Avoiding Dysfunctional & Abusive Relationships

By Leo Gura - October 12, 2015 | 50 Comments

30+ red flags

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BLAZER says:


Blazer says:


Galyna says:

Hey Leo,

Thank you for the video, if it is not too private question: “what is your horoscope?” are you Aeries?

Just wonder, nothing stands behind it.

Grape says:

Wow. This guy is giving you such invaluable information and this is what you ask of him.

Jane says:


Amanda says:

Every video you put out these days just seems to coincide with the stuff I am working on. It is so awesome This is such a great one.

Abbe says:

I enjoyed this video very much. It was very insiteful for me both for my own “issues” and my mate’s. After 25 years in this relationship, you are right, I do know him well but I often wonder if he knows me at all. I’ll come back and listen again Great advice but even though there are a lot of red flags, some that you say are “deal breakers,” I think I’ll hang around for another 25 years in spite of it

Nicole says:

Thank you, Leo. You’re great!

Galyna says:


Also I wanted to add one more flag to this: I always look how people talk about other people. It can say a lot about them. Because when you are not with them, they are going to treat and talk about you in the same way.

Kaen says:

You ar so right, that can go o anyone really.

Todd Hirsch says:

What about the fact that people can change and do change? Most of your stuff is all about positive change but in this video you are telling people to judge people on their past.

YOU “mr. LEO” used to be way overweight and you had other problems, should you be “dropped” from a relationship for that?

Most of this video makes sense except never judge someone 100% from their past. We all have a past and some people do change their ways. This is the “self actualized” path you preach.

Cat says:

By your logic regarding psych meds, then all people who were born with mental health issues don’t deserve to have a partner ever. There’s a spectrum with regard to how serious some psychological issues are, so the issue is more nuanced than whether someone is on meds or not on meds. What are those meds? How many meds do they take? It’s one thing is a person with bipolar diorder only takes on pill a day and is able to be functional and have a stable career and friends etc, and another things if a person with bipolar is on 10 types of medication and can’t hold down even a part time job.

Please be more sensitive to the subject of mental health.

Susanna says:

I have to agree.

Having greatly suffered with depression and social anxiety in the past, I believe that medication was instrumental in saving my life. It flipped my brain chemistry almost 180 degrees, allowing me to replace thoughts of death with hope for my future, and quieted the raging fear I had developed about interacting with 99% of the population. This provided me with the energy I needed to be able to work my ass off in therapy, to get to where I am today.

And the 2 men I loved, in subsequent relationships during this 8 year period, were amazing to me throughout this process. I handled this independently, but their acceptance of me and my stage of recovery taught me that I was worthy of being in healthy relationships, even though I had these issues.

Great video otherwise

jen says:

I have to agree with Leo on this one. I also suffer from suicidal depression and anxiety. Medication can be life saving but some people will rely on medication as the only way to deal with difficult times without doing anything else to improve, this is not good. Emotions are there to guide you through life, I have compassion for anyone with mental illness but I think that being on excessive medication for a long period of time and not trying other ways to feel ok can be a barrier to relationships.

Ella says:

Lol! Where have you been 10 years ago!
Well , I do agree about the flags but each come
with a different kind of challenge. I think what’s
fair is knowing what you are getting into before
Hand and being able to make a conscious choice
that we are willing to “do the work”. The problem is
is that most ppl are great at hiding And our senses
are not always sharp enough.
I’d like to think I am wise enough to figure ppl out but
I am in a dysfunctional relationship and yes it did take
A toll on every other aspect of my life for a long while and
I Endured it and still enduring it perhaps because there kids involved
Maybe because for a long time I had a very low
self esteem And it got me really depressed to a
Point of thinking of giving up .. On Many things..
One day I found this site,
and it got me to think of me
Of how I see myself
And then some how my point of view on this turned 180 degrees
I found that when I am 100% aware of who I am and
When I am on the right path for change and self fulfillment
I can run the world , including running a dysfunctional relationship
up to a satisfactory and hardly abusive level.
Still working on it … but all the thank to you Leo!
Keep up the good work

Tejas says:

Where is Emotions Part 2 video?

KathyGermany says:

I didnt see the vid yet, just read some comments and I am speechless because I just logged into my Mailaccount to avoid thinking of my “boyfriend”… and I see the new release… The Vid is RIGHT in time!!! I bet I get some clues now! ThX ahead!

