Is my relationship toxic? (And other bad relationship signs)

Sometimes bad relationship signs are obvious, and sometimes they go unnoticed for some time. Find the answer to, “Is my relationship toxic?” below.

So you found that guy- the one who just gets you.

Maybe you’ve been dating for several months (or longer). Or maybe the romance began more recently.

At first, you were swept off your feet by his charm, his personality and his good looks.

As you got to know each other, you began to share more of your feelings, hopes and dreams.

Your remember how your heart sped up every time a text came through from him. You couldn’t wait until the next time you could see each other.

Happy couple in the beginning- before toxic relationship signs

It was like you were made for each other, and you had never had a connection like this before.

Then, somewhere along the way…some things changed.

And now you’re wondering, “Is my boyfriend toxic?”. How do I really know?

From Imperfect to Toxic

It’s true that there are no perfect people (including ourselves).

This can make it confusing to know what is healthy and what is an unhealthy relationship.

We don’t want to write off every person we meet who has a flaw. Otherwise we’d never have any relationships in life, right?

But understanding the line between flawed or imperfect- and toxic, is important.

What is a toxic relationship exactly?

Toxic, just as it sounds, means poisonous. If you eat a poisonous substance, it could harm your health either immediately or over time.

So in a relationship, a “toxic” person is one who has a negative effect on you. They may have patterns of behavior that make you uncomfortable or emotionally drained.

Note: toxic people can also be abusive, but not all are. Read the Warning Signs of Abuse here.

If you are experiencing abuse, call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

Warning signs of toxic relationships

So maybe you already think you’re not in an abusive relationship necessarily. But something is just “off”.

You know there is something unhealthy happening.

Young woman looking confused.

Here are a few red flags that could answer the question, “Is my relationship toxic?”.

Constantly defending the relationship

Do you find yourself having to defend your significant other’s actions or attitudes?

If your friends and family are pointing out their negative behavior patterns and noticing the effect it has on you- this could be a warning sign.

Feeling confused or drained after every conversation

Because of their half-glass-empty view of life, toxic people can really make you feel exhausted when you try to have even neutral conversations.

Questioning what you know is true

A lot of times, when you try to address conflict in a toxic relationship, the toxic person will try to turn the tables back on you.

They don’t want to deal with their own behavior or have any desire to change.

So instead, they point out all of your faults and focus the blame on you.

Woman with crossed arms standing beside man pointing finger to himself.

Feeling relieved when you’re apart

One big clue that your relationship might be toxic is that when you really stop to think about it

–you feel relieved, and happier when you have time apart.

Are you in a toxic relationship?

Now that you know some of the warning signs of toxic relationships, you can think seriously about your situation.

If you are in a toxic relationship, it’s unlikely things will change – unless you decide to make a change or remove yourself from the relationship.

And if you identified with even a few of these characteristics, you have some decisions to make.

You deserve to have healthy relationships built on friendship, love and mutual respect.

Talk to a close friend, mentor or counselor if you need help working through your thoughts and feelings.

Here at the Pregnancy Resource Center, we have classes on relationship issues, and how to have the kind of healthy relationships that last a lifetime.

Contact us for more information!

Read next:

How to identify a healthy dating relationship

Why smart people accept unacceptable relationships

Teen Pregnancy Options

Pregnant as a Teen? What to know and what to do

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