21 Warning Signs You Are in a Toxic Relationship (and what to do about it!)May 17, 2020
Hey, girly, I’m sorry you made it to this page.
No one wants to be googling “signs you are in a toxic relationship” but it’s good that you are following your intuition that something isn’t right!
When you’re in a healthy relationship, you have your fights here and there but overall you are happy. In a toxic relationship, you spend a good amount of time feeling miserable, and making things work with your guy feels exhausting.
Toxic relationships can range from bad to horrifying and it can be hard to recognize their toxicity once you are in one. Your boyfriend can show subtle toxic behaviors or major ones that are straight-up emotionally or physically abusive.
The following behaviors I talk about will help you figure out if you are in a toxic relationship. If you are relating way too much to these warning signs, it may be time to leave the relationship. Love should make you feel GOOD, not TERRIBLE.
Your BF tears down your self-esteem
Your boyfriend is constantly insulting, criticizing, or belittling you. Instead of making you feel beautiful and loved, he makes you feel ugly, incompetent, or stupid. It’s a big problem if your guy is affecting your self-confidence because of his mean comments.
Those jeans don’t look good on you.
I hate it when you do that.
You are so fucking annoying.
You walk on eggshells
You are very careful about what you say to your boyfriend to avoid fights, emotional abuse, or physical abuse. You don’t feel like you can speak freely to him because you are scared of how he will react.
I found myself doing this in my toxic relationship and it caused me so much anxiety! Please, girl, don’t put yourself through this stress.
You start turning into a liar
I found myself lying to my ex in an effort to keep the peace and avoid his explosive outbursts.
For instance, when he would ask me if I wanted to move in with him, I would say yes just to avoid getting cursed out.
Lying became a self-preservation strategy that I adopted and it made me feel awful because I had never been a liar! If you are lying to avoid fights or angry responses, you are in a toxic relationship.
You and your BF are constantly fighting
Not only do you guys fight often, but the fighting is vicious. Every couple has their arguments and disagreements but they fight in a healthy, non-disrespectful way. Your fights should not include cursing, name-calling, or hitting. Healthy couples don’t throw low blows or intentionally try to hurt each other.
Your relationship is an emotional rollercoaster
Some days things are good, but other days things are terrible. And this cycle is your life. You feel happy one day and sad or upset the next depending on how your boyfriend is treating you.
Your relationship should be mostly happy times, chica. When the bad outweighs the good, it is time to get out.
You feel worse after hanging out with him
When you are in a healthy relationship, you want to be around your boyfriend because he makes you feel good. With toxic guys, you think you want to see him but then regret it as soon as he is actually with you.
He brings negative energy with him and brings down your mood with his nasty attitude, words, or actions.
You are always hoping that he will change
If you are always wishing that your boyfriend would change and treat you better, you are in the wrong relationship!! You cannot change your boyfriend and you should be with someone that you don’t have to “fix.”
Hoping for a change means that you are not happy in the relationship! Uncross your fingers and don’t let hope for your guy to change keep you in a shitty relationship!
Your BF calls you names
Under absolutely no circumstances should your boyfriend be calling you names or cursing at you. Name-calling can be normalized in a relationship very quickly and shows there’s a lack of respect.
The only b-word he should be calling you is babe!
Related Post: What I Learned From My 4-Year Toxic Relationship
You don’t feel like yourself
You find yourself saying and doing things that you never did before meeting him. Maybe you become more anxious, sadder, or angrier as a result of being around him. Maybe you’ve stopped doing the things that make you happy and are losing your sense of self. Maybe you’re dressing differently because he told you to do so.
Whatever the case, your boyfriend should make you feel more confident and complement you, not make you lose yourself!
Your BF is controlling
Your relationship is toxic if your boyfriend acts like your parent instead of your partner. It shouldn’t be a requirement to always tell your partner where you are going, who you are with, or why you are going somewhere. He shouldn’t be telling dictating how you dress or monitoring your inbox/texts either. I have also heard of boyfriends demanding their partners keep location tracking active on their phones at all times. SO FREAKING TOXIC!
Your BF is narcissistic
Somehow the conversation always ends up being about him when it started about you. When you talk to him about an issue you’re having, he overlooks it and focuses on his own problems. Conversations always revolve around his life and he shows little interest in the things you are going through.
Your BF emotionally blackmails you
He threatens to harm or kill yourself if you ever break up with him. Girl, if your boyfriend ever does this, please understand he is manipulating you into staying with him. He knows you deserve better than what he is giving you, so he will say anything to make you stay. He is using your kindness and conscience. It is a disgusting tactic that my ex used on me. Guess what? I left and he is still alive and breathing. Look at that!
Your BF is vindictive
Your boyfriend is vindictive AF and is always trying to get back at you. If you hurt his feelings, he will hurt yours back at a later time making sure to remind you of how you hurt his first. He does things out of spite and loves to throw past arguments back in your face. He can never just let things go and move forward.
Your BF puts his hands on you
If your boyfriend gets physical with you in any way, it is time to run the hell away. Physical abuse doesn’t necessarily mean just slapping or punching. It can be shoving, pinching, squeezing, or spitting at you. If he does it once, I promise you he will have no qualms doing it again no matter how much he apologizes afterward. It only gets worse, baby. RUN WHILE YOU CAN. Some unfortunate women
Your BF never takes responsibility
Nothing your boyfriend does is ever his fault and he blames you for everything. If he starts yelling at you, it’s your fault that you made him angry. If he hurts your feelings, he doesn’t apologize and calls you sensitive. He never says “I’m sorry” and is good at convincing you that you’re the problematic one. Newsflash, girly, it’s HIM, not YOU.
