10 Red Flags of a Toxic Relationship

As someone who was once in a toxic relationship, I didn’t pay attention to the signs and just brushed everything off. It’s important for people to recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship early on. These are all things I’ve went through myself, so I’m creating this list to help others know what to look out for.

1. They don’t make you a priority.
Relationships are a two way street. If you’re putting in a lot more effort than they are, that is not a good sign. We all need time to spend with our friends, but if they’re hanging out with their friends all the time and hardly making time for you, that’s not a balanced relationship.

2. They only visit you at night.
If you have trouble making plans with them during the day, but they always visit you at night when it’s time to crawl in the sheets, this is not a good sign. They’re likely using you for their own convenience.

3. You have to respond right away.
They will go hours without responding to your texts, but they freak out if you don’t answer your phone or reply back within a certain period of time.

4. They don’t like being told no.
If they want to have sex and you don’t, they get angry and maybe even berate you for it. Likewise, if they want you to perform a sexual act and you don’t want to do it, they try to coerce you into it.

5. They try to control you.
This could be a variety of things from what you wear, who you talk to, where you go, or what activities you participate in. They might give you an ultimatum by threatening to break up with you if you don’t do what they want.

6. They don’t buy you gifts.
Nobody says you have to be spoiled and bought things all the time, but gifts on birthday’s, holiday’s, and anniversary’s is generally something you do in a relationship. If they’re constantly spending money but can’t get you something for one of those special occasion’s, that shows your lack of importance to them.

7. They don’t like when you’re doing your own thing.
You’re spending time with your family or friends, and they call expecting you to drop what you’re doing and go do something with them. They get mad and start yelling at you because you won’t leave to be with them. This is even worse if it’s a special occasion, like a holiday, and they expect you to leave a family dinner just to hang with them.

8. They try to change you.
We are who we are, and our significant other should be okay with that. If they try to change who you are as a person, that is clearly not the person you want to be with. For example, if you’re an introvert like me and they think it needs “fixing”.

9. Your family and/or friends don’t like them.
Your family and friends can usually sense something bad about your significant other before you can. They usually end up being right, so it’s often a good idea to listen to them.

10. They are emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive.
This is a no brainer, but if your partner is constantly criticizing you, calling you names, forcing sexual acts on you, or physically laying their hands on you, you absolutely need to get out of this relationship. Abusers are smart and know how to manipulate people, so by the time things get to this point, they usually already have you sucked in. Once you’re sucked in, it’s harder for you to leave because you love them and think they’ll change. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the earlier red flags I’ve mentioned.

Hopefully this list can be of help to someone. If you’ve ever been in a toxic or abusive relationship, feel free to share your story in the comments or mention any other red flags you can think of as well.

Five Faves on Friday #2: Sequels

This edition of Five Favorites on Friday will be focused on movie sequels. These are some of my favorite sequels that I enjoyed just as much as the original films.

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The Devil’s Rejects
This is the sequel to House of 1000 Corpses, but it almost feels like a totally different movie. That’s a good thing because instead of just repeating the same movie all over again, Rob Zombie takes a different approach, which makes this film feel more fresh. While House of 1000 Corpses was a little more bizarre and used more vibrant coloring, The Devil’s Rejects is grittier and uses a softer color palette. House was a little similar to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but The Devil’s Rejects feels more original. I just love how Rob Zombie makes the Firefly family the focus of the film, as opposed to showing everything from the victims perspective. He then turns the tables and actually has the killer’s fighting for their lives while being hunted.

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Scream 2
The first Scream is my favorite horror movie of all time, but Scream 2 is very good as well. It opens with yet another intense opening kill scene, and it has many scenes throughout the movie that keep you on the edge of your seat. The sorority house scene with Cici Cooper (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) is not only my favorite scene of the movie, but it’s one of my favorites in the whole series.

