Being in a relationship for the right reasons is so important. And though you can control your own reasons, you need to make sure that your partner is doing the right thing, too. If not, you can end up feeling low— or even trapped in a toxic relationship, which is a confusing and difficult place to be.
"'Toxic' is relative perception. In fact, it may be less about having a 'toxic partner' and more about conflicting survival strategies in the wake of broken or inconsistent childhood relationships," Portland-based Lifekey Counseling Jeremy McAllister tells Bustle. "When someone applies opposing strategies, it feels abusive. We have these two basic common extremes in attachment: one side clings and protests while the other withdraws and disengages, and these two attachment styles are like magnets to one another — sometimes intensely drawn, other times repulsed and polarized."
But how do you know if your partner is in the relationship for the right reasons? Well, if they are then it should feel like you're working as a team and taking on life together. And if they're not, things are going to be a whole lot harder. Here are five signs that your partner isn't in the relationship for the right reasons, because you deserve so much better:
1. You Feel Drained
Relationships are a two-way street. And though it's normal for people to go through a tough time and be demanding every once in a while, you shouldn't always feel drained. Unfortunately, some people get into relationships just to use people.
"Particularly in an established relationship, we are prone to simply go through the motions without reflecting on how we feel moment to moment," marriage and family therapist and relationship expert Esther Boykin tells Bustle. "However, it is in the small moments, like when they text you or as you're getting ready to go out together, that you will find the most telling signs of how your partner is affecting you emotionally." You can be drained in a lot of ways— you might feel anxious, tired, they can even drain you financially— but it's never OK.
2. You Can't Rely On Them
If your partner isn't there when you need them, then they don't have a good handle on what a relationship really is. They need to be interested in supporting you as much as you support them— and that means dependability.
3. You're In The Dark
It may take a while to define the relationship— but if you want to know what the status is, you have every right to do that. So if your partner keeps you in the dark about where the two of you stand, it's probably because they just are using for what they need in the moment. It's not cool.
4. They Only Want Things Their Way
I swear, some people are in relationships just for a sounding board/partner in crime/yes-man. And it gets old real quick. If you find that you're always doing things on their terms, going to their restaurants, watching their shows, hanging out with their people, that's not an equal partnership. That's someone who thinks a relationship just means inserting someone into their life, which isn't how it should be. You're supposed to integrate.
5. They Are Shady With Their Friends And Family
You don't need to meet someone friends and family right off the bat, but being part of being in each other's lives means sharing those lives with each other. So it's fine to take it slow at the beginning, but if they're still being weird about introducing you to people, you need to start wondering why they're in a relationship.
Being in a relationship for the right reasons is so important— for both of you. Make sure that you're on the same page, because you deserve a relationship where you're an equal partner.