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.