7 Early Signs of a Toxic Relationship

Hey Optimist Minds!

Have you ever been in a romantic relationship that gave you mixed feelings? Maybe on some days, it felt as romantic as a movie while on others, it felt like a nightmare.

If you’ve felt so strongly about your experience with another person, it was likely a toxic relationship.

One Love is an organisation that educates young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships, empowering them to identify and avoid abuse and learn how to love better. It was founded in honour of Yeardley Love: A young woman who tragically lost her life at 22 because of an unhealthy relationship.

In this video, we are going to cover seven early signs of a toxic relationship as described by One Love’s resources. If you find that you’ve seen these signs in any of your relationships, we recommend that you consult a mental health professional to understand the situation better and to overcome it.

Let’s begin.

One

Intensity.

One of the first signs of toxicity that you can detect is by reflecting on how this person makes you feel. Is it a bit overwhelming or over-the-top? Do you feel like the relationship is being rushed? 

Even if the connection between two people is very strong, an obsessive need to be in constant contact is never a good thing. It undermines your personal boundaries and may lead to dependency.

Two

Possessiveness.

Does the person you’re dating get extremely jealous when you interact with others?

While jealousy is a usual experience when you care about someone a lot, it should not get to the point where you’re trying to control the other person. In a toxic relationship, your partner might feel like they deserve to have you all to themselves. They might even wrongly accuse you of cheating on them.

Three

Manipulation.

Manipulation is often hard to spot because it can be expressed in subtle or passive-aggressive ways. Nevertheless, it is a red flag for a toxic relationship. 

Does your partner convince you to do things you don’t want to do? Do they ignore you till you give in to their demands? Or perhaps they try to influence how you feel about something. If you said yes to any of these questions, you’re probably being manipulated.

Four

Isolation.

In many toxic relationships, the abusive partner will try to limit how much the other can talk to their friends and family. They might do this by asking you to choose between them and other important figures in your life. 

Abusive partners try to sow seeds of doubt and mistrust in your other relationships to estrange you from them. Isolated from your loved ones, you start to see your partner as the only source of love in your life.

Five

Volatility.

When you’re dating a volatile person, you’re constantly afraid of setting off a bad reaction. At times, it can feel like walking on eggshells, unsure of what you might do wrong.

Your partner may overreact to small things, have major mood swings or lose control by getting violent, yelling or threatening you. The unpredictable reaction leaves you feeling scared, confused or intimidated.

Six

Belittling.

Does your partner often make you feel bad about yourself? This can be through name-calling, making rude remarks about people you’re close with, or frequent criticism.

Belittling can also be disguised in the form of a joke. Then, when you confront your toxic partner about it, they’ll dismiss it by calling you over-sensitive. Treating you in this way makes them feel better about themselves and makes you an easier target for manipulation.

Seven

Deflecting responsibility.

This is one of the biggest signs of a toxic relationship because it implies there’s no solution in the near future. For example, your partner may have done many things that seemed unhealthy to you. But when you tried to voice your concerns, they made excuses for their behaviour or perhaps shifted the blame on you.

Since they don’t take accountability for their actions, they end up repeating it over and over till you start getting used to it.

Do the scenarios described here seem relatable to you? Do you think you might be in a toxic relationship? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.

References

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