In a healthy relationship, you and your partner will bring out the best in each other. When you’re not well-suited or the relationship is toxic, it’s likely that the opposite will happen. It’s not always obvious that you and your partner are bad for each other, but if you notice these signs, you need to say goodbye.
Your relationship is always a competition.
You constantly feel the need to try and one-up your partner or get back at them for something they did, or vice versa. Instead of using healthy communication skills, the two of you express your feelings by reacting to situations out of spite, anger, and manipulation. A little healthy banter between you and your S.O. can be a good thing as long as you both know that you’re on the same team. When you find that your relationship feels like two rival sports teams playing against each other, that often indicates that your relationship is toxic. When it comes down to it, you and your partner should be building each other up, not breaking each other down.
Whoever cares less has the power in the relationship.
First of all, one person should never try to have all of the power in a relationship. Relationships that are controlling and one-sided are toxic and often become abusive. However, you and your partner should both want to show each other how much you care about each other instead of trying to prove that your partner is less invested than you are. It’s childish to think that acting like you don’t care about things that you actually do care about is going to cultivate the relationship (and mindset) that you want to be in.
Any arguments between you always lead to outbursts and extreme reactions.
Disagreements are going to happen in every relationship, but being at odds with each other shouldn’t mean screaming, fighting, ultimatums, or drastic decisions. Do you often find yourself acting out of character in the heat of the moment when in an argument with your partner? In a relationship where the two of you bring out the worst in each other, you’ll negatively feed off of the other and end up lashing out in ways you would most likely find embarrassing the next day.
You justify treating each other poorly based on something in your past.
This kind of circles back to having trust issues and usually happens when one person has said that they’ve forgiven the partner for something but when in reality, they haven’t fully been able to move on from it. It could be as simple as you occasionally looking through your partner’s phone while they’re in the shower because you once saw them receive a text from their ex when you ordinarily would consider that kind of behavior disrespectful and a violation of their privacy. Other examples are lying to your partner because they’ve lied to you before, cheating on your partner because they’ve cheated on you in the past, and unhealthy relationship habits that you know are wrong but seem warranted because of your history.
Either you and your partner develop (or fall deeper into) negative and self-destructive habits.
Maybe you’ve picked up new destructive habits or you’ve been relying more on negative crutches, but either way, it’s not a good sign. Your partner may not be directly to blame for why you’ve started drinking too much or aren’t properly taking care of yourself, but needing to escape by any means necessary and deciding to ignore your better judgment isn’t a sign of a thriving, happy relationship. You may have already had issues with these problems in the past, but if you find that they worsen or begin while you’re in a relationship, it’s definitely not bringing out the best in you.
Your friends and family are more worried about you than usual.
Have your friends and family been reaching out to you and asking you if you’re okay or wondering why you’ve seemed a little off lately? They may realize that your relationship is taking a negative toll on you before you’re able to see it yourself.
Your family and friends have become distant.
One way to tell a relationship is toxic is that your other relationships with your family and friends have become strained and less involved. It may be because your romantic relationship is taking up a lot of your time and energy. It may also be because they’ve tried to talk to you about your partner and express their concern about your relationship and you’ve either gotten upset with them for doing so or brushed them off. Either way, when people you’ve always had strong relationships with become distant, it’s a red flag.
You aren’t progressing forward in life.
Have you been less motivated to achieve your goals and dreams while being in a relationship with your partner? Life has its natural stages of varying degrees of growth, but ultimately, your partner should inspire you and be the reason you want to move forward and work towards your goals. If you’ve become stagnant and unfocused since getting together with your S.O., the relationship may be distracting, draining, and possibly even damaging.
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