Being in a healthy relationship can actually do some amazing things for your own individual health. Studies have found that people in healthy committed relationships experience significantly fewer mental health problems than singles, they experience less pain, and they may even live longer. While I’m sure we’d all like to live in a world where every relationship is happy and perfect, that’s not reality. Not all relationships are healthy ones.
Maybe your partner is doing things here and there to sabotage your health. Maybe you're unknowingly doing it to them. Maybe your relationship is just unhealthy in general. The signs aren’t always super obvious.
“There are certain red flags I always listen out for when discussing relationships,” Dion Metzger, M.D., Psychiatrist, Relationship Expert and Co-Author of The Modern Trophy Wife tells Bustle. “An unhealthy sign is if your partner is constantly criticizing you and taking jabs at your self-esteem. Those jabs are the worst because they can leave a longer lasting stamp on a person.”
While Metzger says hits to your self-esteem can be the worst for your overall health, here are other signs from experts that show your relationship is making you unhealthy:
1. You’re Not Infatuated, You’re Obsessed
“Infatuation is normal, but obsession isn’t," Alessandra Conti, Matchmaker and Dating Expert tells Bustle. "It is completely normal to be infatuated with a man [or woman] that you are dating — especially in the early stages of a relationship. But, there is a huge difference between infatuation and obsession. If you find that your mood’s yo-yoing based on hearing from [them], responses from [their] texts, etc., this is not OK.”
Conti further notes that while it’s fun and normal to think about the future with a new person, you don't want to go overboard. “Your brain space is valuable currency — don't spend it all on [them] until [they've] earned it!”
2. You’re Constantly Distracted And Lack Focus
According to Love Strategist and founder of LoveQuest Marketing, Lisa Concepcion, you can see this happen mostly in the workplace. “Some people are able to pour themselves into work as a distraction from a relationship while others find it difficult to focus,” Concepcion tells Bustle. When you’re distracted or lack focus due to your relationship, mistakes are more likely to be made and sometimes you might even find a negative shift in your attitude.
3. You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night
“When you're typically a sound sleeper and all of a sudden you wake up with an anxious feeling it's a sign your relationship has you stressed,” Concepcion says. Other physical signs due to stress include a loss or increased in appetite, headaches, body aches, fever, and feeling rundown.
“When your relationship is unhealthy you will become physically unhealthy,” Concepcion says. “Pay attention to how you feel physically. If you're typically healthy but suddenly can't shake a cough or have headaches that throb behind your eyes, that's a sign.”
4. You Can’t Express Yourself Fully
“You walk around on eggshells anxious about setting your partner off about something you did wrong,” Rosalind Sedacca, CLC, Dating and Relationship Coach tells Bustle. Because of that, you don’t express yourself fully, you end up accepting abuse, you make it seem like you tolerate that kind of disrespect, and overall, you just lose your sense of self.
5. You Argue Over The Same Things Over And Over Again
“Part of life is being able to handle arguments and agreeing to find a solution when you need to,” Stef Safran, a matchmaking and dating expert and “Chicago’s Introductionista,” tells Bustle. “If the same argument is constantly getting rehashed and you've done everything you can to resolve it, it's time to look at if you partner likes conflict more than resolution.”
If that’s the case, is the stress over having the same argument over and over again really worth it? It’s up to you to decide. However, I’m guessing, most likely not.
6. You Give Up All Your Other Relationships For One Person
“One person is not a big enough world to survive — emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually,” Relationship Coach, Stacey Horn, LCSW, CH tells Bustle. No matter how happy you are in your relationship, make sure you maintain the relationships with others you love.
7. You Also Give Up Activities You Enjoy Because Of Your Partner
If you’ve given up hobbies because your partner doesn’t like them or won’t “let” you do them because they’re afraid you’re going to be seeing someone else while you’re off doing what you want, that’s a problem. “A healthy relationship has a give and take with both individuals pursuing both personal and shared interests,” Horn says. “Healthy relationships have a balance of power, neither acts as a parent to the other, nor does one believe they are ‘less than’ the other.”
8. There’s A Significant Amount Of Distrust
“If there is a significant amount of distrust in the relationship, it is unhealthy,” Michelle Frankel, Chief Love Officer and Founder of NYCity Matchmaking tells Bustle. “You should not have to question the veracity of your significant other and have doubts and questions; that is generally your gut speaking to you. Distrust eventually turns toxic and will kill a relationship.”
9. You’re Emotionally Drained
"[If] looking at your partner makes you feel as if life has been sucked out of you," it may be a big sign that your relationship is not only making you unhealthy but unhappy as well, Kemi Sogunle, multi-award winning author, writer, and certified professional life coach tells Bustle.
If these signs feel a little too familiar, it may be time to re-think your relationship. While no couple is perfect, you certainly deserve to be happy and healthy in your relationship.
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