Signs of Toxic Relationship

Romantic relationships are important but it’s equally important to analyse and know the difference between a healthy and toxic relationship. Many people tend to stay in toxic relationships regardless of the toll it may take on your emotions and well-being. When dating somebody, it’s essential to continue to evaluate the relationship regularly and make sure that what’s going on romantically matches what you want for yourself intimately and potentially for the rest of your life.


Your Partner Brings Out The Worst In You

If your significant other doesn’t make you better, but worse, it is a sign that you are in a toxic relationship. Some of the personal experiences include low self-confidence, lack of sleep and even getting easily irritated. You might lose friendships or fall behind in your career. Because being around your partner makes you so unhappy, you might prefer to loiter after work rather than return home. Apart from that, you might even start to dislike yourself.

In a healthy relationship, both partners build each other up. The happiness that comes from being in a healthy relationship should resonate throughout your life, improving everything from your friendships, to your career, to your hobbies. There’s a reason that the common idiom “the light of my life” often describes romantic partners. A good significant other will light up your life, not darken it.

One Person Always Wins

It is a common pattern in toxic relationships that one person always “wins”. Winning includes being the person who is the decision maker especially when it comes to selecting the restaurant on date night or even controlling the TV remote.

A healthy relationship is comprised of compromise. It means that both partners should be able to make sacrifices.  While you should never find yourself keeping score of favours, you should make sure that one partner isn’t always getting the short end of the stick.

You Fight to Hurt Each Other But Not to Solve the Problem

It is not unusual for couples to fight even the healthiest couples do. However, toxic couples are more likely to “hit below the belt”. They might bring up each other’s (irrelevant) flaws and resort to name-calling. They might use personal secrets as weapons. The main thing that distinguishes a toxic fight from a healthy one is the aim to hurt each other, however underhanded the method, and “win” the argument no matter what.

Healthy couples, meanwhile, use fights to address disagreements head-on. Fighting helps healthy couples achieve compromise and promote understanding. When a fight between healthy couples is over, there is no doubt that they still love each other.

The Relationship Leaves You Drained, Mentally, Emotionally and Physically

Instead of feeling happy and constructive, you find yourself depleted, unable to achieve anything else because of the effort you’re putting into keeping things together. This could be because of the underlying negativity and hostility both of you are bringing to the relationship. A good relationship should lift you, and spending time with your partner should energise you. Otherwise, it’s about time to re-examine where things are going.

There’s No Growth for Either of You

A strange stagnation hangs over the relationship, neither of you seem to move forward. You should be growing and learning daily, striving to be the best version of yourself. A healthy relationship will encourage you to do so. It should be a red flag for you if your partner puts you down for picking up a new skill or wanting to run the marathon. Your partner should support you at every turn, not dismiss your efforts at personal growth. It’s only through self-evolution that the relationship too can flourish.

Your Partner is a Bully.

He or she is constantly condescending, manipulative, and intimidating, undermining you at every turn, even in front of family and friends. Worse, he uses violence as a weapon. Abuse of any kind should not be tolerated, be it’s verbal, physical, mental or emotional. You need to leave before your partner self-destructs and drags you down as well.

You Feel Like You’re The One Putting in Effort Without Appreciation.

Does it feel like you’re doing the heavy lifting without any acknowledgment or gratitude? Are you the only one contributing to the functioning of the relationship? Relationships are 50-50; you divide the work according to your strengths and weaknesses. You do the laundry, maybe your partner does the cooking. You choose restaurants for dinner dates, your partner decides what activity you two could do over the weekend. This natural give-and-take is at the core of a healthy relationship. If you’re clearly putting in effort without reward, then there is a clear power imbalance and your partnership might be turning toxic.

Your Partner Does not Prioritise You.

First, your partner never remembers the important things. Whether it’s picking up your laundry for an interview, the deadline for your dissertation, or worse, your birthday, he or she is constantly forgetting the significant things going on in your life. Of course, we might not expect our partner to recall inane facts, like the exact make of the shoe you wore on your 42nd date, but we naturally remember the details that matter.

Second, your partner never shows up for important events. While not remembering is problematic, not turning up despite knowing beforehand is worse. Imagine getting ready for a good friend’s wedding, one that you RSVP-ed for two months ago, only to have your significant other inform you that they had to work late while you’re already there. You’re sitting down during the couple dance, twiddling your thumbs as other pairs twirl past you. And it happens all the time, even on your birthday. This could indicate that you’re not a priority in their life. Your partner’s life does not have to revolve around you, but you should play a large part in it. Otherwise, it’s time to rethink if the relationship is worth it.

There is No Respect and/or Trust.

This means that either you’re not respected or conversely, you feel no respect for your partner. Respect fundamental to any good relationship, romantic or otherwise. If you find yourself persistently having your guard up to defend yourself, especially during arguments, it could mean that your partner does not respect you enough to let you share your opinions. Worse, we might come to be extremely anxious whenever arguments seem like they’re about to intensify. We might end up not saying anything to prevent further escalation and problems never get solved.

Similarly, trust is high up there together with respect. To trust another person means that they are dependable, and they make you feel secure with them physically and emotionally. It requires mutual commitment and once broken, it can be impossible to repair. If you find yourself being unable to be vulnerable or if your partner is not consistent with their actions, it might be very hard to build trust.

The Relationship is Characterised by Jealousy and Resentment.

The relationship feels like a constant competition – who earns more, who gets promoted first, who wins the attention of the children, who has the most friends…you are envious of your partner’s accomplishments and resent that they seem to have their life made. Worse, you make each other feel lousy about their achievements instead of sharing your happiness. This is a sure sign of a toxic relationship. Successes are meant to be celebrated and not a source of resentment.

Take the First Step and Walk Away

Toxic relationships are a source of unhappiness and have a tendency to make you feel worse about yourself. Any relationship worth you while should enrich your life. It should not make you feel uncomfortable or diminish your self-worth. Stay true to yourself and listen to your instinct if it’s telling you to walk away.


If you liked this article, please support our book project “Building Body Confidence” by pledging an amount here. Every dollar goes into the publishing and distribution of the book and you will get a copy of it once it does get published! 

Photo Credits:  Elite Daily, The Independent and Pixabay




Leave a Comment