Being in a toxic relationship can have not only harmful effects on your romantic relationships but it can spill over into other areas of your life such as work relations and relationships with your family and friends. It can stifle your creativity, causing you to become unmotivated about your own goals and it can be detrimental to your self-esteem. Often times, toxic relationships are hard to recognize because they are usually accompanied by extreme physical attraction, intense sexual experiences and the illusion of “chemistry”. In case you are wondering if you’re in a toxic situation, the guide below will prompt you of any behaviors in your current relationship that you should heed.
- They are dismissive or have no regard for your feelings. For example, you’ve made it known that when they say or do certain things, it bothers you, but it seems to fall on deaf ears. Or they offer a superficial apology but the behavior stays the same. They brush you off or try and convince you that you’re overreacting without ever trying to see your point of view. They would rather make an excuse for why…rather than actually resolve the issue.
- They’re UNRELIABLE/selfish/manipulative/exhibit double standard behavior. These characteristics may seem obvious, but we all know that love can enable us to turn a blind eye to some pretty nasty behaviors. It’s often the case that won’t be able to depend on you toxic lover in the event that you need them, like if you get a flat tire or are having car trouble and need to get to work. These individuals are often so consumed with themselves that they can’t make you a priority even when you need them. They’re the type to make plans but never follow through. They talk a good game about you meeting their parents, family, ect. But it never happens. And they can’t stand to have the same behavior they issue out done back to them. Whether it’s a friend or family member, they can always dish it, but never take it.
- They are ambiguous about the relationship. They send mixed messages and prefer to leave the status of your relationship unclear. They don’t want to define anything because they don’t want their counterparts to set any expectations on them. Typically, this is done because they have no real intentions of being monogomous to you, either because there is someone else (or several others) or because they just don’t want to committ.
- They are willing to let you leave. During a fight with my ex one day, I (didn’t storm out of the door) but instead of going down the path of a heated exchange, I gently exited from the apartment. I waited outside the doore a fair amount of time for him to come after me but he never did. Swallowing my pride, I turned around to go back inside. Upon him opening the door, I said, “So you were just going to let me leave?” He shrugged his shoulders like, “What was I supposed to do?” That specific quality in a person always scares me and is a tell-tale sign, in my opinion of someone who may not be capable of giving me what I need. Like most women, I want a man who is going to fight for me, for our love, for our relationship. When that doesn’t happen, it makes you feel like you’re disposable.
- You feel like you give more than you get. Like there’s an imbalance in the relationship, for how you feel, the effort you put in to try and see them, to make them happy, to progress the relationship. You make all plans and spend all money and do all the things. Relationships are synonymous with partnerships, meaning they should be equal. If you are the one who is always “initiating” (reaching out first after they disappear or giving in after a disagreement or trying to make plans) then it may be worth it to pump the breaks and see how long it takes before they notice.
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