A “red flag” is quite literally referring to a signal that something bad is incoming. It used to be something that people were scared of finding on a beach, for instance, because it spelled the existence of danger. When we talk about relationships, a “red flag” is basically supposed to signal that a person’s partner or someone’s behaviour is a signal that they are not good people. It’s usually something small or confusing that can turn out to be a bigger problem as time goes by. For instance, a partner telling their significant other how to dress may seem like a small thing but is a signal for more controlling behaviour to come.
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