You've probably heard people say, "It's better to be alone than with someone who makes you feel alone." It makes a lot of sense, but when you're stuck in that toxic relationship cycle, it can be incredibly difficult to free yourself from it. It can even become addictive.
Being involved in an unhealthy relationship can take control of your life, leeching your self-confidence and making you feel like you'll never be loved again.
When you're in the thick of an experience, it becomes nearly impossible to see it objectively. So, here are five signs to look out for if you think you (or someone you know) might be in a toxic relationship.
1. You feel like you can't do anything right.
You constantly feel like you're falling short of expectations, and the other person is exacerbating that feeling. You have grown less and less confident over the course of your relationship. You may also feel like you have to watch what you say and walk on eggshells around them because anything you do might piss them off. No matter what you do, it's always about them and what they want.
2. You can't be yourself.
You feel like you can't speak your mind or express your true self around your partner. You find yourself trying to be exactly who they want you to be because you love them and you are so invested in receiving validation from them.
3. You're constantly emotionally drained.
Walking on eggshells, trying to be who they want you to be, and always defending yourself when they put you down leaves you consistently drained. Rather than leaving interactions with your partner feeling safe and energized, you feel empty and alone.
4. You make excuses for them.
You're constantly protecting them, trying to paint a more positive picture of your partner to your friends and family. You refuse to blame your partner for treating you objectively poorly. Your friends and family know you aren't being treated well, but you feel like you can't talk to them about your relationship issues because they'll use it as ammunition against your partner/the relationship. You choose to see the relationship as you want to see it, living in denial rather than accepting how it really is.
5. You don't trust them.
You struggle to trust your partner because your intuition tells you something isn't right. They've let you down before, broken your trust, and that little voice in your head constantly tells you it doesn't feel right.
If you see these characteristics in your relationship, it's definitely time to consider ending it. Even if your Spidey senses are tingling for totally different reasons, don't be afraid to act on your gut feeling. Listen to that little voice inside of you. Your future self will thank you.
Examine your core values and don't settle for less than you deserve.