10 Signs Your Healthy Relationship Is Turning Toxic
If you notice that your healthy relationship is turning toxic, it may be time to call it quits.
Your physical health is something that’s pretty easy to understand. You eat well, practice healthy habits, hit the gym, and your body will react by being healthy. You also can typically tell when you’re coming down with a cold or feeling sick. When you get sick, you have to take medicine to make it better.
Relationships are a lot like bodies, in a way. If you keep them healthy, you will be able to enjoy them a lot longer. If you notice them getting “sick,” you will need to take medicine to make them better. Whether the allegorical “medicine” is going to counseling, talking things out, or leaving doesn’t matter. What matters is that you nip a toxic relationship dynamic in the bud sooner rather than later.
Part of making sure you don’t lose your sanity with dating is noticing when something isn’t right in your relationship. If you notice these signs, your healthy relationship is starting to get toxic — and you need to address it, STAT.
You find yourself getting needier and needier.
In a healthy relationship, most people will not get needy because they are getting their needs met. When someone starts to act needy when they usually weren’t, it’s often because the relationship has turned toxic.
Ask yourself if your partner is making you feel insecure, or if you feel neglected by your partner. If you are, it's likely because a toxic dynamic is starting to take hold in your relationship and it's beginning to affect you.
The mood has changed in your relationship.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s that subtle shift in mood and atmosphere that makes you wonder what’s up. Most people liken it to the calm before the storm, but for me, it's often a sickening stillness.
Everyone who's experienced it knows exactly what I mean by this. Something suddenly just doesn’t feel right. Is he going through some stuff, or is it because it’s starting to turn toxic? Only you will know for sure.
You find yourself having less and less fun around your partner.
Though all relationships have their tough times, a healthy relationship follows the 80/20 rule. This rule says that 80 percent of the time, your relationship is great, fun, and happy. The other 20 percent of the time, though, it could be a "meh," or argumentative.
If you notice your relationship being closer to 50 percent bad, chances are that your relationship is starting to turn toxic. Thankfully, it can be salvageable at that point—if you and your partner make a sincere effort to fix it.
You find yourself afraid to tell your partner the truth about what you're doing, how you feel, or anything else.
This is one of the most telltale signs your healthy relationship is starting to turn toxic. Good relationships can't exist if you feel worried about how your partner would react to you being honest with them.
This is particularly true if their reactions in the past are what make you feel that way. If the way they're reacting makes you that uncomfortable, it's no longer a healthy relationship. In fact, it's often a sign that you might be in an abusive one.
You've started to notice that your partner guilt trips you into doing what they want you to do.
A lot of once-healthy relationships stop being healthy because one partner starts having a need to manipulate their partner or control them. Do you notice your partner guilt tripping you over things that you've always done? Does your partner purposely "ruin" events that you enjoy just to stay home?
If this sounds familiar, it's time to break things off. You're in a very toxic relationship, and things have probably been going downhill for a long time. Sadly, this will only get worse the longer you stay.
Your partner has gotten increasingly disengaged, or has dreadgamed you.
For those not in the know, "dreadgaming" is the act of pretending like you're looking to cheat or leave in order to get your way. Healthy relationships never involve that kind of underhanded and toxic manipulation.
Sometimes, people dreadgame without even realizing it. They just get increasingly disengaged until the other partner starts to panic and wonder what they did wrong. One of the easiest to spot signs that your healthy relationship is turning toxic is the pervasive feeling that one partner is about to leave the other.
Sadly, this is often a sign that the relationship has been over for a while—even if both partners don't realize it quite yet.
Sex has started to dwindle—as has all affection.
A relationship isn't a relationship without hanky panky. When your partner no longer shows interest in you or regularly refuses your advances, it's a sign that something is seriously wrong in your relationship.
If you have been starving for affection or sex, chances are that your relationship is dying—or at the very least, turning toxic to you. It also could be a sign that your partner is using sex as a bargaining chip. It's best to break things off if this is the case.
When you bring up concerns, your partner refuses to listen.
A healthy relationship will turn toxic the minute that your partner stops listening to you. It's a fact. When communication dies, there's virtually no chance of anything getting better.
If you regularly try to explain things to your partner and they're just not getting it, your relationship didn't just get toxic. It died and you didn't even notice it.
Your partner keeps score.
Scorekeeping is a good way to keep a chip on your shoulder and make sure that your partner knows that they are NEVER going to be out of debt to you. In other words, it's unhealthy.
If you find your partner starting to keep score and actively refusing to do things "just because," it's a sign that your healthy relationship has turned toxic—or that your partner's true face has started to show. Either way, it's not a good look.
Your partner has started to insult you.
Not cool. Not now, not ever. Not even if it's "just a joke." Seriously. Dump this dude, because your healthy relationship is turning toxic due to his behavior and attitude towards you. Even if he's trying to pass it off as a joke, no good can come of this.
These playful "mixed signals" are often the first sign that things are turning abusive. By cutting things short, you're making sure to keep yourself safe, and that's the best thing you can do.
About the author
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of NJ. You can message her via Twitter on @bluntandwitty or via Instagram on @ossiana.makes.content. She's always looking for freelance work and collabs!