Relationship expert reveals biggest red flags to look for in YOURSELF

Are YOU a walking red flag? Expert reveals the 6 toxic traits to look out for in your behaviour in a relationship – and how to fix them

  • Kate Mansfield has opened up on the red flags to keep an eye out for in yourself 
  • The UK-based relationship expert touches on being avoidant or acting too nice 
  • Other red flags include projecting obsession and fantasy and being too judgy
  • READ MORE: We won Love Island and here’s 5 things the islanders need to know

A relationship expert has revealed the red flags to look out for in your own dating habits, including being avoidant, projecting obsessions and fantasy and acting too nice.

UK-based Kate Mansfield says that keeping an eye out for potentially toxic traits in your partner is ‘crucial, especially if you have a pattern or history of picking the wrong people, or abusive or unhealthy relationships’.

However, equally important is knowing where we may be harmful, or could be sabotaging our own selves. ‘I take my clients through a very detailed planning process, where we explore non-negotiables and bottom line behavior for dating and identify red flags in us that might sabotage, or negatively impact our dating opportunities and success,’ she revealed.

Here, Kate tells FEMAIL six behaviours you may want to keep an eye out for.  

A relationship expert has revealed the red flags to look out for in your own dating habits, including being avoidant, projecting obsessions and fantasy and acting too nice. Stock image used

1. Avoidance

Kate says that avoidance is ‘a big one and hard to spot’. This is because it manifests itself in ‘small and subtle’ ways, but could have ‘lethal’ implications for sabotage.

‘This shows up as avoiding dating for long periods, and being overly “busy” to avoid loneliness, binge watching Netflix, and over committing to friends and family, sacrificing your love life,’ she revealed.

‘If this resonates, start practicing meditation, make time each day to connect with your inner world, slow down and feel your feelings.’

The relationship expert added that this will help with identifying your needs and creating an emotional connection with others.

2. Obsession and fantasy

‘This is where we project who we want someone to be, rather than taking the time to get to know them,’ Kate explained.

She says that this can end up in you disappearing into a fantasy ‘rather than take the risk of a real relationship’.

This may show itself up as ‘texting rather than speaking’ and keeping things at a distance for weeks or even months.

When meeting the person, it may be that you’re not listening to the person properly or processing how available they are.

‘Make some rules for yourself, such as not allowing texting to happen beyond a week, and getting on a phone call and then a coffee date soon after connecting with someone,’ Kate advised. 

Here, Kate tells FEMAIL six behaviours you may want to keep an eye out for, including developing anxious attachments. Stock image used

3. Anxiety and anxious attachment

The relationship expert says that this is when we suffer from abandonment issues – hence causing us to become ‘needy, clingy and anxious’.

‘Behaviors include rushing into commitment too soon, abandoning ourselves and having weak boundaries,’ she explained.

4. Judgement and critical thinking 

‘This is a common one that can really kill your chances of finding love,’ Kate warns, ‘where you become overly picky and have unrealistic expectations of a potential partner.’

In this instance, you’d be judging them for small things that are not really important, and sticking to ‘impossibly high standards’.

‘Allow people to be human, and to make mistakes,’ she urged. ‘Most people on the dating scene are a little wounded and most of us have had our hearts broken so be kind, be forgiving of the small things.’


This also manifests itself is not being authentic, over texting and over giving.

Kate continued: ‘If this is you I would definitely recommend getting some professional help, as well as filling up your own life with fun things hobbies and new friends to feel less invested in the outcome of your dates.’

5. Being too nice

Kate says that being inauthentically saccharine – or avoiding conflict and being too agreeable – is ‘a total turn off for your potential dates’. 

‘Often we think it’s attractive to be easy going or nice, but it actually becomes boring pretty fast,’ she revealed. ‘Real chemistry often comes from conflict and difference, not just appeasing the other person.’

The dating expert added that most people can ‘feel it when you are not being you’.

‘This creates a disconnect and a feeling of blandness, or a lack of spark,’ she said. ‘Take the risk of being fully yourself, express your opinions, in a warm and friendly way, when we don’t do this it often results in a failed relationship later on, because it wasn’t based on the truth.’

6. Being too competitive or argumentative

On the other side of things, Kate cautions that being too competitive or argumentative is also a total date killer.

‘Try to avoid too much banter as well, joking constantly can become exhausting and superficial,’ she said.

Instead, the expert advises opting for ‘warm humour and self deprecation’ as way to create an authentic connection.

This would often show your date that you’re self aware, which is ‘a very attractive quality’.

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