5 Types Of Toxic Relationships To Avoid Getting Involved In

Share
Ad failed to load

There is no particular year or time when it occurs, but a lot of people get into toxic relationships in their 20s. In the beginning it's usually great, but eventually you start to see the cracks and things begin to seep out. You literally get a taste of their poison (thanks, Britney), and slip under their spell. They're addicting and they keep you coming back for more, even long after realizing the relationship is not really working out. The red flags are there, but sometimes it doesn't seem to matter to you. You make excuses, while wearing your metaphorical rose-colored glasses: You're determined to make your love last, but maybe it's time to realize that you may be in a toxic relationship.

A survey by YourTango revealed that 89 percent of relationship experts believe half (or more!) of all people are in toxic relationships — currently. This means that all of us, or the large majority of us, have been in at least one toxic relationship during our dating lives.

We seem to miss the signs, especially because so many of our relationship habits are baked in our heads. We desire dizzying romantic love that ends up with us wanting to throw dishes at their heads. Popular culture has, in a way, taught us to believe that relationships are not worth a damn unless there is some kind of hurdle to jump or problem to solve. What is love or a great relationship worth without heat or fiery passion that constantly leaves us on edge wanting, and coming back for more? But this constant feeling of being on edge can be misconstrued for passion, and may in fact just be toxic.

Ad failed to load

We also live in a culture where we objectify our relationships — as so many of us know from going on Facebook and Instagram for a minute and seeing couples displaying how happy they are together. So much goes on behind closed doors and closed apps.

Our families and friends may see it, but we don't see it — or we just don't want to see it. It's completely normal to want to be in a relationship that is mutually respectful; however, if we're not in that type of relationship, we may do one of two things: We blame ourselves for the problems in the relationships and go to extreme efforts to change it, or we try and change the person rather than acknowledge this: The relationship is toxic and dysfunctional.

Ad failed to load

Understanding the nuances of a toxic relationship, as well as the types of behaviors by a partner that are considered toxic, is the first step in evaluating your potentially bad relationship, or if not your own, helping a friend out who is literally at her wits' end and about to rip every hair out of her head. That's why I reached out to Barb Boschetto, a life and relationship consultant based in San Fransisco, about what behaviors to look out for if you think you're already in one.

The Early Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

At the beginning of a relationship it may appear to be all sunshine and rainbows with the constant feeling of being swept off your feet. Toxic people tend to mirror their good behavior at you. When you're in a toxic relationship and you have your good days, they're really fantastic. However, when you become upset or agitated, your partner will show their true colors and basically reveal all their toxicity to you. More likely than not, you'll excuse the behavior.

Ad failed to load

"Watch out for too much too soon," Boschetto tells Bustle. "No one ever enters a relationship knowing or believing they are entering a dance with the devil. Toxic people are among us in such numbers that it is almost normal to hear about sabotaging and controlling behaviors in relationships." This may also be the reason why we hold onto toxic relationships for so long, because we know deep down how hard and rare it is to have a connection with someone, and once we find it, it becomes the focus of our relationships. In other words, we turn our heads to focus on what's going right, ignoring what's wrong. Boschetto pinpointed and names the types of behavior that are indicative of a toxic person below.

1. The Fault Finder

Ad failed to load

If your partner is making you feel like you can't do anything right, it's time to reconsider the relationship. Boschetto says this is one of the first red flags that your S.O. is toxic. "Focusing on your faults, you begin to lose your value and your self worth slips away," she says. They may blame you for their difficulties or their problems and make it seem like they are always in the right, while you're always in the wrong, but they'll somehow manage to keep you hanging on.

2. The Controller

Ad failed to load

Although you may confuse their jealousy and possessiveness for lust and love initially, realize that these are not signs of someone who cares. "The toxic person seems to know all aspects of your life and always have an opinion on it. He or she may want to know exactly where you are going and why. Again, at first it feels like they are interested in your life and truly care. That caring feeling will soon slip away to reveal that you are in a controlling relationship," says Boschetto.

