If you instantly fall in love without really knowing a person, if you can’t stop thinking about someone, if your mood depends entirely on whether your love interest called you today, then you are prone to unhealthy emotional dependence. It is usually a trait of people who don’t have enough love for themselves and feel the need to seek it from the outside. It turns into a vicious circle of toxic relationships. Sometimes, toxic relationships can be hard to identify. That’s why we collected some of the top alarming signs to give you the head up if you are in fact in a toxic relationship.
- You forget about your hobby
Don’t forget about your favorite activities and your hobbies. A new person should make your life more interesting and they should add to your life. An enthusiastic and active person who is interested in many different things is very attractive as a partner. Don’t make your loved one the center of your universe. It’s important to understand that it’s unfair to your partner if you completely depend on them for your happiness, your well-being, and your overall mood.
- You turn a blind eye to alarming signals
Pay attention to any feelings, doubts, and suspicions you may have. If something about your partner’s behavior is disturbing to you, don’t hesitate to address the issue right away. Don’t hope that your partner will change on their own. It should be enough to say it once to someone who values you in order for that person to start making an effort to improve the situation. Don’t feel the need to justify your partner’s actions against you by his childhood traumas, his situation at work, or issues that he’s experiencing in his family. There’s no need to be your partner’s savior.
- You neglect friends to please your partner
Don’t neglect your friends when you enter a relationship. When we first start seeing someone, it’s natural to be focused on this one person and to want to share everything with your friends. However, you should keep in mind that your friends want to spend time with you and they don’t necessarily want to spend the whole time listening to stories about the person you’re dating. Your friends can also have certain feelings about the person you’re seeing, and these feelings are different from yours since their thoughts aren’t clouded by emotions. So, it’s better to introduce your partner to your friends early on. Perhaps they will notice something that you haven’t and keep you from immersing yourself in a toxic relationship. If your partner doesn’t want to get acquainted with your friends and relatives, this is a warning sign of the fact that they don’t feel that the relationship is serious.
- You feel drained
If your relationship feels like it’s literally sucking the energy out of you, that’s a primo sign of toxicity. It might even manifest physically, like if you’re tired all the time. Toxic relationships can actually make our bodies unhealthy; it’s vital to pay attention to these signs and to how our bodies are reacting.
- You unreservedly trust the opinion of your partner
If you suddenly catch yourself doing something you never would’ve done before just because your partner pressured you into it, then this is a bad sign. Replacing your beliefs with those of your partner means that you’re losing a significant part of yourself and you’re not being true to who you are. It’s OK to adjust your beliefs if that’s how you actually feel, but it’s not a good sign if you find yourself blindly agreeing to everything your partner wants you to agree to.
- You can’t stand it when your partner isn’t around
It’s quite common to want to spend all of your time with your partner. But it’s important to acknowledge the fact that time spent apart is also valuable. Remember that there are things you can, and sometimes even have to, do on your own. Leave some healthy space between you and your partner if you don’t want to feel like you’re smothering each other. Try not to concentrate on negative thoughts like, “What if they’re with someone else?!” Because it’s quite possible that your partner is busy. It could be that they’re hanging out with a friend or someone from work, but that’s something that they should neither hide nor ask permission for.
- You justify your partner’s terrible behavior
When we’re in love, we tend to be a bit blind to anything that’s not perfect about our partner. However, it’s worth paying attention to the little things about your partner’s behavior toward you and toward others because what you may not notice through rose-colored glasses could actually be extremely important later on in the relationship. If your partner acts kind and attentive toward you on your first date, but he then suddenly starts to shout at the waiter for mixing up the dishes, then this is a warning sign. When the honeymoon phase of your relationship passes, it could be you who ends up having to listen to your partner’s insults when it takes you 20 minutes to get ready instead of 10.
- You can’t say NO
Can you say no to your partner? You don’t have to always accept everything your partner offers. Don’t hesitate to refuse invitations to events that aren’t of interest to you, events that don’t fit your schedule, or requests that you feel are inappropriate. There’s no reason to agree to something you don’t want to do just because you don’t want to offend your partner or because you don’t think your partner will understand your reasons for feeling a certain way. Don’t lose yourself to please another person because, in the end, it won’t be appreciated.
- Your partner is always offering constructive criticism
Ideally, you want to find a partner who makes you a better version of yourself. Someone who supports, encourages, and challenges you can sometimes be confused for someone who’s really criticizing you. If your partner, for example, consistently asks if you really need that extra piece of pizza and when you push back, they get defensive saying they are only trying to help, this is not about helping you, this is about controlling you. Controlling behavior is usually present in a toxic relationship, so it’s important not to confuse manipulation or control-freak tendencies with being nice or helpful.