45 Little Ways You Know Your Relationship Is Toxic

When we talk about ways to tell whether your relationship is toxic, we often think in terms of big, terrible things. And obviously, if your relationship is full of physical or verbal abuse, it's toxic and you need to get out ASAP. But there are a lot of more subtle ways that a relationship can be damaging to both yourself and your health. Some of the most difficult relationships occur when something is just off, and you feel wrong, but there's not a big enough incident or problem that you can point at to explain why or how. If it's small enough, you may try to block it out, but you may end up staying in a toxic relationship way longer, instead of dealing with it or getting out of there.

Sometimes the relationship is toxic because of your partner's behavior, sometimes it's your behavior, and sometimes you're just so wrongly matched that you bring out the absolute worst in each other. It's so easy to confuse conflict with passion and end up in a relationship that isn't good for either of you. All you can do is pay attention to the signs and get out of relationships like that before they do any more damage.

Of course, the small signs of a toxic relationship may be different for everyone. But here are 45 small things to consider  because fights are normal, but they can't be the basis of everything.

1. You Don't Feel Like You Can Be Yourself

If you're not comfortable being who you are around them, then something may be off.

2. They Don't Want You To Have Friends

It's a really basic — and scary — controlling move to keep you isolated.

3. They Don't Want You To Have Hobbies

And if they don't want you to have any alone time at all, that's even more worrying.

4. You're Not Being Honest With Yourself

Do you feel like you're pushing through and trying to make something work, but lying to yourself? Be careful. 

5. You're Not Being Honest With Your Friends

If you find yourself saying that everything is great when you know it isn't, then it's time to look at why you're lying to people who are worried about you.

6. You Feel On Edge All The Time

Relationships should make you feel more relaxed and happy. Sure, they're not always easy, but you shouldn't feel like you're walking on eggshells.

7. You Can't Get A Hold Of Them When You Need Them

If you need them and they're not available, but then come running when they need you, then the relationship balance isn't OK.

8. You're Not Sleeping Well

Everyone's different, but my sleep is always an indicator of how I'm doing in my life. 

9. They Take Jabs At What You Wear

Any kind of ridicule is really toxic

10. They Withhold Affection

It's a type of control, and it also makes you feel small and stupid. You don't deserve that.

11. They're Quick To Get Angry At You

Beware of short tempers, always. 

12. They Belittle Your Feelings

This person should love you and try to understand your point of view, even if it doesn't match with theirs. Minimizing your feelings is not OK. 

13. You're Losing Touch With People You Love

Remember what I said about isolation?

14. They Use Sex As A Weapon

Sex should be celebrated, not used or expected.

15. They're Make You Self-Conscious 

If they rag on you about certain behaviors and make you feel uncomfortable, then something's off.  

16. They Forget Things That Are Important To you

They're just not tuned into where you are.

17. They Ignore Things That Are Important To You

... or even worse, they just don't care about what's important to you.

18. You're The Only One Who's Ever Compromising

If your "resolutions" always end up with you doing the leg work, but still feeling guilty, then you're probably being manipulated. 

19. They Can't Be There To Support You

If every time you need something, they're "too stressed" or "too busy" to deal with it, it's not OK. 

20. You Don't Feel Comfortable In Your Own Home

This is where you should relax. Having a bad living situation is so stressful that it can eff up other areas of your life. 

21. They Insult How You Look

They should make you feel super hot — and ridiculing your body should not be allowed.

22. They Threaten To Leave

If they're constantly threatening to break up when you argue, even though they don't mean it, that's a sign you're in a controlling relationship.

23. You Dream About Being With Someone Else A Lot

It's fine to have crushes when you're in a relationship, but if you're constantly thinking about being with someone else, there's a problem.

24. You're Dressing Differently

They've started to control things, or just made you so tired that you've stopped taking care of yourself the way you used to.

25. You Constantly Feel Guilty

... despite doing nothing wrong.

26. You're Embarrassed To Bring Them To Social Gatherings

Their behavior is too volatile or unpredictable, and you're the one paying for it.

27. You Feel Controlled

You may not want to admit it to others yet, but you know it when you feel it. 

28. Their Compliments Are Backhanded

aka they're not real compliments.

29. You Never Know Where You Stand

A lack of security can drive you crazy, and if they refuse to give you an answer, it can take a huge toll. 

30. You're Totally Consumed By The Relationship 

If you find that you can't think about anything else, take a step back and look at why. 

31. You Miss Your Old Life

There's a reason for that. 

32. Your Life Has Become Way Smaller

Slowly but surely, you've lost touch with things and people you love. That's not normal.

33. You Defend Their Bad Behavior Which You Know Is Wrong

Do you find yourself sticking up for them, and getting defensive even when they've done something awful? 

34. Your "Rough Patch" Isn't Just A Patch

All relationships have ups and downs, but if you're always going through a difficult time, then there's something fundamentally wrong.

35. The Passion All Comes From Conflict

Conflict is not a strong foundation. 

36. You Brew, Rather Than Speak

If you feel like you can't communicate the problems you're having, and instead let it all build up, it can mean trouble.

37. You Feel Less Self-Confident 

That's the opposite of what your relationship should do. 

38. You Are Always Stressed

It might manifest in other areas of your life. If you're always feeling wound so tight that you don't know what's going on, then it's time to think. 

39. You Avoid Them

Not wanting to spend time with your partner, or outright avoiding time alone with them, is a key sign that something's gone wrong. 

40. You Fight Constantly  

It's not good for either of you. 

41. You're Getting Sick A Lot

All that stress and control and fighting can take a physical toll for real. 

42. People Who Love You Are Concerned

It's easy to try to drown them out, but if people who care about you are worried, then it's time to listen up. 

43. You're With Them Out Of Fear

That's not the basis for a relationship. 

44. You Have No Control Financially

It's another form of manipulation, and it's scary AF.

45. It Just Doesn't Feel Right

You know when something's off. Listen to yourself. And remember: It's much better to be single than to be in a toxic relationship. 

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.

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