3. The Not So Funny Person

Ad failed to load

This is the person that takes themself too seriously, not being able to take a joke about themselves or make fun of themselves either. Some people tend to overlook this kind of behavior because they're sensitive, but it turns out this person will put you down to gain control over you. "Oddly enough they may sarcastically insult you then pass it off as a joke. Beware of put downs on your hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. This is not a joke as they attempt to get you under control," Boschetto says.

4. The Person With The Missing Empathy Button

Ad failed to load

Boschetto notes that this behavior might be the easiest one to spot. Your S.O. might come across as a cold fish, lacking empathy or sensitivity towards others, and they certainly won't be directing sensitivity towards you either. A person lacking empathy is difficult to reason with, and will not care about your feelings and most likely will not notice your emotions or the way you're feeling.

5. The Victim or Martyr

Ad failed to load

This person will never take responsibility for their actions, and either you or someone else is always to blame. In this case, it's important that you be on the lookout and listen to what they have to say about past relationships. Boschetto says, "This is a great indication of who they truly are. The toxic person uses his or her sad story like candy to a toddler to get you to take it. There is never just one story. Before you know it, you are the next story."

Although relationships are not easy, healthy ones require effort and balance from both parties, and of course, a healthy dose of love. If you notice that you're in a toxic relationship, and the signs are all there, it's important to sit down and talk to your partner, and voice your concerns. You don't have to walk away that very second.

Boschetto advises to have a list and stay on track with voicing your concerns. "Always refer to how certain behaviors make you feel. Name the emotion that comes up for you. Refrain from using the word 'you.' This will put the other person on the defensive and is accusatory. If the conversation moves in that direction, then you know immediately that this person is toxic."

Ad failed to load

If you find that you can't seem to break away from them despite realizing that you're in a toxic relationship, you need to look inside yourself and try and understand why you can't let this person go. What need is this person filling inside of you that you can't for yourself? Only once you become self-accountable can you begin to let go and start again without them in your life.

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

Ad failed to load

Images: Fotolia; Giphy

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

7 Signs Your Partner Is "The One," Even If They Have Commitment Issues

There's nothing better than finding that one person you could actually see yourself spending the rest of your life with. However, realizing that your partner has commitment issues can put a damper on things. It may even have you questioning whether o…
By Kristine Fellizar

Bustle's Editors On Florida + Fergie

Welcome to a new week, Bustle readers! February is already more than halfway through, and the weather feels way more like spring than winter right now — but don't get used to it. There's a lot to recap today, from the latest on the tragic Parkland sh…
By Rachel Simon

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

19 Things Your Parents Told You Were Illegal In The '90s

Kids say — and think — the darnedest things. We have overactive imaginations, adults like to mess with us, and we don't always understand everything we hear. That's why some kids call strawberries "straw babies" — a boo-boo so adorable, you don't eve…
By Megan Grant

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

I Never Want To Write This Essay Again

I don't know where you were when you heard about Wednesday's high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. I don't know what you were doing, or how you tried to process the news. I do know this: you thought to yourself, not again. And yet, again. Of cou…
By Jenny Hollander

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

Here Are All The Terms You Need To Know If You’re Watching Olympic Ski Events Right Now

Every four years the Winter Olympics rolls around to remind me that A) there are so many important Winter Olympic sports, and B) I know virtually nothing any of them. And I know for a fact, I'm not alone, I bet most people don't know what the differe…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

Kate Middleton Made Sales Of This $1 Secret Accessory Spike & She'll Turn You Into A Believer

There's a royal epidemic going on, people. It's one that causes any and everyone to obsess over the royal family's wardrobe and beauty routines, even if it means breaking the bank to look like them. So a frenzy was expected when Kate Middleton report…
By Summer Arlexis

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
via Romper

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale

17 Moms Reveal The Most Disgusting Part Of Their Pregnancy

Pregnant bodies do weird-ass things. Weird-ass, gross things. I mean, my pregnant body did (twice), and I have long-suspected I'm not alone. So I asked other moms to share the most disgusting part of their pregnancy and I learned that, not only am I …
via Romper