For those who are in a healthy relationship, everything just kind of works. Though there are bumps in the road, you generally make decisions together, openly discuss any problems that arise, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
Toxic relationships are another story. And when you’re in one, it can be harder to see red flags.
If you consistently feel drained or unhappy after spending time with your partner, it could be a sign that things need to change.
Here’s a look at some tell-tale signs of toxicity in a relationship and what to do if you recognize them in your relationship.
What does it look like?
Depending on the nature of the relationship, signs of toxicity can be subtle or highly obvious.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, you may recognize some of these signs in yourself, your partner, or the relationship itself.
Lack of support
Your time together has stopped being positive or supportive of your goals.
In other words, you don’t feel like they have your back.
Instead of treating each other with kindness, most of your conversations are filled with sarcasm, criticism, or overt hostility. You may even start avoiding talking to each other.
While it’s normal to experience jealousy from time to time, it can become an issue if you can’t get yourself to think or feel positively about their success.
Questioning where you are all the time or becoming overly upset when you don’t immediately answer texts are both signs of controlling behavior, which can contribute to toxicity in a relationship.
In some cases, these attempts of control over you can be a sign of abuse.
Holding on to grudges and letting them fester chips away at intimacy.
Over time, frustration or resentment can build up and make a smaller chasm much bigger.
You find yourself constantly making up lies about your whereabouts or who you meet up with to avoid spending time with your partner.
Patterns of disrespect
Being chronically late, casually “forgetting” events, and other behaviours that show disrespect for your time are a red flag.
A normal amount of tension runs through every relationship, but finding yourself constantly on edge is an indicator that something’s off.
This ongoing stress can take a toll on your physical and emotional health.
Ignoring your needs
Going along with whatever your partner wants to do, even when it goes against your wishes or comfort level.
For example, you might agree to a vacation they planned, either intentionally or unintentionally, for dates that aren’t convenient for you.
Lack of self-care
In a toxic relationship, you might let go of your usual self-care habits.
You might withdraw from hobbies you once loved, neglect your health, and sacrifice your free time.
Hoping for change
You might stay in the relationship because you see the other person’s potential or think that if you just change yourself and your actions, they’ll change as well.
Walking on eggshells
You worry that by bringing up problems, you’ll provoke extreme tension, so you become conflict avoidant and keep any issues to yourself.