How to know if your relationship is bringing you down? Check out these toxic relationship signs and red flags.
No relationship is born perfect, and we all have to do our part to maintain a relationship. But what if someone you love is manipulative or toxic? Should you leave, or should you stay and try harder?
A few months after I broke up with my ex, I dated a guy for a few months. When we first met, I thought he was the sweetest and most caring person on earth. He would call me first thing in the morning and 10+ times during the day. When I couldn’t pick up his phone at work, he would flip and call me “ungrateful” through paragraphs of texts. And he expected me to spend all the weekends with him because I “don’t have friends anyway.” Every time I tried to talk about the pressure he was causing me, he blamed me for “not knowing how to love someone.” And that’s why my ex had left me.
I was lucky enough to have my family and friends who talked me out of the relationship. They were able to tell that Mr. ILoveYouTooMuch was trying to diminish my worth, cut me off from my support network, and manipulate me in the name of love. And after I blocked this guy completely, I could finally breathe freely.
Am I lonely? Yes, a lot of the time. But did I regret my decision? No, absolutely not. Love is not a free pass for cheating, lying, abuse, or manipulation. No amount of effort or compromise would change someone’s toxic personality traits. You are better off alone than sacrificing your inner peace and happiness.
If you wonder whether a relationship is toxic, here is a list of toxic relationship signs that will help you figure out.
Toxic relationship signs to spot and cut off toxic people
You feel the need to please them
When you are in a relationship with toxic people or narcissists, you may feel a strong need to please them. They may attack your appearance, your career, or your personality. They make you feel like you are never enough. And the only way to prove your value is by meeting their expectations.
Toxic relationship sign #2: Lack of respect
Under no circumstances should you feel less worthy in a relationship. Toxic people break your personal boundaries and call that an act of love. They make mean jokes about you and blame you for being too serious. They feel entitled to your time and attention and treat you like a possession.
The truth is, if someone truly cares about you, they won’t do anything intentionally to hurt your feelings. They respect your boundaries instead of violating them. If mutual respect is lacking, it’s time to reconsider if the relationship is worth fighting for.
You have to justify your need
You are not needy for wanting the same level of attention or loyalty you put in a relationship. You are not selfish for needing space for yourself. These are the basics, not a luxury.
However, toxic people blame you for wanting the bare minimums. You feel the need to justify your emotions. And it will always end up being your fault.
You feel better without them
Our mind may need more time to digest what our heart already knows. It’s ok that we need time off in a relationship. But if you feel like you are finally at ease when you are away from them, it says a lot about the tension between you two.
You are left alone when you need support
A dedicated and healthy relationship is inspiring. It gives us the courage to fight against the odds because we are not alone. But a toxic relationship is often one-sided. You are there for them, but they disappear when you need help and support.
Toxic people or narcissists never think they are wrong. It’s ok for them to ignore your text for hours. But they blame you for doing the same. They question your loyalty when you spend the night with a coworker. But they call you insecure and emotional when you have the same doubts.
A responsible partner will not try to be the sole purpose of your life. He understands a strong social circle is just as important as a romantic relationship.
But toxic people do the opposite. They point fingers at your friends and family, criticizing them for not being supportive. They may even make a scene when you try to hang out with other people. What the toxic people try to do is to build a wall between you and your people. They mess with your mind and trick you into believing that they are all you have.
Everyone thinks that you are too good for them
It’s not always easy to take a step back and observe from a third-person perspective. That’s why what others have been saying all the time could be right. You certainly don’t need others to validate your relationship. But it’s ok to ask what others think, especially if you have been struggling.
I was lucky enough to have a small circle of friends who were willing to tell the truth. They thought I was settling in a toxic relationship just to escape loneliness. I was angry and in denial. But looking back, it was their honesty that helped me quit the toxic relationship.
What are your experiences with toxic people?
Share your story in the comment. Your words may inspire someone on the other side of the world to walk out of a toxic relationship.
If you feel stuck in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, seek help at National Domestic Violence Hotline.