You are not taking care of yourself
If your boyfriend requires so much of your time and attention that you no longer have time for self-care, take a step back, and make sure your relationship is healthy. Your partner should not be overly needy or demanding. You also shouldn’t have to frequently rearrange your own schedule to accommodate theirs. Self-care and alone time are important even in a relationship!
Related Post: 10 Toxic Habits You Should Give Up Right Now
Your BF gaslights you
Gaslighting is essentially a total mind-fuck. Your boyfriend breaks you down psychologically and convinces you that your thinking is wrong. For instance, if you bring up one of his broken promises, he will insist that he never promised you that in the first place. Your boyfriend is no good if he is making you question your own thoughts, beliefs, or sanity.
You rarely feel happy
You find yourself crying every week and sending sad long text paragraphs to him is a thing you do on the regular. You guys fight so much that it is emotionally draining and the relationship no longer feels like a safe space. You have your good moments but things are generally bad. This is about as toxic as it gets. Why are you staying in a relationship if it does not bring you joy?
You don’t see a happy future
Honestly, I knew that my ex was absolutely not the man I was going to marry yet I let the relationship drag on. In a toxic relationship, you don’t see a happy future with your boyfriend or see starting a family with him. You also may never even bring up the topic of the future or long-term plans if the relationship is unhealthy.
You are always making excuses for your BF’s shitty behavior
You regularly rationalize his bad behavior, whether it be disrespecting you, showing you no affection, or being overly jealous. That is a problem!! Your guy is probably putting ZERO effort into changing and you should not have to deal with bad behavior. A healthy relationship should not consist of making excuses for your guy’s actions.
You’ve stopped talking with your family and friends
A major sign of a toxic relationship is isolation from your friends and family. Toxic and abusive men want to keep you away from your family so they can have full control over you. When you don’t hang out with other people, you only have him talking in your ear and influencing you. Your partner should not have any problems with you visiting your family or going out for a girl’s night. Your social network should not consist of just him!
My relationship is toxic. What should I do?
You may be wondering what you should do if your relationship has one or more of these warning signs. If you are seeing one or two of the more minor signs, your relationship may be fixable. You and your boyfriend must both truly commit to changing for the better and improving the relationship. Remember to believe actions and not empty promises.
In my experience, however, that change you so desperately want is very hard to actually achieve.
When a man disrespects you and you stay with him, you are showing him what he can get away with. He will continue to overstep boundaries and see how he can push you. It is very hard to re-write the script once he gets comfortable treating you poorly. Do not ignore the warning signs you are in a toxic relationship. They warn you for a reason!
My advice to you is to get out of the relationship now. If a man is mistreating you then dump him and get the fuck out of there. Toxic love is not true love, girl, and you need to value your self-respect over everything else.
When you are verbally and emotionally abused by your partner, your self-worth and self-esteem take huge hits. You become more insecure and vulnerable making it harder to leave the relationship the longer you stay.
Related Post: Reasons We Stay in Toxic Relationships
Your boyfriend knows what he is doing. Don’t doubt it. He knows he is being manipulative, difficult, cruel, and apathetic. Do not make excuses for him. He is making a CHOICE to treat you badly so it is your turn to make the CHOICE to leave him.
When you fight to stay in a toxic relationship, you are fighting to stay with the wrong person who is going to continue to make you miserable. Is that really worth fighting for?
Woman up and do what is best for your emotional and mental well-being and break up with the asshole. You can’t thrive in a relationship that makes you feel like shit. Trust me. I lived like that for years. Being single was an upgrade.
Leave your toxic relationship.
If you want to talk about your relationship or about breaking up with your boyfriend or about anything really, DM on Insta at breathehustleglow or email me at email@example.com
Sometimes you just need an outside person to tell you that your relationship is toxic. You tend to put on blinders when you don’t want to accept things as they are.
Sending you so much love!!
Chase your glow,
Thanks for sharing, I hope it helps someone out there to recognize the signs and decide they deserve better
This is all TOO TRUE and such good advice. Thank you!
Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are suffering and in a bad friendship until you read an article like this which points out exactly what you are going through. Thanks for sharing I am sure this will help a lot of people.
Kay Zane says
You’re right! Friendships and non-romantic relationships can def be toxic too!
Widny Lherisson says
Thank you for sharing this blog post, as I believe there are many women in need of this reminder to take action.
I, too, have experienced being in a toxic relationship where it took me nearly ten years to muster the strength and courage to leave. Too often, as women, we can fall victim to staying in a toxic relationship because we hope that this person would someday change for the better while neglecting our mental health and what’s best for us at that moment.
Enough is enough; we need to take care and nurture ourselves in the process of healing and letting go.
Thanks for writing this blog!
Kay Zane says
Thank you for your lovely comment, Widny! Yes that “I can change him” trap is a tough one to get out of. We have to realize it is not our responsibility to fix someone!
Tiana K says
Girl I love this! I wish I knew this sooner but I got out of a severe toxic relationship a couple months ago and couldn’t have been more happier! You’re truly a gem, thank you!
Kay Zane says
Girl, I always say I wish someone would have told young, naive me this! Could have saved me a lot of trauma. Idk why it isn’t talked about more! Thanks for reading and I’m so happy you’re out of that situation!:)