20 People Discuss The Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship

1. Doing Things To Avoid Their Anger

When you find yourself doing things not because you want to make them happy, but to avoid them becoming angry.


2. Avoiding People Close To You

The biggest one I’ve missed: you find yourself lying to and/or avoiding close friends or family members due to your partner’s words or behaviors.

You may tell yourself “they just don’t know him/her that well” or “they’d get the wrong idea” but if you feel like you have to hide things from those you trust, it’s worth taking a step back and assessing what you’re worried they would think—and whether or not they might be right.


3. Isolation

And becoming isolated from your friends. They make you question your friendships so ultimately all you have is them.


4. Excuses and Anger

Or making excuses. A girl who interned at my work briefly was talking about how her boyfriend would get irrationally angry at things. She told a story about a time they were at the McDonald’s drive through and he asked for a coffee drink that didn’t exist. After an argument with the drive through worker, they settled on some kind of drink, left, and got on the highway. He took a sip, pulled over on the shoulder, got out and threw the drink on the road, screaming that the drink wasn’t the one he made up.

She was telling this story, saying “that’s just how he is,” as though that type of behavior is okay if you’re just like that.

Now I don’t know if there was any physical abuse, or if he actually got that angry with her, but who the hell wants to be around that anyway? And then when someone else happens to see it, your best explanation is “he’s just like that?”


5. Fear of Speaking Up

If you’re afraid to tell your partner anything, then you’re definitely not in a healthy relationship. Not being able to share things with them for fear of getting ‘in trouble’ or being judged …that’s a slippery slope, imo.

Edit: apparently it needs to be spelled out that this doesn’t apply if you’re afraid to tell them about a horrible thing you did, like cheating or murder. I’m not saying being afraid of facing consequences for your actions is toxic. It’s toxic to be unable to share mundane things with your partner because you know they’re going to twist them on you.


6. Notification Fear

This is the simplest one, that I discovered after the fact:

If you feel your phone buzz with a notification and your first reaction is a tightened stomach and caught breath, you’re in a toxic relationship. You shouldn’t react to communication with fear.


7. Belitting

Belittling. That’s the first sign imo.


8. Insulting

My ex did that a lot. He’d make fun of things I liked to watch, “Yeah, you’re one of those anime girls who likes -over-exaggerated insult- or my job. Or he’d make fun of the way I say or do things in front of my friends/call out my awkward behavior. It took a long time for me to understand why they didn’t like him. And always, “It’s just a joke, I forgot, you’re sensitive and you can’t take jokes.”


9. Hobbies Aren’t Allowed

Not letting you enjoy your hobbies by complaining about you doing them, not giving enough attention to them or making those hobbies seem immature, stupid or useless.


10. Jealousy Leading To Anger

Ugh, this was a big one in our relationship. He was so, so angry when he found out I was still friends with some guys. When I told him that most of my friends were guys anyway (I get along with them better), he got even more angry and said that I shouldn’t be friends with them. I asked him why and he said, “because we’re dating and I’m no longer friends with any of my girl friends.” I said that I never asked him to drop any of his girl friends and he was free to still be friends with them, to which he replied “that’s a form of cheating.”


11. Always Apologizing

If you have to learn how to apologize when you’re not sure what it is you did. If you’re always the one apologizing, regardless of what happened or who was at fault. If you feel guilty about not being as sexual as your SO wants, and feel obligated to do things you aren’t comfortable with because they want you to. If they hit you, then try to justify it by saying it was “a knee-jerk reaction”. If they hit you period.


12. Gaslighting

When they tell you that you don’t understand your own thoughts/emotions and that you must be confused. Also if they tell you that specific people are talking about you behind your back and don’t like you, or that those people are bad/liars. That’s a big one for a toxic person trying to isolate and manipulate.


13. Lovebombing

Gives you lots of love (love bombing) at the beggining of the relationship.

Then, they start with the gaslighting, insults, blaming you for everything, treating you like shit.

Then, you notice that you are being mistreated and try to leave or start to pull away and they lovebomb you again, and then lovecrumb you and then they treat you like shit again.

Repeat until you wise up and leave.


14. Trying To Change You

When they try to groom you to be more like what they want instead of appreciating you for who you are. We all have flaws, and i appreciate it if someone wants to help me improve something about myself, but certain personality traits like sense of humor and empathy are really what makes us who we are.


