Every relationship has its ups and downs. Sometimes, if you have several bad relationships in a row, you might be tempted to ask yourself, “Is every guy a douchebag or am I the problem in my relationship?” And while there are several guys who are douchebags, you have to consider the possibility that maybe the problem lies with you. Are you the problem? Is your history of messy relationships and broken hearts all because of your actions? Here are nine undeniable signs that you’re the toxic one and you should probably work on yourself before finding another partner.
- You run away from conflict. Relationships, just like everything else in life, require some hard work to maintain. When you find yourself in a situation that could potentially become an argument, do you shut down and avoid it? If you and your partner need to have a serious talk, and you try to avoid it every single time, you’re going to make the situation worse. This also applies to apologies: when you’ve done something wrong, do you pretend like it never happened? Do you try to act nicer so they forget about what you’ve done? This can actually become toxic behavior in your relationship. You need to be able to calmly work through conflicts with your partner.
- You have a quick temper. On the flip side of the conflict issue, if you are a bit of a hothead, this can also be a sign that you’re the toxic one in the relationship. Do you tend to fly off the handle every time your partner makes you mad? Do you shout, throw things, or even try to physically hurt your partner when you get angry? Definitely not a good sign. Remember, you need to be able to work through your disagreements CALMLY. If this sounds like you, try taking some anger management counseling, or at least learn to step away when the conversation starts getting heated.
- You let your friends and family interfere. If something is seriously wrong with your relationship, such as domestic abuse, friends and family should try to step in and address the situation in order to protect you. However, if they like to make snide comments about your SO and say things like, “You could have done better,” and “You’re so far out of his league,” you should put a stop to these comments. These will start to undermine your relationship with your partner. After a while, the comments start to sink in, and then you’ll start to believe them. If you’re letting friends and family bully your significant other behind their back, you’re allowing toxic behavior to continue. And that’s a problem.
- You put yourself first. Of course, it’s important to take care of yourself. But you should remember that your partner is still a human being. They have wants and needs. In order for a relationship to work, there has to be a certain level of give-and-take. Putting yourself first can put a huge strain on your relationship. For example, if you keep changing your plans suddenly, that’s robbing your partner of spending time with you. In order to start a give-and-take approach, you have to realize how much you’re taking from your partner. Then you can focus on giving them more attention and care.
- You’re waiting for him to motivate you. Do you wait for your boyfriend to change you? Are you secretly refusing to change yourself unless your partner is there to hold your hand, every step of the way? When you’re in a committed relationship, you and your partner should be supporting each other. But if you take this thinking way too far, you might end up causing more harm than good. It’s like if your partner expects to hold hands while you’re walking, but you expect them to carry you. Your partner is just that– a partner. They can encourage, give advice, and help where they can, but you can’t expect them to do the work of a therapist, mentor, coach, and psychic all at once.
- You can’t tell the difference between lighthearted teasing and bullying. This is a super toxic trait that many people develop over time, so you might not even know that it’s there. There is a very fine line between playful teasing and downright humiliating someone. If you constantly tease and embarrass your partner, that’s no longer playful or funny. It’s just bullying. Some things that you should probably never make jokes about include your partner’s appearance, sex drive, depression/anxiety, and fears. It doesn’t matter if your partner has a fear of something you think is genuinely hilarious. Bullying is toxic, whether it’s on the school playground or at the dinner table.
- You want to change your partner, but not yourself. One of the signs that you might be a toxic partner is when you want to change your partner, but you don’t want to change yourself. Perhaps you want your partner to lose weight, which is a good thing, but you don’t want to go on a diet with them. Or you want them to take anger management classes, but you don’t work on your own anger issues. It’s a good thing to support your partner through a positive life change. But it’s not good if you push them to fit your ideal partner standards without changing anything about yourself.
- Your partner is the last to know. When something happens in your life, who’s the first person you tell about it? Everybody has a sort of hierarchy of people they are closest to. Your partner should be at the top of your hierarchy. If something good happens at work, do you tell your partner first, or do you tell everyone else, and then your partner hears about it from your friend? If you have a rough day, where do you go for a hug? If you’re keeping things from your partner, this might be a sign that you’re being a bit toxic, or it could be a sign that the relationship is almost over. However, you can fix this by making a real effort to make your boyfriend your number one person again. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner about this. Ask for their support and explain that you want to be each others’ number one people.
- You let your partner do all the work. Last, but certainly not least, we have laziness. Laziness is a very toxic trait in relationships because after a while, your partner will start to resent you for it. Being in a relationship with a lazy person feels lonely, like you’re being taken advantage of. And laziness can apply to lots of different areas — who does more of the household chores? Who does the dirty work that neither of you like, such as cleaning the toilets? Or emotionally, who works harder to connect with the other? Who tries to initiate conversations and schedule dates together? In order to avoid being toxic, make sure that you kick your laziness to the curb and do your fair share. This will help make your relationship more balanced and loving.