A says:

Leo your sincerity and passion shows, I’m sure most people would find it very inspiring, my feeling is you have collected superficial knowledge and theories from many different places, but where you’re speaking from within yourself gives it some depth. I am always surprised where you end up with it. I doubt that it could be improved upon. But in my experience I have never seen a functional relationship, it may start out okay but it won’t take long before it ends up dead and boring or falls apart, until someone has achieved enlightenment they are psychologically ill and psychological ill people cannot have a healthy relationship.

Liz says:

Thanks for the great video. You were spot on with the warning signs of abusive relationships. I will take these tips to heart the next time I play the dating game.

I would definitely agree with the drugs and the drinking. I find it to be a complete turn off. I’m quite introverted so it’s hard for me to date. I’m primarily focused on seeking enlightenment, becoming a turquoise (spiral dynamics) and I enjoy reading and learning new things and growing my business… I find that people my age can’t relate with me and my enlightenment journey. They’re too focused on drama and negativity.. I just don’t have time for it. I gave up looking not because I can’t get a date ( I have no problem with requests from men thank goodness) but the problem is they think with their pants and not from their heart….. And they don’t see the value of what I’m doing…seeking truth and seeking real knowledge and inner peace. It’s hard to find someone that you can spiritually, mentally, and physically grow with. And I totally agree with the idea that if your date is not interested in learning in any fashion to improve your relationship or even just improving their life..having a life purpose ..if they’re that stubborn and closed minded..it’s not worth it. And after reading a few of your books, I would never date a man that does not have his priorities straight…if the guy isn’t passionate about his life and his job…he won’t be passionate with me.

Gemma says:

I have to agree, I wouldnt want a life partner who has to be medicated in order to cope with life. I am probabaly prejudiced against mentally ill people but I can’t help but see them as weak/feeble minded. I just deal with issues rather than have them diagnosed and treated, I would not be able to admire/respect someone who needed anti depressants to function

Sophie Harrington says:

Wow Gemma, you’re far far far from enlightened. I think you need to establish yourself a solid understanding of mental health. There are a great many successful and enlightened individuals with mental health conditions. I for one would run for the hills from anyone with such a poor and judgemental attitude. Trust me, we are better off without closed minds like you. Isn’t it ironic that you’re posting such things in this forum?

lola says:

Leo thanks again, these videos are so logical and straight to the point, I love the way you think and the way you present it. You help me gain more insight every week. I was in a terribly dysfunctional abusive relationship it is so important to watch for red flags and you mentioned some that I never thought about

Amber says:

Thank you! This video helped me realize that I am in a relationship that is bad for me! The red flags are good to point out and it is the right thing to do to cut out the person that I am seeing due to the red flags you talked about! Again thank you! I cannot thank you enough!

Malin says:

Leo, I have bipolar disorder and even though I keep learning my triggers and work hard on improving, I do need my meds (not serotonin, that makes it worse) and I am seeing a psychologist to leave all trauma behind. Can I never be a good partner?

Malin says:

Also I want to point out that you don’t get to choose if you get mentally ill or not. I can agree on working through a depression but as for bipolar disorder for example there are two factors, genetics and environment. Leo, perhaps you could think this through and not add to the stigma and shame already put upon this subject. I am mentally ill but I still have a full range of emotions and thinking capacity. If I would describe it myself I’d say my energysystem needs extra adjustment.

Kirk says:

Great for relationship and dating and even married couple–those red flags are real. Commitment to have more options for oneself is an honest way to combat the fear of losing someone and overly dependent and being needy.

Thank you!

Mary Lou says:

Thank you, Leo

Wendy Ramos says:

So being that I am bipolar, I have no chance at being a good partner to anyone?

Todd Hirsch says:

Do not listen to EVERYTHING Leo preaches, he does not have all the answers. Take what you like and spit out the rest. Leo is very egotistical for someone seeking enlightenment. This is my opinion. Leo is an attention addict that is far from enlightenment. Take his words with a grain of salt.

