Relationships are supposed to bring us love, joy and support. They aren’t always easy, and that’s normal. But there is a point in which conflict, drama and control equal toxicity. And so often the red flags go unnoticed. You may be in a toxic relationship and not even realize it.
Pay close attention to your feelings and ask yourself if your partner displaying any of these behaviors:
1. They’re always the one calling the shots
Between the two of you, how often do you decide where to eat for dinner? Or what Netflix show to watch together? Now, how often does your partner call the shots?
In a toxic relationship, one person makes all the decisions – even when the other partner speaks up. They can be as small as deciding which dessert to share or as big as deciding where to live.
If the controlling decision-making behavior of your partner is making you feel like you don’t have a voice, you’re in a toxic relationship.
2. They create drama when you want to do something without them
A toxic partner will feel “threatened or insecure about your hobbies and interests,” says sex and relationship therapist, Megan Fleming.
Making you choose between them and something you want to do is a bad sign. And if they start giving you ultimatums that control your life, best to get out of the relationship.
3. They take zero interest in your family
How your partner reacts when you tell him or her that you’d like them to meet your family will tell you a lot about your relationship.
In a healthy relationship, your partner will see the chance to meet your family as an opportunity to build a connection with them. They prepare for it like they would a job interview.
But in the toxic relationship, your partner will “treat it like an unnecessary obligation” and act like “you’ve just cordially invited him to a 24-hour shopping fest…on Black Friday…in a blizzard,” as doctor of human sexuality, Emily Morse put it.
4. They only seem to text you when they “feel like it”
Pay attention to your texting or messaging patterns early in the relationship. If it feels erratic and random, if this person isn’t checking in with you, showing interest or making plans, then it seems like they aren’t ready to care for someone.
5. They refuse to resolve a conflict
In the healthy relationship, partners will apologize, they’ll believe in the strength of the relationship and try to find solutions to problems.
The toxic partner will not say they’re at fault for anything, ever. They’ll “likely go back and forth between total denial and apathy, with random bursts of rage,” says Morse.
6. You constantly feel like you’re walking on eggshells
It’s a bad sign when you can’t be yourself in a relationship. The feeling of walking on eggshells when you’re around your partner is enough to know it’s time to move on.
After knowing what to pay attention to, are you in a relationship that’s toxic?