It’s often that we can only recognize a toxic relationship in retrospect and with ten years of hindsight. However, if you start to think that you’re at the tail end of a relationship that’s spiraling out of control, then it might already be toxic. It’s important to remember, however, that it’s never too late to get out of a bad relationship. You owe it to yourself to try whenever you can do so safely. Here are a few signs you’re in a toxic relationship to look out for and act upon immediately when you notice them.
You have no communication. Slapped across every therapist’s office from here to the moon, you will find the motto that communication is key. I’m no different in saying the same thing here – it’s a classic for a reason. You can see it across all aspects of the relationship too. It’s not just communicating when you’re feeling bad for the obvious emotions. It’s about updating each other as you go, spilling the small things, anticipating issues, and encouraging your partner to learn about you and your habits. Couples that have bad sex are often the result of this because they aren’t willing to make any waves or risk hurting anyone by asserting their needs. All it takes is saying “a little lower” and you’re on your way. Small steps are still progress.
You don’t miss them when they’re gone. This is one of the biggest signs you’re in a toxic relationship. Not only do you not miss your partner when they’re away, you might even feel relief. These are the red flags that might not be immediately clear first. You see, we’re all told that you shouldn’t only hang out with the person you’re in a relationship with. However, it can be hard to separate one thing from the other in the moment. It’s important to value your own space, but when it’s to such a degree that you resent their presence as an interruption to your alone time, that’s because they aren’t a safe space to you, not that you’re too private. Think about that.
You only see each other. The signs of toxic relationships come in all shapes and sizes and this is definitely the case when it comes to quality time. Instead of trying to keep them at bay, another sign of a relationship that isn’t healthy is when you spend all your time together. You stop valuing time with your friends and family because you have become obsessed with each other. Obsession isn’t love, it’s toxic.
You don’t boast about them. When you’re head over heels with someone, you become shameless when you talk about them. Maybe it even gets a little annoying for the people around you, but either way, you’re proud of them and want everyone to know. You want to shout about your love to the rooftops and tell the world. When you don’t tell other people about the person you’re seeing, it’s because you’re insecure or fearful about something. That needs to be unpacked.
You know nothing about their past. It’s everyone’s prerogative to be private and that’s fine. It’s their personal business. However, if that extends beyond the point of reason, such that you don’t know anything about them, then it’s a problem. You should want to know about your partner and they should want to share their life with you. Not letting you into their past indicates that they’re not fixing you into their future. Not in a sustainable way, anyway.
They don’t talk about their parents. It’s as if this man was just brought by the stalks and didn’t have any family from the way he spoke about his parents. Or the way he didn’t talk about them, I should say. Opening up about your family and your friends are essential ways to familiarize yourself with a person. When you want to get more intimate with a person these aren’t boundaries, they’re fun obstacles to overcome together.
You run out of things to talk about with him. This is another of the major signs of a toxic relationship. You have no shared interests. Your relationship isn’t sustainable. It’s rooted and trapped in the present. Ultimately, it’s not long-term or healthy to keep attracting the wrong guys.
You don’t feel comfortable. You’re holding something back. Stopping yourself from being yourself. Put it this way, if you haven’t farted in each other, or seen each other in your ugly PJs, then it’s on the rocks. If even the idea of that scares you, you’re in the wrong place. Believe me.
Take this list with a pinch of salt, but also look out for yourself. Relationships are hard, but they should never be so hard that you can’t recognize yourself or the form of love that you are practicing. Pay attention for the signs of toxic relationships so that you can look out for yourself.
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