Is He Toxic AF? If He’s Doing These 13 Things, Run!

Is He Toxic AF? If He’s Doing These 13 Things, Run! ©iStock/rez-art

I’m of the belief that everyone — and I do mean everyone — will date someone who’s not good for them at some point in their life.You’ll fall in love, be blinded, then wake up one morning and realize something is very wrong with your relationship. Is it because he’s toxic as hell? Maybe. Here’s how to tell:

  1. He tells you what to do. We all need a little guidance sometimes, but when someone is telling you want to do, how to decide and how to pretty much live your life, then that’s screwed up. You’re a competent person; you don’t need (or want) anyone telling you want to do.
  2. He keeps you from your friends and family. People who are toxic suck at sharing. They don’t want their partner spending time with people who might just point out how horrible they really are. While this isn’t always a conscious choice on their part, if he’s keeping you away from others, then that’s a big sign.
  3. He’s constantly giving you a guilt trip. A toxic person LOVES to play the victim. In doing so, it gives them leverage to make you feel guilty. Unless you’ve done something that warrants feeling guilty, then you shouldn’t have to deal with that crap. Let him play the victim with someone else.
  4. He makes everything about him. Being toxic and narcissistic usually go hand-in-hand. And what does a narcissist do? Makes everything about them. You could have been fired from your job or hit by a bus on your way home, and the toxic dude will someone how make it about him — then play the victim again, for good measure.
  5. He doesn’t listen to you. If you find that he’s literally just listening for his turn to talk, then that’s a sign of toxicity. There’s a difference between listening and hearing. You want and deserve to be heard.
  6. He’s indifferent to your dreams and goals. A good partner supports you and has your back. A toxic partner couldn’t give any less about what you want for your life and your future. In their mind, your dreams are silly and petty.
  7. He’s jealous. A bit of healthy jealousy is OK in a relationship, but where things get toxic is when that jealousy is obsessive and debilitating to both you and the relationship, that things are not OK.
  8. You’re constantly walking on egg shells. If you feel like you can’t be your true self, so much so that it’s like you’re tiptoeing around him with yourself on mute, it’s time to realize what he is: Toxic.
  9. He competes with you. Challenging each other from time to time, as in giving a little push, is great for relationships. But it’s when your partner literally competes with you to prove that he’s better that you need to realize he’s completely toxic. That type of behavior is not healthy.
  10. He insults you during arguments. Arguments in a relationship are totally normal, but a healthy argument is one of dialogue and resolution. If he hits below the belt by insulting you or calling you names instead of trying to be productive, then ugh — toxic AF.
  11. He makes you question yourself. Whether he makes you question your life choices, how you dress, what your favorite food is or even something as small as your favorite movie, that’s a sign to bail. You are who you are and you shouldn’t be made to question who you are by an a-hole.
  12. He can never admit when he’s wrong. People are sometimes wrong. People mess up. Then, when they realize it, they admit to it and apologize. The toxic guy won’t do this. He might apologize just to get you to be quiet, but he’s never going to admit he’s wrong. Why? Because he’s never going to think he’s wrong.
  13. You realize you need to leave him, but aren’t sure how. Because toxic people have such a strong hold on us, it’s hard to say goodbye. Whether it’s because of a fear of what he will do or how you will function without him, since he’s pretty much sucked you dry of your confidence, a major sign that he’s toxic is how he makes you feel like you can’t live without him. But the truth is, you totally can — so go and never look back.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.