How do you know if your relationship is still worth keeping? You probably love your boyfriend/girlfriend so much but it gives you more headaches than happiness. Or maybe it is hindering you from being productive and from getting closer to your dreams.
If your relationship has negative effects on you already, then it can be unhealthy for you. You need to assess what needs to be changed and how to do it. In case nothing happens, then maybe it is time to think about moving on.
Here are some characteristics of an unhealthy relationship that you should ponder upon:
1. Influences you to turn to destructive habits
If before you did not have unhealthy vices but now you have—thanks to the influence of your partner—then do you think you are still on the right track? An example would be smoking or taking drugs because your partner has encouraged you to join him/her and some friends.
2. It is hidden
If your boyfriend/girlfriend does not introduce you to his/her family and friends or s/he says you two must keep your relationship a secret, then something is definitely wrong. Is it because s/he does not want to be associated with you or s/he is not proud of your relationship? Or is it because s/he is protecting someone else’s feelings?
3. Has no transparency and trust
Do you have access to your partner’s phone or social media accounts? If you do not have because personal privacy is more valued than transparency in your relationship, then it is dangerous. Trust is hard to build if at the back of your mind suspicions and doubts are lurking.
4. Is not supported by the people who care about you
In case your family, friends, or others who truly love you are not supportive of your relationship, then you have to ask why. Maybe they see something in your relationship or your partner that is disapproving. Since they care about you, of course, they do not want you to be in bad hands.
5. There is abuse—physical, verbal, emotional, psychological and/or sexual
It is normal to fight as a couple, but if it already involves abuse in one or more forms, then it is no doubt unhealthy. If not stopped early on, those abuses will become habitual until they have done you severe damages. Marrying the person despite being abusive would be like putting yourself in jail.
6. Demands exclusivity
A relationship that demands all your time and attention is toxic. It will not allow you to grow as an individual since you are so busy with each other that you have no more time to explore opportunities and work hard for promotion. It also leads to being possessive and jealous.
ALSO READ: 17 Signs of a Potentially Toxic Relationship
7. Takes you away from your other loved ones
In connection with # 6, an unhealthy relationship could keep you distant from your family and/or friends. It is either because you lose time for them since your world revolves around your partner, or because your relationship causes conflict with them.
8. Has no clear direction
If you and your partner have never discussed your future together, then ask why. Is your relationship bound for marriage and family creation or is it just for present pleasure and companionship? If it is the latter, then it is definitely unhealthy because there is no sure commitment.
9. Distracts you from your priorities
A healthy relationship is meant to help you become a better person. However, if yours is distracting you from being responsible, then it is not healthy. Examples would be coming to the office late and sleepy due to late night calls, inability to study for exams because of dates, and not being able to bond with your parents because you are more excited to be with your beau.
10. Does not respect you
If your partner shames you in the public or forces you to do things which you do not like, such as having sex, then your relationship lacks respect. Another scenario of disrespect would be flirting with someone else, even right in front of you.
11. There is competition between you
Your partner should be one of your top supporters, but if you can feel that s/he does not like it whenever you surpass his/her achievements, then maybe s/he considers you as a rival. If you feel the same way towards him/her, then you have to wonder whether what you have for each other is love or just competition.
12. Has no security or assurance
If you notice that your partner finds it hard to say “I love you”, then maybe s/he is unsure of what s/he feels for you. In addition, if you have caught him/her several times flirting with others and it makes you feel insecure about your relationship, then maybe it is better to leave first.
Unconditional love means you stay with a person whether s/he meets your standards or not. If your boyfriend/girlfriend pressures you to be someone s/he can be proud of and threatens you of breakup if you do not meet his/her expectations, then s/he does not really love you. A person who truly loves you will stick with you especially during your down times.
14. It makes you suicidal
If your current relationship has been causing you a lot of stress and depression—to the point of having suicidal thoughts, then maybe it is time for some breather. This kind of relationship is psychologically and emotionally unhealthy, and it might break you into pieces if you let it stay that way.
Love Brings Out the Best in You
A healthy relationship can motivate you to be a better person. It is a kind of partnership that seeks to help each other improve in the different areas of life—physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. It has a holistic positive effect on your being.
If your present relationship is giving you the opposite effects, then it is advisable that you talk about your situation. You can start by evaluating the issues in your relationship, and then plan how to resolve them. If the case is hopeless and it seems impossible to be fixed, then maybe letting go is the best option.
ALSO READ: 14 Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship