For a relationship to be toxic, not only does it require toxic behavior from one partner but also “a willingness to stay perhaps predicated on the false hope of potential partner change” from the other partner.
In other words, you stick around in hopes that your person will quit whatever behavior is making things tough. Here's the thing, though: When you're in a toxic relationship, your judgement is often clouded and you're putting your faith in change that will never come.
"People need to realize that just because they can find some positive aspects of the relationship, doesn't mean they should stay in it."
1. You Feel Drained.
If your relationship feels like it’s literally sucking the energy out of you, that’s a primo sign of toxic. It might even manifest physically, like if you’re tired all the time, she says.
Toxic relationships can actually make our bodies unhealthy—it’s vital to pay attention to these signs and to how our bodies are reacting.
2. You’re Always Making Excuses For Their Bad Behavior.
If you’re always trying to rationalize your partner’s actions—whether it’s their emotional unavailability, lack of empathy, habit of being obnoxious to your friends, or lack of support—that’s a problem.
Everyone has stressful weeks and things they need to work on, but if your partner isn’t listening to your concerns or trying to improve, you may want to at least consider a split. It's extremely difficult to work through issues if your significant other isn't willing to acknowledge their part.
3. You Often Feel Worse When You’re With Them.
When you're in a healthy relationship, you want to be with your person. No, not all the time —but often often. In a toxic relationship, it's the opposite.
You think that you miss them and that you want to see them, but as soon as you see them, you feel down or insecure.
And maybe they’re doing something to make you feel insecure. They’re not giving you their full attention—perhaps they’re on their phone when they’re talking to you. Or they start off the conversation with a put-down.
Regardless though, you should not feel worse when you're around them. That's just wrong.
4. Your Partner Is Constantly Stonewalling You.
Having a fight doesn’t mean your relationship is toxic—but if your partner is always shutting down when you try to bring up what’s bothering you, that’s what you call stonewalling .
Stonewalling occurs when your partner stops listening to you and says they don’t want to talk about said issue, acts unresponsive, or even straight up walks away when you want to discuss something of importance.
Healthy couples are open to each other’s feedback. You should be invested in each other’s happiness and seeing what you can both do to communicate more effectively.
5. Borderline Abusive.
It’s a slippery slope between a toxic relationship and an outright abusive one. "If the person you’re dating is going out of their way to hurt your self-esteem, or going out of their way to put you down and make you feel trapped in the relationship," that could indicate you're in an abusive relationship.
If you hear comments that trap you into the relationship by making you believe wouldn't be happier not being in it (like: "Who else would date you besides me?" or "I'm the best you'll ever get, babe"), you're likely dealing with a toxic person.
The longer you stay in a toxic relationship, the harder it can be to remove yourself from it—and start a new, healthy relationship with a partner who deserves you. For your sake and theirs, don't wait to make moves.