In a new Reddit thread, one user asked the married people in the group to tell them about times when something that's traditionally considered a "red flag" in a relationship turned out to be not that important. The answers are interesting and eye-opening, to say the least.
While some of the things below can be legit signals to run for the hills as fast as you freaking can, they aren't always. And as another user points out, "I broke off an engagement over four years ago and every relationship I've had since then I break off when I see a red flag. It's nice to know that some red flags are okay and acceptable."
1. She's a collector. "Collecting literally [thousands] of elephants. Cuddly toys/posters/ornaments. Everything. Even in our house today they are everywhere, you can point in any direction in nearly every room and you'll find another one. It's the worst safari I've ever been on."
2. Our families thought we were too young and wrong for each other. "Both of our families saying we were making a huge mistake because we were young and so wrong for each other. My family refused to call her anything other than 'that whore' and refused to accept that I was serious about her. They all wanted me to get back with my ex. Her family liked to remind us that I was trash and not good enough for her every few minutes. It's tough to hear that from people who are supposed to love you and we ended up cutting ourselves off from family for a few years because of it, some we still don't talk to. I know that this isn't like some of the other replies but it is a huge red flag when literally everyone around you thinks you're making a bad decision and would rather ruin your relationship than see you happy. We just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary and it still feels like we're playing house."
3. We were young. "I met my wife when I was 22 and she was 21. She had never had a boyfriend and made it pretty clear she planned on marrying the first guy she got serious with. Not because she was desperate to get married; she just didn't plan on getting serious unless it was someone she could see marrying. In hindsight that could scared me off, but I was too crazy about her to care."
4. She didn't know much about some stuff. "She saw LOTR and asked me if it was based on a true story. We watched Ray (movie of Ray Charles' life) and asked me if he lived long enough to SEE the movie."
5. Your spouse is just like your parent. "That my husband was exactly like my mother. Turns out my mother is pretty awesome."
6. He had some serious obstacles to overcome. "He did very poorly in college, isn't good at budgeting money, was a heavy smoker, had some trouble with addiction to prescription medication, and went through a two-year period of depression around three years into our relationship. Could have cut and run because things were looking pretty damn bad. Instead I stayed and helped him all I could. Now we have been together almost eleven years, got married 8 months ago. He has beaten his depression and addiction, has an awesome career that lets him work from home. Couldn't be happier that I stayed with the adorable, sweet, smart, dead-beat. Our relationship is my proudest accomplishment."
7. The sex wasn't mind-blowing. "That we don't have the best chemistry in bed. I had many boyfriends before my husband and have a very liberal way of approaching sexual life (kind of like 'whatever makes you happy if no one gets hurt!'), and he's very conservative and 'vanilla.' I definitely had better sex in my life than with my husband. But I had never loved or felt loved as much as with him, and we've been happy for five years, expecting our first child, enjoying every moment of being together and having a good and loving sexual life."
8. A history of breakups and makeups. "He broke up with me three times during the three years before he proposed. Never for more than 48 hours, but still. We fixed some issues each time and haven't had even a glimmer of doubt since."
9. Mother-in-law wasn't for it. "My future mom-in-law spending half an hour trying to convince me not to marry her son because he wasn't good enough for me (immediately following our engagement announcement, to her). In hindsight she was really right about his housekeeping habits, but more than a decade in, while [they're] very annoying, [they're] hardly a deal breaker! Her son has been the best thing to happen to me and I certainly wouldn't be where I am today without him. (Edit: my mom-in-law is very sweet and very kind to us both; I think she was just having a hard time with the idea of one of her children getting married. And genuinely concerned for me, lol.)"
10. We both were divorcees. "She was just coming off of her divorce (rebound). I always despised how divorced people were seen as damaged goods and didn't put it in my dating profile because I didn't think it made me less of a person. When we got together romantically, (we had known each other for years before), we both had it so much easier. We have many times called ours 'marriage 2.0.'"
11. We met online and moved in together fast. "I guess I met him on an Internet forum and like three months later he sold everything he had to move clear across the country to be with me. It was damn fast IMO and it sucked for the first year because he couldn't get a job. I had to work four jobs. Never again. Seven years later I still love him, but now it's his turn to work multiple jobs."
12. She lies a lot. "A huge red flag for sure. But once I noticed, I also noticed that they're all pretty much defensive lies to excuse herself to protect her pride—if she's late because she actually procrastinated, she'll fib that she fell asleep or the dog was sick. If she forgot to walk the dog, she'll fib that she tried to walk him but he was too tired, if she didn't put the laundry away she'll fib that her sister called and she got distracted by that. I especially noticed it when she involves me in the lie, like if we don't feel like going out to the club with some friends instead of just saying 'hey, I'm feeling drained from work; gonna sit this out' she asks me to say 'the dog hurt his paw really badly so we have to take him to the vet.' It really bothered me when we first started dating because I thought she was lazy and trying to trick me into doing all the chores.
"Once I learned WHY she's such a chronic liar I got way more forgiving of it. Her mother is such a nitpicking, character-judging witch of a woman, and she's grown up her whole life having to deflect blame instead of accepting a fault and moving on, because instead of accepting an apology her family will hound her for making the mistake; and anyone else in the family gets similar treatment. If the mistake is 'Someone else's fault' then she doesn't get hounded, so she started instinctively doing that. She's terrified I'll 'hate' her like her family does and think she's useless and lazy so she tries to deflect blame
"So now we're working on it. When I come home and the dishes aren't done because 'I had a really bad headache and took some Advil and accidentally fell asleep' when I know she just got distracted by Facebook because she hates washing dishes I'll just nod and and ask her to dry while I wash. If I'm really tired then I'll ask her to just do half and I'll finish up. And we don't make up excuses to our friends anymore."
13. He lied about something big. "He lied about graduating college. [Found] out he was trying to finish school (24 years old). I told a friend and she said, 'OMG, he will always be a liar! He probably cheats too. Dump him!!'
"Turns out he was just embarrassed to tell me the truth. I kept my distance for a while, but after seeing him bust his hump to finish school while working full-time, I knew it was a one-time mistake.
"Married for almost eight years and three kids later, he works just as hard as ever, and is very honest and trustworthy. That friend, however, is still single."
14. She didn't believe in sex before marriage. "I started dating my wife when she was a senior in high school and I was just starting college.
"On the second date she made it clear that she was saving herself for marriage. Now the only reason this was a red flag for me is because A) girls like that where I'm from are almost always cray B) sex (for me) is a very important aspect of a serious relationship
"I fell in love, ignored my 'red flag' (which in hindsight was a dumb red flag in the first place) and married her. She's not crazy, marriage is amazing, and the sex is utterly mind-blowing. I wouldn't trade our marriage for anything!"
15. "She's a huge Nickelback fan. Still is." This might be the only real deal breaker in the whole list.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.