Tainted Love: 20 Signs You’re in an Extremely Toxic Relationship (But May Not Know It)
Every relationship has its own ecosystem, but some are more toxic than others. While being in love doesn’t guarantee a non-stop, ecstatic fun-fest, your partnership shouldn’t be a continual downer, either. If you’re wondering if you might be in an unhealthy arrangement (and if you’re wondering if you are, you probably are), we’ll help you know for sure. Whether it’s the way your partner interacts with you, their concept of time, or the things they say, there are red flags galore when it comes to bad alliances. These are the 20 signs you’re in an extremely toxic relationship. Take note and get out!
Cover Photo: Daniel Allan (Getty Images)
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You’re constantly fighting.
Disagreements are to be expected in any relationship but incessant, knock-out, drag-down fights are unhealthy, even if it leads to make-up sex.
They can't tell time.
Or they just don’t respect yours. Anyone who leaves you hanging or doesn't remember important dates and events doesn’t deserve you.
They're constantly criticizing you.
If you feel like you can’t do anything right, something is wrong in the relationship.
Constantly questioning your fidelity, accusing you of checking out other people in public, or dropping passive-aggressive statements like, “You and Courtney seemed awfully chummy tonight,” are telltale signs of a green-eyed monster.
They have no empathy.
Whenever you have a crappy day or something bad happens, instead of a hug and an “Aw, there there,” you get, “Yeah, well, you should hear about the day I’ve had…”
You can't build trust with untruths, and without trust, there's no relationship.
They only talk about themselves.
You shouldn't always have to be the sounding board and the shoulder to cry on. Sometimes you need to vent, too. If communication is only one-way, it's time to do a U-turn and get the fuck out of there.
They don't communicate.
Nobody likes uncomfortable communication or confrontation, but sometimes in relationships, you have to hash shit out. If your partner is unwilling to hear your concerns or work through them, you may be better off alone.
They never apologize.
Hey, we all fuck up sometimes. If your partner never takes responsibility for their mistakes or refuse to say, “I’m sorry,” that’s a bad sign.
They don't respect your privacy.
Snooping is a huge red flag. Hovering, asking for your passwords, or checking your call log or browser history are out of line. Everyone deserves a private life, even in a relationship.
They try to control your every move.
If your partner wants to keep tabs on your whereabouts at all times, commandeers all of your free time, and generally doesn’t trust you, watch out. They're one step away from stalker behavior.
You're doing all the heavy lifting.
A relationship should be give and take, meaning that both parties contribute equally. If you're the only one planning dates, making an effort, saying "I love you," and otherwise contributing to the partnership, you have a bum deal on your hands. Drop that dead weight now.
You feel like you can't say 'no.'
If you find yourself constantly acquiescing to your partner's desires just so you don’t start a fight, that’s a problem, especially when it comes to hot-button issues like spending money or sex.
You can't be yourself.
If you can't let your freak flag fly with your partner, who can you let it fly with? If you have to edit yourself around your partner and put on a performance so they won't leave you, something’s wrong.
You feel like you have to keep secrets.
Compartmentalizing your life into "safe to share" and "not safe to share" categories is crazy-making. If you are always second-guessing whether or not you can tell your partner something, that's not a partner you want to be with.
You're not taking care of yourself.
Every relationship comes with some compromise (you might skip the gym one morning a week to lounge in bed with your partner, for example), but if you’ve completely given up the activities or friendships that fulfill you and your self-care is non-existent, you're in a toxic relationship.
Your standards plummet.
When it comes to your partner, you've noticed that you now accept things – like not answering your texts within a reasonable amount of time, putting you down in front of others, standing you up – that were previously unacceptable in any other relationship.
You love them for their potential.
Everyone could, theoretically, be a better person. But if you’re waiting for them to change, you could be waiting forever.
The relationship exhausts you.
A good partnership should inspire and energize you, not demean and deplete you.
They bring out the worst in you.
If you’re perpetually angry, depressed, or anxious and you’re not normally that way, your relationship may be to blame. A healthy relationship should motivate you to be your best self, rise higher, and pursue your dreams.