Even if you’re a great person who cares for and respects others, the sad truth is that sometimes, you can get involved with toxic people who can impact your mental and even physical health negatively. Love may be blind sometimes, but you should still look out for these 5 red flags indicating you may have a toxic partner.
Constructive criticism that comes from a place of love can help you improve, but a toxic bae’s criticism is just the opposite- it’s destructive. Take note if your partner often criticises you or puts down your achievements in a way that isn’t productive or kind. It’s important to take these comments seriously, even if they’re played off as a “joke”. Over time, being criticised in this way can lower your self-esteem and discourage you from pursuing your dreams.
Walking on eggshells
Do you find yourself constantly having to apologise, even for things which you know weren’t your fault? A toxic bae can make you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells with them. For example, if you say or do the wrong thing, an argument will start. If they get passive-aggressive or act cold towards you seemingly out of nowhere, your romance can feel like a roller-coaster ride where there’s never any stability.
Gaslighting is a common form of manipulation that can make you second-guess your reality. A toxic partner can make you feel confused in may ways, such as denying things you’ve clearly seen or heard, lying blatantly (even about small things) or saying one thing but doing another. If you feel like you’re always second-guessing your own thoughts, your partner may be gaslighting you.
If your bae demands to always know where you are, reads your private messages, makes you feel guilty for going out without them or demands to know your passwords, they’re showing signs of possessiveness. This is a major red flag and creates lots of guilt and fear in the relationship. Having your own privacy, your own time with friends and time away from your partner is healthy and normal- don’t let a toxic partner make you think otherwise.
It’s perfectly normal for a partner to want to help you out and spoil you, whether it’s giving you a lift to school or work, buying you gifts or assisting you when you’re in need. However, be wary of anyone who wants to control your finances or encourages you to stop studying or working as they’ll “provide” for you. This creates a dependence, meaning that you’ll have less power in the relationship and feel obligated to put up with negative behaviour, or feel trapped without a means of leaving. This could also be a sign of financial abuse, which you can learn more about here.
If you think you may have a toxic significant other, remember that your peace of mind and your happiness are the most important thing. Staying with a toxic partner can affect your mental and even physical health badly, ruin your relationships with others and lower your confidence. Even worse, these types of toxic behaviours could be early signs of an abusive relationship as well, so it’s very important to keep your guard up and not tolerate toxic behaviour.