16 Things People Won’t Tolerate in a Relationship

A red line in a relationship is something many have. It’s an invisible line by which if it is crossed by their partner, the relationship will suffer severely. Some couples choose to discuss these boundaries early in the relationship, while others choose not to disclose until the line has been crossed.

What’s interesting is that many people seem to have the same red flags, red lines, or breaking points. Here’s a look at the top 16 things that many people say they won’t tolerate in a relationship. These are the kinds of things that could cause the relationship to become beyond repair.

Comparing to Other People

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Comparing a current partner to past partners may be tempting, but it’s also a recipe for disaster. This breeds insecurity for the person being compared, and makes them feel as though they can’t live up to a past partner or “aren’t good enough.” It becomes a vicious cycle and one that is very difficult to break out of.

Poor Communication

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It is said that communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. Experts recommend that couples always avoid the silent treatment, as that doesn’t address the root issues. It’s also important not to jump to conclusions, and instead focus on a rational conversation

A reader commented on a  Reddit thread about what people won’t tolerate in relationships, “Healthy relationships are built on the foundation of good, honest, and open communication. If I can’t talk to my partner about an issue, or worse, FEAR their response by me bringing it up – it’s time to leave.”

Lack of Accountability

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A lack of accountability can cause a relationship to sink quickly. It means not taking responsibility for one’s actions and words in the relationship. Part of being an adult in a relationship is taking ownership of your actions. Taking accountability is something that will help build self-awareness, it will create empathy and can help a couple to feel closer to one another.

Constant Yelling and Arguing

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Not seeing eye-to-eye and arguing are normal even in healthy relationships. You are two different people, you aren’t always going to think the same. It is how the arguments are approached and handled that makes the difference. If name-calling is used, “cheap shots” are thrown around, and the argument dissolves into a shouting match – then no progress can be made. Learning how to argue with empathy, compassion, and respect is something to aim for.


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Not much needs to be said about this one. If both parties have agreed to be in a monogamous relationship and one party cheats with another person, trust is broken and that’s a very hard thing to mend.

Lack of Effort in the Relationship

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People love the idea of an “easy” relationship that just happens naturally, but even those require work. If one person is putting in all the work while the other sits back and seemingly makes no effort, it gives the illusion that they don’t care. Eventually, the one putting in all the work will tire of the relationship and may move on.


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Narcissism is incredibly difficult for anyone to deal with in a relationship. Narcissists have a mental health condition where they view themselves as more important than anything or anyone else. It’s a heightened sense of importance. They need everyone’s admiration and attention at all times. Unless the narcissist is ready to admit this and seek professional help, things will continue down the same path.


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Dishonesty is another trait that many people state they will not tolerate. If you cannot trust a partner, it’s very hard to have a healthy relationship that can flourish. If a partner is caught in lie after lie, a pattern is clear and it makes it harder for the other person to stick around.

Gaslighting or Manipulation

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Gaslighting and manipulation can be harder to identify, especially for those who are caught up in the drama. Simply put, gaslighting is emotional abuse so it’s important not to tolerate it. It involves one partner convincing and manipulating the other one into thinking what they see, hear, and go through isn’t true and that they are misinterpreting it. Instead, they are manipulated into viewing things in another way.

Temper Tantrums

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While temper tantrums are common for toddlers, some adults also have them. People who cannot control their anger are very difficult to deal with. It is a form of abuse if partner’s find themselves walking on egg shells hoping anything they say or do doesn’t spark an angry outburst. 


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Addictions are very serious and they can destroy the person who is suffering from them, their relationships, and those around them. Addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, and more can turn a relationship upside down. The partner who doesn’t have the addiction can easily become an enabler without even realizing it.

Poor Money Management

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Financial stress is very real and it can affect relationships. Poor money management can lead to breaking up and divorce, especially if the couple hasn’t discussed how they want to manage their money.

Bad Manners

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Bad manners can be more than just an embarrassment, they may be something a partner cannot tolerate. Exercising poor etiquette and refusing to improve can put a big strain on the relationship.


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A sense of entitlement may not be obvious from the get-go, but once it starts showing its face it can take a toll on a relationship. With this issue, one partner ends up feeling like they deserve more than the other, and there is no discussion about it. Things should just be given to them and done for them.


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Bigotry is one of the biggest red flags in a relationship. When someone’s opinion varies so differently than the other person and veers into bigotry territory, it’s next to impossible to move forward with an open mind. Asking a partner to tolerate racism, sexism, prejudice, and discrimination isn’t acceptable.

Overly Critical

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Finally, there is being overly critical. Generally speaking, most people are their own harshest critics so they don’t need their partner to point out any potential flaws, insecurities, and weaknesses. It’s not a sign of love and instead makes that person feel small and less than.

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