Red Flags

Hi, there.

Thank you so much for always, always checking on me. So, this month being February, we would talk a lot about ‘love things’ #big grin#.  In today’s post ‘Red Flags’, I’ve put together some of the stuff that has come up so many times in my answering questions/ counseling on relationships. Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive but in the next post, we’ll cover more ground by talking about ‘Lies We Were Told’ and in the third, I’ll tell the story of my girl, Tejiri who finally had to say, ‘Enough is enough! I shouldn’t be in a relationship with an onion! I cannot be crying every day!’ LOL. Not sure which will come first though but we’ll certainly have both posts this month, God willing.


Red flag


  1. A warning signal.
  2. Something that demands attention or provokes an irritated reaction.

 American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Before we start, I feel I must first say that not all red flags mean RUN. From its definition, it is a warning signal – when you see it/them, you stop, reassess and bring it to the other party’s attention. If he/she sincerely desires to change and be better, some can be consciously and diligently worked on. Alright, here it is – Red Flags.

  1. Doesn’t ‘believe’ in being born again

Yeah, you read right. I hear some crazy stuff and I’ve had to ask, this brother/sister you are talking about, is he/she born again? And the reply is, ‘sort of’, ‘not really’. Like seriously? What happened to not being unequally yoked? Please, don’t be bamboozled by the different waves of doctrines around these days. Read the Bible, trust its Author and follow Him. You must be born again. If he/she is not, don’t start a relationship hoping to convert him/her. You don’t save anyone from a well by getting in. Preach and pray, but don’t be unequally yoked.

  1. Always criticizes you, never commends you and never sees anything good in you

If your relationship isn’t making you better, that’s a red flag. Relationships can become toxic when one partner always criticizes and belittles the other. Many times I’ve had to ask, ‘if he/she thinks you are dull and can do nothing right, what really did he see in you before he got into the relationship?’ Yes, there’s room for encouraging and perhaps even ‘reprimanding’ when the need arises but it shouldn’t border on robbing you of your self-esteem or belittling and reducing you into a caricature of the man/woman you were before.

  1. Lives in the now

Back then, there were folks we used to refer to as NFA (No Future Ambition). Today, they are all over the place. They may seem busy, but they really are busy doing nothing. It’s easy to know them; he/she never has any plans for the future. When you ask questions like, where do you see yourself in five years? One year?  They can’t say. When he/she comes into money, all on his/her mind is, to spend! Never thinks of saving. Wants to enjoy all today at the expense of tomorrow. Doesn’t even seem to care if you have plans for the future and doesn’t encourage you to ‘go for it!’   

  1. Cannot forgive/Uses your past against you

Ah. Forgiveness is vital! In marriage, there will be many times you hurt him/her – unconsciously and yes, consciously. So, there would be many times when you need to ask for forgiveness and move on. If he/she can’t forgive and let go now, there’s no magic about it in the future. Even if he seems to ‘forgive’ you, and you notice that he keeps grudges against people; can recall the year, month, day, hour, minute and even the second that they offended him, it’s a red flag. The other aspect of this is if he/she uses your past against you. Say you told him/her, things you’ve done in the past and never told anybody; only for a ‘quarrel’ to come up and he throws it at you – red flag!

  1. Cannot manage his anger.

The first time you saw him/her angry, you cowered in fear and literally had to hide. He/she turned into something you could not recognize – red eyes, throwing and breaking things. Later it progressed to slapping you. You were shocked and swore to leave but he/she begged, bought flowers, chocolates and then he proposed sef, and you said, yes! After all, you love him/her and everyone makes mistakes, abi? My dear, you may have just signed yourself up as a punching bag and who knows a corpse. Anger is a big, red flag, sorry signboard! Nothing good has ever come out of anger. Think about it. These are telltale signs of things to come. If he/she can’t work on it now and
seek help, then expect ‘greater works than these’ in marriage.

  1. Never spends on you.

I like this one but don’t get me wrong, please. I am not an advocate of ‘sucking any man dry’, so this goes both ways – brothers and sisters. Learn to give without even ‘expecting’ anything in return. Buy gifts, take him/her out. Love is an action word – For God so loved…that He gave. You love, you give. That’s all. There’s really no gain in being stingy and thinking that ‘if I give her too much, I will spoil her or she will take me for granted.’ Such warped thinking! You don’t even have to be rich to give; buy apples, CDs, socks, handkerchief – whatever. Just, give! If he/she never gives but loves to receive, that’s a red flag. 

