It doesn’t matter if you’ve been with someone for decades or you’re newly dating; the foundation of your relationship is the most crucial part. No one goes into a relationship with the desire to have things fail. We all want successful, prospering, healthy relationships. The type of relationship you’re in doesn’t matter, whether you’re seeking a long-term companion, trying to find a sugar daddy online, or you want a few dates that keep you interested and engaged. Identifying toxic relationships isn’t always easy when we’re in them, especially if we’ve developed feelings for the person.
That’s why it’s essential to take a closer look at these five signs of toxic relationships and what they mean for the long-term dynamic between you:
The Relationship is Seemingly One-Sided
In a healthy relationship, both parties will have equally important roles to play. From offering love and support to sharing thoughts and opinions, the conversation goes similarly in both directions. Pay attention to the conversations you have with your current partner. Does it seem like you can never share your thoughts, feelings, or opinions without judgment? If so, there may be an unnecessary power struggle between you two. While it’s common for partners to disagree on topics occasionally, it’s important that both partners feel they can share their thoughts freely, without negative influence. Anytime you feel like your opinions or feelings aren’t being heard, evaluate what the topic is at that time. If they’re always trying to get the last word in or change your mind on a situation, it may be a sign you need to move on.
You can’t be yourself or do anything right
You’re starting to notice that it’s easier not to say anything than it is to start a fight. You often feel teased or embarrassed by your actions, with minor things being brought up continuously. While you used to be a goofy, comical person, your partner indicates these actions are immature and childish. You just stop doing them and hold in how you’re feeling instead of being authentic and genuine. Maybe it feels like no matter how hard you try, what you bring to the table just isn’t good enough. While change can be a good thing, if it’s changing your personality to please a harmful or hurtful partner, there’s a good chance that you’re in a toxic relationship.
You’re struggling to find the positives
It seems you can’t stop talking about your partner to virtually anyone you meet in a healthy relationship. You love the way they make you laugh. You feel like the most intelligent and thoughtful person because of their actions. There are just so many positives to having your partner in your life that you smile at the very thought of them. In a toxic relationship, these qualities become beaten down and replaced by negative ones. Perhaps you feel unintelligent or aloof when you’re both together. Maybe you can’t seem to shake how hard you try to impress them to always fall short in their eyes. Pay attention to both the positives and the negatives in the relationship. If the negatives seem to dominate your mind, it may be time to move on.
You are a Victim of Abuse (Financial, Emotional, or Physical)
One of the most straightforward red flags to spot within the relationship is abuse, but it doesn’t make it the easiest to leave. Whether it is just the occasional fight that turns physical or an ongoing emotional battle, abuse needs to be recognized for what it is. Likewise, strict controlling of financial resources (including income, food, car, or other necessities) out of spite is abuse too. Any partner who resorts to physical or emotional abuse in disagreements is a toxic individual, even if it rarely occurs. The influence of drugs, stress, or alcohol should have no bearing on whether someone physically or emotionally attacks you; it can’t and shouldn’t be justified.
Every couple has disagreements, arguments, or intense conversations. Abuse, however, is not acceptable in any circumstance. Always seek help immediately if you’re in an abusive situation. If there are cases of physical abuse, always seek medical help for any injuries. Likewise, report the abuse and confrontation to the authorities when it happens. Most cases of abuse will escalate throughout the years; without strict intervention from psychologists, it will seldom improve on its own.
You Fight About the Future and Life’s Milestones
You’ve always wanted to go back to school and get your college degree, but your partner thinks that’s a waste of time and resources. They want to settle down and have kids, but you’re thinking of traveling in the next decade without children in the picture. Whether they’re small milestones or key foundations of your life, each partner should have an equal influence on how the future unfolds.
The next time you’re discussing a significant milestone, pay attention to how they receive that information. If they’re loving and supportive, things may progress well throughout the years. If they laugh off your hopes or tell you it isn’t going to happen, it’s a sign of a dangerous dynamic. Controlling another to the point of dictating the future is toxic; if they want someone they can dictate, they should get a dog.