Romance gone wrong: Recognizing toxicity in relationships
It feels like from the time we're young, we're conditioned to aspire to find “the one,” a soulmate. Although this seems pretty innocent, it's often the reason it's so hard to let people go and take them out of our lives. Everyone has flaws and to love someone is to love them regardless of those flaws. But that’s different from keeping someone in your life who's toxic for you.
Abuse doesn’t always mean physical violence. Verbal abuse is unhealthy and takes a heavy toll on individuals. Furthermore, a lot of exposure to it can lead one to become desensitized to the abuse, which leads to time spent in relationships that are ultimately damaging.
After wading through all of the fish in the sea, when you feel like you found someone that makes you happy, it becomes increasingly difficult to see their toxic traits. Here are some of the biggest signs you are in a toxic relationship:
Being in a healthy relationship requires both partners to mutually support and benefit each other's lives. Your partner being negative and always pointing out the worst in you or others is a tell-tale sign that this person will eventually bring less positivity to your life. It will bring you down — it's only a matter of time.
Growth seen as bad, Reminiscing on the past and beginning
If you find yourself constantly looking back on the beginning of your relationship, this might be a sign that you’re in a toxic one. A good relationship should have a best-is-yet-to-come mentality. Relationships have rocky patches, but you should be able to work through them with your partner. When you feel like all hope is lost and your partner has become someone you don't like or love anymore, it might be time to reconsider your relationship.
Losing touch with family and friends
You should never be so consumed with any one person that you lose touch with other people in your life. Whether it’s because you're too preoccupied with your relationship — due to your partner being controlling or other factors — losing touch and not having time for or not wanting to see other people is a big red flag. A healthy relationship involves balancing you and your partner's lives together while having the energy and freedom to have interests outside of the relationship.
People in relationships may fight at times, but if you're always fighting – and if the fights leave no room for actual communication – it would be wise to see this as a huge red flag. Communication is key, and you should both be mature enough to have an argument that doesn't erupt into an unproductive, energy draining and volatile disagreement. “Study after study shows that not knowing what's going to happen, or how to avoid pain, spikes your levels of glucocorticoids (stress hormones). A healthy relationship includes conflict, of course, but not all the time — and not to an acute degree,” according to Inc.com.
Walking on Eggshells
You should never feel like you have to be too careful around your partner so that they won’t explode in anger. If your partner needs to see every text on your phone, doesn’t want you wearing certain things, posting certain pictures or going out with your friends, it's a sign of extreme insecurity and mistrust. This is simple conventional wisdom ― a relationship not rooted in trust is a relationship bound to fail. Being or living with someone who will grow angry at the slightest inconvenience is someone who will drain you of energy and peace.
Relationships are hard to navigate at times, but don’t let that struggle blind you from seeing the signs of a toxic person. They're not always perfect, but a good relationship is one where both partners grow, are happy and are at peace. Someone who cares for you or loves you wouldn't treat you in a way in which you become stagnant and stop caring for yourself and others in your life. Whether in yourself or your partner, recognize toxic signs and take care of yourself.