In a perfect world, every relationship we have ever been in, are in, or will ever be in would be super loving, supportive, and wonderful for us, full of understanding and honesty and trust and long walks on the beach and in the park and off into the sunset. Unfortunately, that is not the case — and sometimes, you have to watch for actual signs your partner is sabotaging your health, because life is straight-up unfair.
If you’re noticing changes in your skin, sleeping habits, anxiety levels, mood, or self-care routine, these are all red flags. But there can be much more to the story. I spoke with seven relationship experts about how you can tell if your partner is actually quite bad for you in some aspects — messing up your health, kicking your wellness to the curb, and not respecting your daily needs.
Here are seven ways you can tell that your partner isn’t putting your health first, because if that is the case — and, sadly, sometimes it is — it's important to re-think the relationship or make some changes as soon as possible. After all, you deserve to be happy, feel good, and get a decent night of sleep on the regs.
1. You Forget To Take Care Of Yourself When They’re Around
“If you feel healthier emotionally and physically — doing significantly more of the things you love and enjoy and good for your health — when you are separated for a week than when you are together, you should make time when you are together to do more of those things that are good for your health and enjoy,” Carlyle Jansen, author of Sex Yourself, tells Bustle. It can be really hard to keep up your yoga game if your partner is a couch potato, or meditate in the morning if you usually stay in bed and snuggle for an extra 20 minutes when your boo is around, but if such things make you feel good, it’s best to keep them up no matter what.
“If your partner cannot support you in those priorities, then that is a sign that the relationship is not healthy for you,” Jansen says. And it’s on you to motivate yourself to keep your routine going, regardless of whether your bae is around or not.
2. They Don’t Respect Your Sleep Schedule
“If your partner just doesn’t see your sleep needs as part of his or her interest in you, your health is going to be sabotaged," New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle.
Though some people need less sleep than others, if you need eight hours, your partner needs to respect that. “When they keep you up and don’t notice or care that you’re flagging, you’re with someone who is more interested in what you give than in keeping you healthy and vibrant,” Masini says. “So many of us are sleep deprived, and sleep deprivation affects your immune system — so if you’re with a partner who doesn’t care about your sleep, make sure you have good health insurance!” And, you know, have a talk with them about it.
3. They Make You Feel Anxious
“One sign that your partner is sabotaging your health is if he [or she] constantly making you feel anxious,” Samantha Daniels, professional matchmaker and founder of The Dating Lounge dating app, tells Bustle. “Anxiety Is very unhealthy and if your partner thinks it’s OK to constantly make you feel uneasy and nervous, he or she is not expressing care for your mental health.”
If you feel uneasy all the time when you’re together, this may be your issue or a joint problem, but it’s up to you to find a solution. “Mental health is just as important, if not more important, than your physical health,” Daniels says. Take care of yourself! The rest will follow.
4. They Put You In Uneasy Situations
To build upon Daniels’ thoughts, psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle that your partner is sabotaging your health if they don’t take into account your needs when it comes to doing things together. “[If] your partner knows that situations and activities make you exceptionally anxious, but they seem not to care, and put their needs first,” she says. “Even if they know a situation will give you severe anxiety, or a panic attack, they are still willing to take the chance in order to do what they want to do.” If you hate going to crowded parties because of social anxiety, you shouldn’t have to go. If they put pressure on you all the time, that is not fair.
5. They Don’t Care About Your Workout Plan
“If you want to be healthy and your partner insists on trying to sabotage trying to work out,” they’re casting aside your best interests, Stefanie Safran, Chicago's "Introductionista" and founder of Stef and the City, tells Bustle. If you feel best when you go for a run a few times a week, but your partner is always trying to convince you to stay home and hang out with them instead, that’s not cute and loving — it’s rude. Don’t get sucked in.
6. You Feel Exhausted After A Hang
When you feel worn out after spending time with your partner, there’s a good chance your partner is disrespecting your well-being in some way, Tina B. Tessina, aka Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of How to be Happy Partners: Working it out Together, tells Bustle. As a result, you’ll likely feel resentful toward your partner. No good. Talk it through, and maybe you can figure out why it is that you feel so tired out after hanging out.
7. You’re Breaking Out
“If you have noticed a change in sleep, weight, or skin quality since the start of the relationship, those are major signs your relationship is negatively affecting your health,” life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle. Pay attention to your natural rhythms — they are there for a reason, and they’re important to listen to. If you’re not feeling good, there’s probably a reason for it.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (7)