Unfortunately, I have seen many unhealthy relationships in my lifetime and I'm only twenty-one years old. I've had my fair share of toxic boyfriends as well. It is so common to be so wrapped up in the affection and romance of it all that people often disregard when something their significant other does is unsafe or manipulative. I understand that the attention is great, the fear of loneliness is so real, and the sex might be bomb, but you should never compromise yourself for someone who isn't good to you. Love should NEVER hurt. No excuse. I made a list of a few red flags you should be aware of when entering a new relationship or even when assessing one that you're currently involved in.
You compromise your time with your friends to spend all of your time with your significant other.
We have all seen this and I think most of us have been a victim of this problem. If your partner thinks it's okay to make you feel like you shouldn't be around your friends, they are sorely mistaken. Quality time with friends is a vital aspect of a healthy lifestyle. If your boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband/whatever is taking away a key factor of your social life, you need to have a serious conversation with them.
You feel like you are obligated to have sex with them anytime they ask for it.
Your partner regulates your clothing choices.
He/she/they dictate who you're allowed to communicate with.
If you have EVER heard your partner say "I don't want you talking to ____", you either have to address the problem and talk to them about why it's wrong or get the f*ck out of that relationship. This goes back to the idea of possession. Your partner probably feels threatened by whoever they're keeping you from. They don't trust you. Being in a relationship that doesn't revolve around trust is a dangerous relationship to be in.
Your partner comments negatively on your body.
This is a humongous no. Your significant other has absolutely no right to say anything critical about the way you look physically. I don't feel the need to say much more about this because it's that simple.
They threaten to break up with you or harm themselves/you if you don’t follow their commands.
You should never feel threatened in a relationship no matter what. A relationship should make you feel safe and loved and secure. If you feel like things will be taken away from you as punishment for not obeying orders, you're in an extremely toxic relationship. At that point I wouldn't even call it a relationship. I'd call it abuse.
Your partner gets jealous of your success.
Healthy relationships are full of building each other up and cheering each other on during the hard times and the triumphs. If your significant other gets upset when you experience achievement, something is seriously wrong. I was just watching the television show This Is Us, and teenage Kate's boyfriend really rubbed me the wrong way in this category. It was something so small, yet so potent. Marc (Kate's boyfriend) and Kate were in a record store and a customer asked about a specific song. Marc responded with the answer and Kate followed up with some cool further information about the song. Marc was enraged by her knowledge. He was jealous of something so simple as knowing a fun fact. He said it made him look stupid and incompetent. Don't ever let yourself be in a relationship with a man like Marc. You deserve a partner who supports you.
He/she/they expect favors in return for things that they've done for you.
For example, your partner (let's just say he for this example) buys you cookies as a nice little gift. Later in the week, he asks you to get his oil changed for him. You say you don't have time to do that for him. He responds furiously and says, "well, I bought you cookies this week, so you owe me". NU-UH you don't owe him THING! This was just a small example, but it's unhealthy.
There are so many more red flags that I didn't mention in this article, but these are the ones I come across most often. Every single part of this list is considered abuse in one way or another. I get it, you're in love, but we have to keep in mind that love is blind sometimes. By this, I mean love can make you only see the good parts of a relationship. Don't let yourself disregard the unhealthy parts. There is no excuse to stay in a toxic relationship. Everyone deserves to be happy and safe with their partner. Also, if you see a friend experiencing some of these things, please speak up to them about it. Protect them. A message to the whole world: follow your heart, but never forget to follow your mind too.