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Bride of Chucky
This is a sequel, but it’s also like a reboot, to the Child’s Play series. It’s the fourth movie in the series. The first three films focused on serial killer Charles Lee Ray trying to capture child Andy’s soul so he could get out of the doll and become human again. Bride of Chucky introduces us to Tiffany, who used to be Chucky’s girlfriend back when he was still human. She uses a voodoo spell to revive him, but after she makes him mad, he kills her and then does a spell to transfer her soul into a doll as well. Now they’re both trying to get to the talisman they need in order to become human again and wreaking havoc along the way. There are many Chucky fans who hated the introduction of Tiffany, but I love it. I feel like she makes the movies more interesting. Plus, Jennifer Tilly is awesome.

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Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
The first movie, International Man of Mystery, was a really good one too. However, I actually prefer this film. Elizabeth Hurley and Heather Graham were both good female leads, but the second film introduced us to Mini-Me and Fat Bastard, two of the iconic characters in the series.

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American Reunion
This is the fourth movie in the original American Pie series. When I first heard they were making this movie, part of me was excited, but part of me thought it was going to be awful. I was wrong. This is my favorite movie in the series, next to the original. It’s better than American Pie 2, and way better than American Wedding. They brought the entire cast of the first movie back in, which was awesome. I also think this movie is hilarious and provides more laughs than the first. Stifler’s mom and Jim’s dad together are great, and I like the addition of Ali Cobrin as Kara. I thought she was hysterical.

13 Great Things About Maryland

I was born and raised in Maryland, so I would like to share some of the things I love about my home state.

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1. We have Blue Crabs.
No other crab compares to the tastiness of a blue crab. Dungeness crab? Snow crab? King crab? Not even close. Blue crabs are literally my favorite thing to eat on this Earth.

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2. We’re the Old Line Bay state.
Maryland is the Old Line state, but they should just call it the Old Bay state instead because we sure do love our Old Bay. We put it on all our seafood for excellent flavor, and even put it on tons of other food like chicken, potato chips, cheese curls, popcorn, and mac and cheese. If you’ve never had it, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

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3. We’re America in Miniature.
Maryland is often called America in miniature because we have cities, farmland, mountains, and beaches all in one state. Plus, we have the change of seasons and all the different weather that comes with it.

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4. We have the best state flag.
You can’t deny how gorgeous our state flag is. Plus, Marylanders rock this awesome design on clothing, bathing suits, towels, etc.

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5. Edgar Allan Poe.
This great author of one of my favorite poems, “The Raven”, died here. He’s buried in Baltimore. It’s actually how our football team, the Ravens, got their name.

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6. We have pride.
We’re probably the most prideful state there is. As I mentioned above, we wear our flag on our clothes, our cars, or even our body (in the form of a tattoo). There’s even a meme that says “I just want somebody to love me as much as people from Maryland love being from Maryland.”

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7. Star-Spangled Banner.
What became the national anthem of the United States was written by Francis Scott Key who was from Maryland. He wrote it during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. He was inspired by the American flag that was waving at Fort McHenry.

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8. Ocean City.
Ocean City, MD is a popular beach vacation spot that pretty much everyone in Maryland has been to at one point or another. Lots of memories are made here.

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9. Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
In order to get to Ocean City from where I live, you have to cross the Bay Bridge. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Some people are fearful of this bridge, but others like myself are eager to go across it. Especially if it means you’re only two hours from Ocean City.

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10. Inner Harbor.
Not only does the Inner Harbor in Baltimore have great views, but it also houses the Maryland Science Center and the National Aquarium. I always loved going to the Science Center in Baltimore when I was a kid. It’s both fun and educational. They have many different exhibits and an IMAX theater. The National Aquarium is a great place to visit if you love catching a glimpse of marine life.

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11. The Blair Witch Project.
Do you remember the horror flick, “The Blair Witch Project”, which came out in 1999? They filmed in the little town of Burkittsville, MD. It’s only half hour from where I live, and I’ve been there several times. It’s a quiet and quaint little town. One of the things I love about it is that one of the roads is still made of stone instead of blacktop. It really feels like you step back in time.

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12. The C&O Canal.
The canal is 184 miles long, from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, MD. The towpath alongside the canal is a terrific spot for walking, jogging, or bicycling. I like to ride my bike here.

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13. Sideling Hill.
This is actually located in three states. West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. It makes for a scenic drive as you are literally driving through a mountain.