Karla says:

I agree with Todd Hirsch that Leo is preatty egotistical and far rom enlightment!
I watched fwe videos and i tought they oreatty good.But the one about relationships red flags demolished every positive about Leo.
Im a person with bipolar which is a genetical biological illness for your info leo.I take meds since 10 years.The key here is to take the right combination,and Know yourself and the illness in and out.I am perfecly well and didnt sean the hospital 6 years.I got my honours in psycology and im doing my masters in social work.Also valuntiring in toronto on an inpationt unit helping depressed bipolar and schzophrenic clients.i know good surgent who has bipolar.
Im also in a 20 year long relationship.Based in what you sad is that when my husband find out about my genetical illness should leave me?
Lucky you that you dont have to deal with such hard illness.You chaged i,so harshly!
This is totally the oposit that you were preaching in the other vidios.But be carefull yourself carma is a big beach!
Also excuse my imperfect English,im a Canadian citizen but was born in eastern europe,immigrated 10 years ago.
Left a continent my Home learned another language adapted to another country finishing universtys in English my 3d language not having my family here.And im functioning much better than others in perfect mental health.

Sam says:

Clearly you haven’t understood well enough.

Isaac says:

my friend, you are great thank you for that

April says:

I have to say that I disagree with a portion of the mental health being a red flag, or on meds. I’ve been on anti-drepressants for 10 years. Were there portions of those 10 years where I was not a good partner to be with? Absolutely, any guy should’ve ran miles and miles away from me. But with personal development, I’ve grown into a more mature, stable, healthy person. I haven’t been able to get off the anti-depressants though, every time I try, I face negative consequences. I don’t think we know enough about the field of mental health and the effects of these psych meds to understand the whole picture and why I now have this dependency on the medication. Perhaps there are traumas in this world that are so negative, it can alter your brain chemistry permanently, or perhaps long term use of anti-depressants causes a permanent chemical imbalance and creates a defect in brain chemistry, so that medication is always needed, like a permanent crutch.

I can admit that I still have issues and flaws and great needs for further development, but also, people who are not on antidepressants have issues and flaws too, some far worse than mine. For someone who’s used this depression issue as a platform for growth, I don’t think the “ditch them” assessment should fly. Essentially for a person in my shoes who has a healthy management of it, that’d be the same as ditching someone because they have asthma or diabetes; they have a health problem, but they’re managing it and doing what they can with it to rise above.

A certain level compassion and rational assessment of each individual case should be applied. Yes, if you want to put up some antenna’s or feelers in the beginning of a relationship and say to yourself, “Hey, I see they’re on meds, this COULD BE an issue.”, that’s very healthy because you’re being cautious with your own life and happiness, but also, it doesn’t mean it’s an instant disqualification. You should see what you’re actually dealing with in that person.

Lu says:

I have read comments of almost all people above, this is my take on it.
1-Off course nobody can be disqualified from dating for taking medications but at the same time it may mean that you may have to become the “savior” of that person. Nothing wrong with that, if done for a short period of time, you can actually help someone. Some people (not all) who take meds are dependent on them to function which may imply that they may tend to overly depend on other people too for survival. You can take meds for a while but there is a point where you have to work on your problems, by yourself, after all we all have problems, don’t we? This applies to mild and middle range depressions and anxieties (does not apply to schizophrenia, psychosis or bipolar disorder which need the meds in order to have a balanced life)
2- This guy is not putting out free videos just be criticized, yes he is selling his course here, but still he is putting hours and hours of his time and knowledge for free, give him some credit for that. I believe his motives are rather selfish less, he probably recognizes that if we all work on our issues we can make collectively a better world for all, without wars, misery, etc.
3- Take what you want and applies to you from the videos… some stuff may be taken to an extreme, but I guess this is the technique he uses to get his message across in a more effective way (sugar coating things is not as effective).
I have seen hours and hours of his videos and they are outstanding! Do not know if he is a zen, probably not, but at least he tries to get out of his comfort zone which is more than most of us are willing to do. I see so many people around acting like zombies, no passion, no drive, zero enthusiasm, he is trying to break the barrier of mediocrity.

Ragnar says:

Right point

derek says:

This is great leo i meet alott of sick people at my dental practice in raleigh we do sedation dentistry allot of people are scared its crazy, but they pay me so yeah.

derek says:

i was in a relationship were i was these people and i could see these scenario in others. right now shes gone. she dispises me for not having a good job and a posititve attitude or something. plus when she doubts me she calls me out in really harsh ways and she recently appolgized for being really harsh. talking about how all the negative aspects of me. one of the biggest was we had sex and that week i was busy i didnt call her then we got together again and she said i didnt call her and was just using her. we were making out on the floor and i thought we were going to do it but she stopped and said no and looked up set and went to bed with out explaning. we never did it again after wards.