15. Can’t Have Your Own Facebook Account

Joint Facebook account.


16. Your Opinion Doesn’t Matter

When your SO doesn’t take your opinion into consideration. For example, one of my friend’s parents argue all the time because the husband thinks he’s right about everything and he doesn’t change his opinion based on what the mom suggests. If you don’t have a voice in your relationship, then it isn’t a relationship, it’s control.


17. Quick Moving Relationship

Moving quickly or trying to force the progression of a relationship faster than is natural.


18. Double Standards

Double standards. When it’s okay for your partner to do a specific thing, but not okay for you to do the same thing. When their feelings/thoughts/wants/needs are always more important than yours. When they believe or tell you that all women/men are like “that.”


19. So Many Signs

Similar to the signs of a cult.

Isolation. They encourage you not to associate with people they aren’t in with. They feel threatened by your relationships with other people. They make demands of you that stop you from seeing your friends and family members, or potentially even just going out.

Gaslighting. Instead of admitting when they’re wrong and owning up to it, they’ll deny anything ever happened, to the point that it will make you question your own understanding of the world.

Not-apologies. This can take a lot of different forms when they do admit something happened. They can try to judo the fault back onto you, they can escalate the issue into a full conflict, they can collapse in on themselves and draw you into consoling them for doing bad things, etc. A healthy apology consists of a) recognizing what was done, b) recognizing the effect it had, and c) either a commitment to stop doing that thing in the future or a recognition that one doesn’t know how to stop doing that thing and may need outside help.

Love bombing. Whenever things get too bad and it looks like you might actually grow a spine and leave, abusers and cults will often change for a time, overloading you with praise, affection, gifts, etc. This is a ploy. This is simply a step in the cycle of abuse. You can tell, particularly if you’ve been through the cycle more than once.

There are other signs too, but those are the big ones I can think of off the top of my head.


20. So Many Red Flags

My last relationship was extremely toxic.

We fought constantly

She was very clingy, she would get pissed off if I didn’t talk to her for a day

She would do things to intentionally make me angry (a few times she would tell me to hit her just so she could call the cops) and when we were arguing I would get angry, and try to leave to cool down. She would block the door and make me stay. I would tell her “Move or I’m going to throw you out of the way” at least 4 or 5 times, she wouldn’t move, so in order to not hurt her in a fit of rage, I would toss her out of the way (usually on to her bed) and then she would ask me if I enjoyed hurting her, which made me feel like a piece of shit.

She would “test me” to see how far she could take things, and craved attention from other people, I was never enough. We both had Google+ accounts and she had a bunch of male followers, that showered her with praises. She posted a topless picture once (tits covered by her knees) because she was mad at me, and wanted to see what I would do.

She was controlling and manipulative. She would do this thing where she would refuse to leave my apartment unless I walked her home (a mile each way), lshe would refuse to get off my couch, I threatened to call the cops a few times and she would be like “go ahead! I’ll tell them where you hide your drugs!”. I had to literally throw her out of my apartment at least twice. This would usually happen around 11 pm or midnight, even though she knew I had to wake up at 6 am. Once I did throw her out she would stay outside and scream and beat on the door. I lived in a small 4 floor apartment (I had the basement only), so other people could clearly hear it.

She didn’t want me around her friends because she thought I was annoying them. When she needed to go into her apartment for something, say before we went to the movies, she would make me wait in the hallway, while she went in and talked to her roommate and got changed or whatever, even though her roommate had no issue with me and we hung out (the 3 of us) a few times. If I didn’t, it would turn into a gigantic argument that could go on for a half hour so it was just easier to give in.

She would flip out over little things (we took the train to Washington DC once and I dropped one of those cupholder sized containers of gum she had just bought and spilled a few, she flipped out in public and started screaming about how the weekend was ruined)

We would constantly poke fun at each other for stupid things, which were meant to be light hearted but still hurt.

We would use each other’s insecurities against each other (she had a lot)

We would never let things go and they kept coming up time and time again in other arguments, and constantly trying to “win” arguments

I think the biggest red flag was that I didn’t enjoy being around her a lot of the time, especially when she was drunk. She was a sloppy drunk and would hit on my friends.