A toxic relationship drains your physical and mental energy.
While a healthy relationship supports your personal growth and lets you flourish, a toxic relationship will make you tired, anxious, and depressed.
You might feel as though you and your partner argue all the time, or that you can never say or do the right thing.
Most toxic relationships seem normal and healthy at the beginning, but slowly break down over time.
It can be difficult to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Here are 6 signs that your relationship is gradually turning toxic:
1. You are less physically affectionate:
Loving touch and physical intimacy are important in romantic relationships.
If you no longer hug, hold hands, kiss, sit close together or have sex, it’s usually a sign that you have started to withdraw from one another.
This kind of disconnection breeds toxicity because one or both of you will start to feel rejected and unwanted.
2. You find yourself complaining about your partner to your friends:
Everyone finds their partner annoying from time to time, and it’s normal to talk to your friends about your relationship problems.
However, if you find yourself moaning about your partner on a regular basis, it’s time to decide whether they actually make you happy.
Your relationship should make you feel good!
Your partner should be the person you turn to when you have a problem, not the primary source of your troubles.
3. You can’t raise important issues with your partner:
Are there certain topics you avoid?
Do you feel as though you are walking on eggshells or tiptoeing through a minefield when talking to your partner?
If so, this is a sign that they like to control the conversation.
Over time, this could escalate into abusive behavior.
For example, they might verbally abuse you when you dare to bring up sensitive topics.
4. You feel drained or anxious after spending time with your partner:
Is your partner an energy vampire?
Do you often want to take a nap or withdraw from the world to recharge after spending time with them?
If so, they may be taking up far too much of your precious time and energy.
Even if they don’t criticize you or the relationship, your partner still qualifies as an energy vampire if they constantly complain about everything that’s going wrong in their life or the world in general.
If they use you as an emotional sponge, it’s a sign that they have stopped seeing you as an equal partner and more as a therapist.
5. You catch yourself wishing things would return to how they used to be at the beginning of the relationship:
This is a sure giveaway that your relationship has taken a turn for the worse.
If you spend a lot of time wondering what has gone wrong or trying everything you can think of to recapture the past, take it as a sign that your relationship is not meeting your needs in the present.
Of course, if your partner has become abusive, this is a clear indicator that you need to get out of the relationship as soon as possible.
6. You and your partner have begun to engage in destructive criticism:
In a good relationship, both people can offer constructive criticism and feedback.
For instance, your partner might ask you to give your honest opinion of their college application, or you might ask them to tell you whether your hairstyle flatters your face.
However, frequent, unhelpful criticism and nit-picking undermines trust.
If you are always on edge and feel like you can’t do anything right, it will be impossible to feel safe around your partner.
You will start holding back when it comes to sharing your innermost feelings because you know you will be met with criticism.
You may have suspected for a while that your relationship is turning toxic, but facing up to the truth can be hard.
Unfortunately, trying to ignore the problem can only work in the short term. Eventually, you will become emotionally and physically exhausted.
Sometimes, a toxic relationship can be fixed.
For example, if you have both been under a considerable amount of stress and have become so caught up in your own problems that you’ve drifted apart, making a commitment to spending more time together can help.
If you are both willing to work on the relationship, you may be able to turn things around.
On the other hand, it’s often best to walk away from a relationship that is dragging you down.
You only have one life – don’t waste it on a relationship that does not make you happy.