  1. Doesn’t like any of your friends/doesn’t respect your parents/family.

I get that some family members and friends can be hard to deal with, yes. But why would a well-meaning an/woman make it his/her goal to alienate you from colleagues, friends, and family? Sometimes, it’s as a result of insecurity but trust me, you really don’t want to be with an insecure person. He/she slowly cut you off from the world and makes you depend on him for any and everything. Goes ahead to disregard your parents’, break their rules and even encourages you to do the same. Anyway, I believe it’s the level of respect that you accord your parents that your partner adjusts to and probably multiplies. By the way, if your family says I don’t like this man/woman, please come down from your high horse and take out time to ask why. You may just be saving yourself. 

  1. If he/she lies to you.

Now, this is a man/woman you are thinking of spending your life with; sincerity is everything. No half-truths or lies. Don’t lie about your past, present, future, income, account, abilities, family… anything! If you discover he/she lies and sees nothing wrong with it, that’s a red flag right there because that may very well be his/his lingua franca. It’s a seemingly little fox but it will spoil your vine. 

  1. Doesn’t protect you.

Man or woman, everyone needs a safe haven – somewhere to run to, away from the hurts and craze outside. Your partner should be that safe haven and you should be able to protect his/her feelings and everything he/she chooses to share with you. Bro, have her back at all times – defend her. The protection goes both ways actually. No, not just the man being macho and slaying all your dragons but when he runs to you crying, sharing his hurts and fears, he shouldn’t hear it the next day from your colleague asking him if he was able to ‘overcome’. It’s a red flag when he/she can’t be your safe haven.

  1. Is not interested in your work/livelihood/welfare.

Come on! Do we need to discuss this one? That’s not a relationship, that a ‘selfish-ship’. It’s more than a flag, it’s a red billboard. Marriage is a partnership – we, not I. I can’t say I am in a relationship with a man who is let’s say, an engineer and I don’t know one thing about his job. I’ve never asked, I’m not even interested and I couldn’t be bothered; all I want to know is how much he earns. Haba! Enough said. So, don’t ignore the red flags, please. Don’t stop at talking about them, go ahead to work on them and get the desired results. If it’s something that you need to walk away from, please do.

Chat me up, if you want to –

In His love,



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  1. Avatar Edidiong February 4, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Well said dear. May the Lord grant you more insight

  2. Avatar Gloria Osayomore February 4, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    For me these flags means "Run"! Don't even think twice – If u desire to have a "Home" and not a "House". God bless u dear

  3. Avatar Gloria Osayomore February 5, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Marriage is a life long relationships. If u see these flags while courting u need to back off. These are personality issues that most times don't change. Except you want to live with it but for sure that will be living in pain. Most of these flags r cardinals that can't be overlooked.

    1. Avatar Onose Adeleye Inno February 5, 2016 at 7:11 am

      You are so right, Gloria. Some shouldn't be negotiated. Like being born again, managing his/anger, having no future ambition and others…as depends on what you can handle. Truth is many of these issues are causing serious trouble in marriages, right now. Wisdom is profitable to direct. Thank you so much, Gloria. I appreciate you.

  4. Avatar Josephine Etta February 5, 2016 at 8:13 am

    If he/she lies to you; that's a big red flag for me, because you will never know when the person is being truthful. This one got to me personally as someone I know actually lied should I say, to the government about his age. So if he can do that, I wonder what else he can't lie about…these little foxes like lying do actually spoil the vine.
    I have actually gotten the answer I needed.
    Thanks so much for sharing. God bless you!!!

    1. Avatar Onose Adeleye Inno February 5, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      God bless you too, Josephine. Indeed lies destroy trust completely and it would take the grace of God and a lot of hard work to build it up again. Thank you so much. I appreciate you.

  5. Avatar Efa Ekpo February 5, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Nice one as usual Doc.Marriage is forever and not a Holiday.No one spouse should ever look down on another.God Bless…Edward Efa Ekpo

    1. Avatar Onose Adeleye Inno February 5, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      'Marriage is not a holiday'! Nice one. Thank you for your input.


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