We get it. It’s tough out there for single folks. No matter how many new hook-up apps or dating websites there are, a lot of people are going home alone tonight, and probably most nights for the rest of their week/month/year/life. But just because it can take a minute and a half to find your soulmate doesn’t mean you should desperately cling to a relationship that is sucking the life out of you. If this isn’t your first rodeo, you probably know a lot of the red flags already. Maybe you’ve seen a few of them recently. But if you shrug them off as symptoms of something else, then you have a problem. This article is your solution.
Here are 20 signs that your relationship is dangerous, toxic, and maybe already over.
Your Significant Other Never Causes Drama
Or more specifically, your significant other is constantly reminding you that they don’t cause drama. If “I just hate drama” or “I don’t know how drama keeps finding me” come out of your partner’s mouth constantly, then maybe, just maybe, they are actually causing all of their own drama (and yours, too).
Questions Your Every Move
We all make the occasional nutty decision, and a good partner will challenge those decisions because in the end they know that our choices can ultimately hurt more than help us. But someone who second-guesses every move you make probably has issues. It’s possible they just need something like a job to keep them busy, but this is usually the number one sign of a control freak.
Can’t Leave You Alone
Everyone loves to be missed, but if you can’t so much as go to a friend’s house to hang out for a few hours without receiving non-stop texts from your significant other like they might as well be sitting in the room, you’re being smothered. Clinginess of this magnitude could be a sign of trust issues formed due to bad past relationships, but it’s not your baggage to carry and staying with that person isn’t going to help them figure it out, either.
No Friends Of The Same Sex
Sure, some people just really don’t get along that well with members of their own sex. But for the most part, if you’re dating someone who has a lot of really close friends of the opposite sex, well … they probably should be dating one of them, right? You’re going to have trust issues galore, and it’s just not healthy. Better to cut this one loose.
Mean To The Waiter, Retail Worker, Gas Station Attendant, Etc
You can learn a lot about who a person really is by watching how they treat other people. This especially rings true of how a person treats those whose job it is to serve them in some capacity. If your partner treats bartenders, servers, cashiers, etc. like dirt, then they’re probably a really crappy person and you’re either deceiving yourself or just haven’t been in your partner’s crosshairs yet. If you don’t break up, you will get there. We promise.
Someone who can summon fake tears at will is a manipulator, full stop. If you’re airing a genuine grievance and your partner starts whimpering about it, then that person is gaming you hard core. Partners who just have to “walk away” as soon as you show you’re a little upset or bow their head and pout at the slightest disagreement are bad news.
Takes Everything Personally
On that note, you might come home from a particularly bad day at work and start blowing off some steam. Your partner suddenly lashes out and shuts you down because you’re “attacking” them. If your partner has a talent for making everything about them, then they are narcissists. You’re never going to be fully comfortable sharing anything that makes you upset with them. In those moments when you need a true partner, they’re just going to take the focus away from you and put it on themselves (which is where they prefer it to be).
Anxiety Over Everything
Some people have a real thing called “anxiety.” They have an internal meltdown, they start panicking, their heart races, and it’s overall just a genuinely unpleasant experience. Anxiety strikes at random, but it can be exacerbated. Still, if you can’t broach a serious topic with your partner without them immediately shutting you down for “giving them anxiety,” then that’s a person who probably needs the kind of help you can’t offer.
Constantly Shares Stupid, Self-Empowering Memes
You see these all over Facebook. When you see who posted them, you probably roll your eyes. “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best.” Sound familiar? How about: “If nobody hates you, you’re doing something wrong.” Men and women both share these, and they usually represent something called “confirmation bias,” or, “excuses to continue acting like a jerk.”
Still Bringing Up Their Ex
If you’re with someone who just got out of a particularly bad breakup, it might be a little while before they fully recover, and it’s your choice whether or not you’re going to see them through that. But a year or more in, if your partner is still talking about their ex, it’s bad news. If the ex keeps coming up, the ex is still on your partner’s mind, and beyond the year mark, you’re probably better off cutting your losses and moving on.
All Their Exes Are Crazy
Alternatively, if you ask about your partner’s exes and every last one of them is “crazy,” then you’re probably with the real crazy right now, aren’t you? A lot of times relationships end because they simply ran their course or ran into a real world challenge that the couple wasn’t willing to solve together. So if it’s true that your partner has only ever dated crazy people, doesn’t that make them a little crazy themselves?
Talks About The Future Too Soon
This one can be tricky, because some people are genuinely out there looking for someone to spend the rest of their life with, and those people can fall fast and hard. But you have to play it cool. If your partner talks a little too much about settling down and making hints about it, they’re putting the cart before the horse. When it doesn’t feel “too soon” to talk about the future, that’s when you can probably start seeing one.
Wants To Share Finances (But You’re Not Ready)
Moving in with someone is a big decision, but an even bigger decision is the one to start merging your finances. As any good divorce lawyer can tell you, untangling two people’s finances can be a nightmare, and there’s really no practical reason to do so unless you’re really in it for the long haul. If your partner suggests it and it sounds like an awful idea, you’re probably just realizing that you don’t really want a future with that person at all.
Won’t Laugh At Your Jokes
It’s often said that “if love is the treasure, laughter is the key.” Sure, sometimes we think we have the most amazing story only to tell it and find out that it’s a dud, but someone who doesn’t ever laugh at your jokes or stories is really just not on the same page as you. The tough thing here is that even if someone doesn’t laugh, they still might like you. But trust us. You’re just not right for each other.
Picks Apart Your Argument Instead Of Listening To You
If you’re in a relationship, you’re going to get into a fight. It’s inevitable, and most grownups can find their way through to the other side. But if your partner is picking apart your points, your grammar or your “logic,” then they’re not really listening to you. Worse, they’re not really even trying to understand you. Ultimately, they’re not interested in finding a solution. They just want to feel superior to you. Don’t put up with it.
You Just Don’t Talk
Some say that the measure of a successful relationship is how well two partners can handle silence. That’s a decent point overall, but if you don’t really speak to each other at all aside from exchanging a few daily updates and grunts, you’re not so much “comfortable” with each other as you’re no longer active participants in each other’s lives.
No Pillow Talk, And Worse …
A drop-off in the bedroom is to be expected as you progress in a relationship. Couples get busy, and as long as the lack of “special time” isn’t bothering anyone, it’s probably fine. But how do you know it’s not bothering anyone? That’s the real key here — not that there’s a lack of “special time,” but a lack of communication about it. If you’re not having as much bedroom time as you used to, but can still talk about it, that’s one thing. If you can’t even broach the subject, stick a fork in your relationship and get out.
Works Too Much
Some folks have really demanding jobs, and that’s fine. But someone who picks up a bunch of extra shifts, volunteers for extra work or stays late at the office just to “get ahead” is probably just avoiding coming home. Avoiding you. If your partner can’t provide a reasonable explanation for why they work so much, they’re probably just not being honest. You’re the reason.
In a healthy relationship, communication has to be clear, and both of you have to be comfortable being direct. If your partner sticks to shady side glances and passive-aggressive remarks on their way out of the room, then you’re losing that comfort. The only result will be contempt, and you’d save yourself a lot of trouble by just calling it quits before it gets to that point.
You’ve Forgotten Who You Are
Hey, you. Remember you? Remember who you were? How fun you used to be, and all the things you used to be interested in? Remember those friends you used to have who stopped calling you to come out with them because you said “no” too many times? Remember all the things you wanted to accomplish? No? You don’t? Then it’s time to break up. Your relationship has literally sucked the life out of you.