Sue says:

Do people without any of these negative qualities exist? And what happens if you never had too many relationships because you don’t mess around? Personally I can tick at least ine of these of, does that mean I am the problem, wait don’t answer that what about working on the relationship. What is too much and what is enough? Would love to see a video on that. Thanks

Leo Gura says:

Of course they exist! They are the people who care about self-actualizing and work on themselves. And they are the only people who will have successful long-term relationships.

Anna says:

I enjoyed your videos greatly. I have started meditation for 3 days now. Thanks for the tips.

Now I am in a relationship where my partner has two (2) rude and disrespectful kids (towards me). I m seriously considering ending the relationship as it is going no where as my partner needs to look after his kids. Is this another red flag… disrespectful and rude kids?

Thank you

Jamie says:

So what do you say to the person who listens to these red flags and says they sound like my parent? Because over 75% of the red flags remind me of my mom and our relationship.

Carrie says:

Hi Leo,

Great video btw! Thanks for the tips and red flags. They were very insightful. I will be on the look out while pursuing a new long term relationship.

I wanted to put in my two cents and thoughts about this video, since a lot of people have mentioned the mental illnesses topic in the comments above. I used to be on psych medications and bio-identical hormones on and off for many years. I always felt out of control of my emotions no matter what I did, or who I talked to (counselors, therapists, etc.). I later discovered two years ago that diet plays a huge role in how you feel and respond. And also recently discovered that I was allergic to wheat gluten. Wheat gluten allergies can suppress thyroid function causing you to be extremely depressed and out of character (this can also happen to other people with other types of foods, causing a variety of allergy symptoms including: ADHD, extreme anger issues, eczema, slow learning, poor memory, etc.). My allergic reactions were so bad for me that I would literally eat a piece of pizza and 24 hours later I was a completely different person. It was very much a Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde situation. For many years I struggled and lost out of friendships and romantic relationships. I thought that this was just a part of my personality and never saw the correlation with food. It was only discovered because my new doctor gave me a very extensive allergy test. Ever since I dropped the gluten and later recognized my other allergies (including table salt and extreme sodium consumption found in packaged products and fast food causing irritability, anger and migraine headaches) I was able to completely function without medications. Just thought I would throw that out there. It may be answers for a few of you.

If you are looking to find a good book and information about these allergies and what they can do to your body you should read the book: Is This Your Child? By Dorris Rapp, M.D. (A medical doctor, so this is not B.S.) You can see visual examples in the book. They showed before and after examples of a child with peanut allergies being exposed. There were very noticeable differences in his handwriting skills. After the exposure to the allergen he wrote his name backwards and upside down, which was showing typical symptoms of dyslexia. She also has youtube videos. I saw a video of a child who was allergic to tomatoes, eat a tomato and go into an extreme temper tantrum 5 minutes later. It doesn’t have to be food either, it can also be household products or mold spores. Just FYI.

Don’t ever give up, because you can always find a better way! You deserve good health and to be free of medications! And much gratitude for making this video, Leo!

CiaraH says:

Thank you Leo. I started listening because I wanted to see how your red flags apply to my SO. But instead of focusing on him, I started to focus on how this applies to me. It helped me realized that I am no catch at all. And not just because of my external situation.
Oh boy, I’ve a lot of work to do.

Kay says:

I have a wonderful family and have been for 20 years. Last couple of years my wife and I had a rough patch. She found her first love 20 years ago and they were still in deep love! She is a great woman personally and professionally and is very sweet and nice, she has since fighting the emotion of still wanting getting back with him who is also very good and hugely successful. Beg more time passing they will be parting for sure
What should she do??? Don’t ever go back to old love, how painful!!!!!

Sophie Harrington says:

I have another red flag. Don’t date someone who dismisses Bipolar or Scizophrenia as a psychological problem in itself. Don’t date someone that tells you that you don’t need that very important life saving treatment for your condition because you will not be clear minded enough for them. regrettably it would seem that Leo isn’t aware of the new immune system link to mental health problems, I so wish that he did.
However, I will continue to watch the videos as there are gems of truths. Just be sure you don’t see him as some ‘God like’ guru that holds all the answers. For all we know he called his girlfriend a cunt this morning

Leigh says:


I love your videos. This really bugs me though, if you are dating people over 18 years old, they are WOMEN, not girls.


Faye Hirsty says:

This is my favorite youtube of all of your videos that I have seen so far. I have seen about 4 or 5.

Faye Hirsty says:

This is a great video.

marion says:

I have just recently started watching your videos. Its a shame that I didn’t see this years ago. Better late then never

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