When you’re in a beautiful healthy relationship, the roses are red, the violets are blue, and you dream of each other with smiles on your faces. However, an unhealthy relationship doesn’t simply turn everything on its head, making it difficult to figure out when to leave.
Even if there was a checklist to see whether or not a relationship was worth staying in, it seems unlikely that people would follow it since the power that draws two individuals towards each other has no real rhyme or reason. Good relationships make sense, but then again so do bad ones.
The only thing you can really do is to make sure you’re getting what you need out of the companionship, be it red roses and blue violets, or a healthy confidence and someone to hold at night. Essentially, don’t let someone use or take advantage of you, and pay attention to what the partnership means to either of you.
There is a lack of respect
It doesn’t matter if someone is better than you, because that is largely subjective, and also largely dependent on the criteria. One of you has to make more money, just like one of you has to have a better looking car (hint: theirs is always uglier). But just because someone bests you in one of life’s miscellaneous categories, it doesn’t mean that they can act like it all the time.
If they don’t see you as equals, then they won’t treat you like one either.
They never relinquish power
No two people are quite alike, so it makes sense that sometimes one person takes charge of practically everything. After all, someone has to pick what to eat, or where to go, or what to Netflix. If they didn’t, you would be stuck in a perpetual “I don’t care, you decide” limbo for the rest of your lives. However, if they’re always like this, and they’re always like this even when you try to change the direction, then they’re a little more than decisive. They’re dictators, and not the mildly funny kind that came after Borat.
There is too much jealousy
Nobody ever wants to admit to being jealous, as our a person’s large giant ego would be infinitely bruised by the honesty. But obviously it happens, and it’s usually not something that anyone can fix. But if they’re constantly consumed by it, then that also means they’re not in a healthy enough state to actually care about someone else.
They don’t like anyone else you know
It’s okay to not like your significant other’s mother. But that’s not to say go out there and proclaim it to all your Facebook friends, complete with frustration emoji. It means it happens, and people don’t get along constantly. Butting heads occasionally is normal, and having to grit your teeth while nodding is acceptable behavior when pretending to get a long with someone else’s friends and family. But if all you ever get is complaints, and put downs, and constant nagging about why the other people in your life are worthless, then this is just toxicity 101.
There’s a constant game of blame
People fight, and people argue, and that’s true of people who aren’t even significantly attached to each other. If it even inches close to becoming a hurtful, self-esteem lowering, and constant depression-causing affair, then it’s toxic, and in pretty much one of the worst ways possible. You’ll never be good enough, and you’ll never do anything right, and you’ll never be the perfectly-amazingly-wonderful person they want you to be. The last of which is actually the best reason to tell them to go off and look for said mystical creature on their own.
They don’t like you
Of course they like you. Even the worst scum of the earth partners at least like the people they’re stuck with, right? Wrong – because they could also just not want to be alone. They don’t like your hair, your hobbies, your Netflix shows, your restaurants, your friends. They don’t like you – and they’re too selfish to admit it because that means you’ll leave. A toxic relationship is one that ultimately takes more than it gives, and this should be a serious red flag.
There’s a lot of narcissism in them thar hills
People should be given the opportunity to love themselves, and even to do it constantly. But they also need to understand that it’s required for a healthy dose of self-esteem building, and not a way of life. If they’re selfish, narcissistic, and self-involved to the point where you’re only redeeming qualities are how you make them feel that way, then you’re being used. And they’ll do anything to make sure it stays that way.
You’re not happy
And that’s the long and short of it. Are you happy in your relationship? If not, then figure out why. Can you bring this up to your partner and have a serious adult conversation about it? If not, then figure out why. Are any of the problems with the two of you fixable, or based on character flaws that you can fix together? If not, then rinse and repeat. But ultimately, are you happy? If not, then the relationship is already toxic, because it’s not making you better.