recipe for an unhealthy, unfulfilling relationship.

When each party has its own sense of self, it can enrich your individual selves and your bond. If someone relies on you entirely and always for their sense of happiness and entertainment, that can lead to feelings of suffocation, resentment, and unhappiness.

Lack of Emotional Intimacy

One of the best parts of being in a romantic relationship is connecting deeply and authentically with another person. For some, emotional intimacy is challenging but it should always be the goal. A partner who shows no interest in opening up and bonding is a death knell for a relationship.

About the List

The list of red flags isn’t exhaustive; there are surely others. Ultimately, it’s important for you to trust your gut and walk away from a partner who demonstrates one or more cautionary signs. In some cases, it might make sense to try to salvage your bond, but if your partner shows no sign of self-correction then it is probably best to walk away. If you ever struggle with knowing what to do, speaking with a therapist can help.