Relationship Expert Shares 11 Red-Flag Signs of a Toxic Relationship

Syda_Productions via Deposit Photos

Being in a relationship is no easy feat. Even in a healthy one, relationships truly takes work on both ends. That’s why it might be difficult to know if you’re in a toxic relationship.

“Toxic” relationships are pretty common. While it may seem obvious to the outside world, many people are blind to them. You may feel depleted, bogged down, and just simply not good about the relationship overall—but are there real signs you can watch for?

  1. They Blame Anything But Themselves

    If you try to confront them about how they’re making you feel, the issue is never them. They simply can’t recognize that the fault may be them, and refuse to make any changes…since, well, it’s totally not their fault anyway.

  2. You Realize You’re Isolated

    Haven’t seen friends in a while? Is it your partner keeping you from them? This is a pretty typical action in a toxic relationship—the partner just wants to keep you all to themselves and the victim doesn’t have much of a social life anymore.

  3. You Have Strong Reactions When You See Them

    Sometimes, there mere presence of your partner can determine whether your relationship is toxic. They might make you feel angry or sad—or even more intensely, you may even experience physical changes like a rash, stuttering when speaking or a change in appetitive.

  4. You Can’t Be Yourself

    In a healthy relationship, you don’t have any issue expressing how you feel, talking the way you normally talk and acting the way you normally act. But when it’s toxic, you might find it increasingly uncomfortable to be yourself and changing yourself to meet what you think they want.

  5. They Shut You Down

    If you’ve ever tried to talk to them about how you’re feeling, you know it’s toxic when they explain their ways with “well, that’s just who I am” or something similar. They may even get defensive and storm out without hearing you. If you’re in a healthy relationship, your partner would listen and really want to understand how you’re feeling.

  6. You’re Competitive With Each Other

    A little healthy competition isn’t a bad thing, but constantly trying to one-up each other can lead to score-keeping and resentment—aka two very toxic relationship traits.

  7. You Like Alone Time a Little Too Much

    If you breathe a sigh of relief every time your partner is gone, it’s likely they’re adding quite a bit of stress to your life. You should want to spend quality time with them—not look forward to every time they leave.

  8. You’re Always Thinking “If Only…”

    You know, if ONLY your partner were nicer to you, if ONLY your partner did this differently—the truth is, it isn’t like that ,and if you’re only imagining what could be, you need to reevaluate the relationship.

  9. Your Goals Don’t Match

    While goals can be altered, if your partner isn’t quite in the same place as life as you are, this can cause issues. For example, if you want kids but your partner never does and don’t talk about it, this leads to animosity in the future (and present day).

  10. You’re Always Giving

    And never receiving anything back. And while healthy relationships are all about giving, that should certainly be reciprocated.

  11. You Resort to Sarcasm

    Like giving, sarcasm doesn’t always mean a doomed relationship. But if you’re using it as a form of protection or you feel like you two are ALWAYS being sarcastic with each other, you may start to really resent each other.

Have you or someone you know ever been in a toxic relationship? What other signs might there be?