How to Know You're Dating a Toxic Person

Many of us have been in a toxic relationship, whether we realize it or not. It’s a lot harder to realize that your significant other is the reason you’re so unhappy when you’re actually in the relationship rather than outside of it. No one should feel bad or ashamed that they are/were with someone who wasn’t the best for them, because we all make mistakes. Sometimes it’s easier to look back and reflect on that relationship rather than to realize it while you’re actually in it. However, while no relationship is perfect, you shouldn’t be unhappy and mentally drained all the time.

Here are some signs to help you realize that you may be in a toxic relationship.

1. You’re giving more than you’re getting.

Don’t get me wrong, love isn’t always split right down the middle. No couple gives 50% and gets 50% back all of the time; sometimes you’ll give 80%; sometime’s you’ll only get 20% and vice versa. However, when only one person is giving 100%, and the other person is not contributing anything, that probably is not the best relationship to be in. It is mentally draining and not how a relationship is supposed to work.

2. They discredit your emotions/feelings.

In the words of C.K. Lewis, “When someone tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” One of my exes always made me feel like I was completely crazy whenever I would get upset at something he did. Yes, I overreact to and make a bigger deal out of some things than they need to be; I realize that. However, when I tried to tell him that he was never there for me, he said that he was basically attached at my hip. When we would get into arguments, he would always interrupt me and never let me finish my thought; it was exhausting. I’m not saying that you’ll never be wrong or right in a relationship. I’m saying that your partner should at least listen to you and not try to invalidate every emotion that you feel.

3. Everything becomes an argument.

Towards the end of our relationship, everything became an argument. The tiniest thing would spark five hour long phone calls that only consisted of yelling in circles with no resolution. Having everything become an argument is not healthy in a relationship. For them, the point of an argument is to try and hurt you, not to solve anything. It may be cute and flirtatious in the beginning stages of a relationship, but ultimately it may leave you feeling emotionally exhausted.

4. They capitalize on your fears.

Once my ex found out that I was scared of losing him, he would always threaten to leave in order to manipulate me. Someone who is toxic will try to figure out ways to keep you from moving on and leaving them because they know that they need to keep you around somehow.

5. You’re unhappy when you’re with them.

In Season 3, Episode 21 of The Office, the women are trying to figure out how to help Michael Scott break up with Jan. When listing some of his pros and cons, he says, “I’m unhappy when I’m with her.” Pam stops him and says that’s not okay, and he tries to justify it by saying, “I’m happy sometimes.” This is how I felt with my ex. I was probably unhappy about 75% of the time, but it was that small 25% that kept me holding on. I would try and justify staying with him; I put the pros on a pedestal. Looking back, I realize that I wasn’t happy at all, and I should’ve left a long time ago. Yes, relationships go through their rough patches, but if it gets to the point where you’re never happy, maybe you shouldn’t be in that relationship.

6. They get mad at you for doing things that they do.

My ex was only available when he wanted something or when it was most convenient for him. However, one night when I was busy and couldn’t hang out, he became super mad, and it blew up into an argument. He wasn’t able to understand that I was only doing what he had been doing for years, and it was incredibly frustrating. Again, no one is going to be perfect in a relationship; we all have our faults and problems that we need to work on. However, if your partner isn’t even willing to recognize their own faults and correct them and grow, that’s where the problem is.

7. They never acknowledge your achievements or success.

Matthew Hussey, a relationship expert, said in one of his videos that when you have an achievement or something to be proud of, a toxic person “won’t celebrate it with you and get excited with you, and they’ll brush it off. They’ll change the subject relatively quickly or they’ll find a problem. You come home saying you got a promotion, and they’ll say ‘well won’t that be more work’?” A healthy relationship is supposed to help you grow as a person and to challenge you. It’s supposed to be a supportive, encouraging environment.

These are only a few examples and signs; there are many more than this. When I was with this person, I had no idea that it was that damaging until it ended. I’m writing this article to help people who may not realize it. It’s 2018; this is the year we need to realize what we deserve and to try to take better care of ourselves and just focusing on being happy.

Again, no one is perfect, and we all have our flaws. This article isn’t saying that we’re better than people who are toxic in relationships. This is just saying that we all deserve to be in a relationship that is supportive, safe, and healthy.


Take care,

Alyssa Harmon