Toxic Dating Behaviors to Look Out For

Source: Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship by Amanda MacMillan

Knowing whether or not you’re in a toxic relationship can be hard. While I myself am definitely not a relationship expert, I’ve done the research and taken these signs from people and websites that know a thing or two about what they’re saying.    

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1. Your Partner Gets Physical

Blatant abuse is, of course, super noticeable, but the smaller-scale levels of a partner getting physical can be less obvious. For example, if your partner grabs your arm or wrist in an argument to pull you back towards them, it might be a warning sign of what’s next to come. If you think you might be in danger, check out the Domestic Violence Hotline for more information and help.

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2. You’re Getting Phubbed

Getting phubbed, or “phone snubbed” is when your partner pays more attention to their phone than you, especially in the romantic moments when giving each other your undivided attention is usually the norm. Some people, however, might be oblivious to the fact that they’re doing this, so starting out with a simple conversation will help discourage this behavior.

 

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3. Your Partner Punches Walls During an Argument

Throwing objects around during an argument, punching a wall, kicking a chair, or any other way of interacting with an inanimate (or animate) object is a big no-no red flag. According to Kelley Quirk, PhD, a clinical researcher at The Family Institute of Northwestern University, “You can have 10 years of just throwing a plate, and then at year 11 you throw the plate at your partner,” she also has said “It's about emotional safety: Partners should be able to express themselves without fear of what’s going to happen when they do.”

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4. Your Fight or Flight Response Kicks In

If you find yourself constantly on edge around your partner and feeling a deep sense of dread, it could be a sign that something’s not right. Getting anxious or feeling nervous for a bad reason around your partner could be your gut instinct trying to let you know what’s up. There’s even an app made by two Carnegie Mellon grads to help identify the most toxic relationships in your life.

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5. You Feel Isolated from Your Friends and Family

Emotionally abusive partners don’t always use anger to stay in control, they can often use guilt or shame to make you feel like spending time with your friends and family will make them feel lonely or like you’re in the wrong for having a life outside of your relationship. They will usually say things along the lines of “if you go and hang out with your friends instead of me, I’ll be so lonely,” or “I can’t believe you did that without me” or just generally anything that makes you feel isolated from your friends and family.

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6. Your Friends Tell You Something is Wrong

It can be hard to tell if you’re in a toxic relationship until it gets pretty bad, but if your friends have a bad feeling and keep trying to tell you so, you might want to listen to them. It can also be kind of hard to listen to your friends telling you something that they think is wrong with your S/O but if they have your best interest at heart, you should at least hear them out.

Websites That Can Help

Relationships can be hard, and toxic relationships can be harder. These signs by themselves in a relationship don’t necessarily constitute a toxic and/or abusive relationship, and I would suggest taking them with a grain of salt. But if you’re noticing more than one (and especially more of the bad signs) it might be time to take a closer look at your relationship.