Red Vs. Amber flags: What You Need To Know

Red Vs. Amber flags: What You Need To Know


Stephen Hussey

Flags, flags flags. Who’d have thought they would take over the internet?

Everyone is keen to say what their biggest red flags are: Pineapple on pizza, a guy holding his shaved pet cat on Tinder, man buns and people who click “Skip Intro” on the first episode of a Netflix show…

It seems we now LOVE to talk about our relationship dealbreakers. But of course, much of this is either posturing or downright pickiness. I’ve noticed a worrying correlation between people with enormous lists of red flags and those who complain “there are NO great men/women out there!” (false, you’re just dismissing them. Or not meeting them).

So what are some actual red flags? I think in this realm there is of course room for personal choice. But there are some universal red flags as well.

Huge red flags might include:

1. You can’t trust what they say


2. You feel unsafe with them (like walking on eggshells)


3. They make you feel worthless/like a bad person


4. They aren’t interested in your needs


5. They alienate you from your friends and family


6. They make you feel crazy


7. They can’t apologize or admit fault


These are always good to have in mind to refer to in case you’re ever in a scenario where you feel miserable but mistakenly think it’s your own fault. Plus it will stop you sleepwalking into such a toxic scenario in the first place. And believe me, no-one is immune.

But what about all the stuff that falls under the category of “generally annoying, but not quite a dealbreaker”.

We can call these “Amber Flags”.

These are things that should at least raise an eyebrow. They are things to note. And they may be different for everyone.

One of these alone may not be enough to dismiss someone but if they add up or get worse then they can easily turn into dealbreakers over time.

Amber flags might be:



  • They don’t share your fundamental beliefs (religious, political, etc.)


  • They don’t have many close relationships


  • They criticize their ex’(s)


  • They don’t have many passions or strong interests outside the relationship


  • They are hyper-focused on their own success (to the detriment of other parts of their life)


  • They can be indecisive or overdramatic


  • They are bad at managing their time


  • They’re not as financially secure as you would like


For many things on this “amber” list, the question will often be: “How bad is it?” i.e. how much do you actually disagree on your religious/political beliefs? Does it matter to you that much? Or how financially insecure are they? Do they just have less money than I would like, or have they been unemployed for 5 years with a mountain of debt?

It’s easy to see how an Amber Flag can slide into a Red Flag. And it’s up to us to know ourselves well enough to say, “is this a flaw I can live with? Or is it something that will drive me crazy and lead to frustration and resentment later on?”

These are sobering questions, but essential ones.

Make no mistake, every partner will have their flaws. Just as we do. There are things we would change if we could cast a magic wand, but we decide “I love this person enough that it isn’t such a big deal”.

This is one essential key to relationship happiness: Find the flaws you can live with. And then have the strength and courage to walk away from those you can’t.

Of course, it’s one thing to say “if it isn’t right, walk away”. But I’ve known people who have spent years stuck in the same pattern of falling for the wrong person.

They feel the drug-like adrenaline rush of emotion, the rollercoaster of falling for a new exciting guy, and then shake off any of their niggling doubts when they arise.

Or they become scared to stand up for themselves. They are scared that they’ll seem “too demanding” and will scare him away. They’re afraid to say “I deserve better than this”. Perhaps deep down they believe they can’t meet anyone else. So they settle for mistreatment.

If you’ve been in this loop before, GET OFF THE TRAIN NOW.

It’s likely if you accept this in your relationships, you’re also accepting it in all kinds of other parts of your life. It’s only when we finally decide to hold ourselves to a higher standard that real change can begin.

If you want to start this process, you need to begin changing the emotions you experience every single day. You need a method for tapping into those deep reserves of strength and inspiration you have to that you feel empowered to claim what you deserve. You need to actually build your core confidence so that no challenge, no rejection, no disappointment will make you bend on your deepest standards for your life.

Your life is short, and you have so much to give. Don’t let it go to waste by falling into those same ugly mental traps over and over again…

If you’re ready to get serious and do this now, come and join our next live virtual retreat at 

This is the best way to finish this crazy year of 2021 stronger than ever, feeling ready to play at your best, and you can transform your self-esteem in 3 days with us so that you never settle for less than your worth again. Remember: without a way to tap into core confidence, no amount of techniques and tips will change your relationships.

Can’t wait to see you there – I hope you’re ready to finally discover your inner worth and live at the highest level.

It’s time to get out of the rut! 😉


Join us on our virtual retreat on March 18th-20th! Go to and spend a magical 3 days with us transforming your confidence and relationships…

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