Healthy relationships are one of the best things in the world. They lift us up, challenge us, support us, and make us feel like we’re super human. Nothing can get us down when we’re in a good relationship… Especially ones that are just beginning. But, if you’re in the beginning stages of getting to know someone, how can you tell if it really is healthy?
Often we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we don’t see when relationships are unhealthy. It might seem like a far away, it’ll-never-happen-to-us thing, but unhealthy relationships are more common than you’d think; and sometimes sneak up on you! If you suspect you might be in an unhealthy relationship, read on and see if any of these match up to you and your beau.
1. You fight… A lot.
No, we don’t mean arguing over who has to clean up after you both cooked dinner. We’re talking about yelling, threatening, and screaming at each other. If you two are getting into screaming matches over every little disagreement, you need to rethink why you two are together in the first place.
2. You hide things.
And we don’t mean candy or Easter eggs! We mean things like texting other people, lying about where you were, or other dishonest actions. If your partner will get mad at you for texting your bff, or for going out with friends instead of staying home with them, you just might be in an unhealthy relationship.
3. This way or the highway.
If your relationship always revolves around how the other person wants to do things (or how you want to do things), you’re not in a good relationship. Partnerships involve being partners! This means you need to compromise, listen, and discuss before actions are taken. If it’s always one person’s way, you two need to sit down and sort it out before resentment and anger starts to breed.
4. You feel guilty.
This one is a little harder to pin down. Your partner might not even be aware that you’re feeling this way… Heck, you might not even be aware that you’re feeling this way. If you get worried about taking time for yourself, or if you feel that you’re not allowed to, address it with your partner. It might be a miscommunication, or it might be a clue that your relationship isn’t as healthy as you thought.
5. It’s one-sided.
So much of relationships is about sharing your burdens. When you’re in a relationship you get someone to lean on, talk about problems with, and help to deal with your struggles. And vice versa! You need to make sure you’re available to be a support system for your partner, letting them lean on you when they need to. If the relationship is based on one person or the other, it’s not a real relationship. It’s just taking advantage of someone.
6. They put you down.
We don’t mean physically. We mean that they put down your hopes, and don’t support you and your dreams. You need someone just as brilliant as you are. Someone who will help you achieve your goals, or at least cheer you along while you strive for them yourself. Any partner that says your goals are stupid is not a partner you want to have; get out, and quick!
7. They refuse to do things that matter to you.
If you’ve said three times that you hate when the dishes sit in the sink for days on end and your partner still doesn’t change their slovenly ways, you need to get out. They clearly don’t respect you as much as you respect them. If they did, they would listen to your concerns and make an effort to do the things that matter the most to you.
8. You’re codependent.
This one is a little trickier to identify. If you and your partner can’t live without talking to each other every minute of every day, you need to re-evaluate your priorities. Your relationship should be a happy addition to your life, not become your entire life. It’s not fun for either of you if you’re wrapped up in each other all the time instead of the world. There’s so much to see and do! Don’t get caught in the trap of each other. It’s unhealthy, short term and long term.
9. They make you feel insecure.
Your significant other should make you feel like you’re the greatest thing in the world. Why? Because you are! You’re an intelligent, hardworking individual who respects yourself… And if your partner isn’t respecting you, you need to leave them. They aren’t healthy for you, and you deserve better. If you feel insecure in any way, get yourself out! You’re in an unhealthy relationship, and you’ll be much happier without them.
10. They’re abusive.
It seems obvious, but sometimes people in relationships can’t see what’s actually going on. They justify their partner’s actions, or take the blame on themselves. DON’T! If your partner is verbally, physically, or sexually abusive, you need to get help and get out. If you aren’t sure how, or if you need help, talk to a counsellor or doctor, or someone else you trust. They’ll be able to get you the resources you need to take care of yourself.
11. You change yourself to be what they want.
This is a subtle sign of an unhealthy relationship, but should be a big red flag. If your partner says “I like blondes” and you go out and dye your hair, it means your partner doesn’t actually want to be with you… They want to be with their ideas. Find someone who loves you for you, and then you’ll know you’re in a healthy relationship.
12. You’re unhappy.
The biggest sign of being in an unhealthy relationship is when you’re unhappy. A relationship is meant to be a positive experience. You’re supposed to look forward to seeing your partner, not dread or stress about fitting them into your schedule. Let the relationship go, and you’ll feel much happier. Trust us: no relationship is better than an unhealthy relationship!