Relationships can be tricky. Because there are no manuals out there to teach us the dos and don’ts, we tend to learn from experience. Experience shows us some of the signs we should look out for to recognize and avoid an unhealthy relationship.
Here are some things to look out for:
If your partner starts demanding you to do this, that or the other… dictating what you wear, how you spend your money or who you should talk to – that is a sign of a controlling person and that will more often than not bring conflict in the relationship.
Controlling people get a sense of power knowing they can make you do whatever they want and in most cases, you agree because you love the person. You don’t take notice of this red flag. Your partner should never try to control you and vice versa.
Ever had a misunderstanding with your partner and notice that they never admit responsibility for their part in the tiff? Somehow it is always your fault and you are tasked with the job of ‘fixing it’ or ‘making it up’ to them.
This person is pulling the victim card and does it knowingly because they know you will take the fall every time – this is a manipulation of one’s feelings.
A manipulator will twist your words to suit them and take you on constant guilt trips because they want you to feel guilty and make amends to soothe their ego.
When the relationship revolves around your partner and only your partner – that is another big red flag. We all love some attention, especially from our significant others. When the attention is solely one-sided with the other partner not bothering to do the same for you, he or she is technically narcissistic.
You only go out where they want to go, you only eat what they want to eat, and among your friends, they only speak about themselves and how great they are in the relationship. They expect you to love them, cater to them but never do the same for you. That trait will definitely cause friction.
This is critical. A relationship cannot survive without communication. How you communicate with each other is very important and you should observe this in the early stages to know what to expect. Someone who decides to give you the silent treatment instead of talking things out when things go awry is not a good communicator.
If your partner constantly deflects from the problem, changes the topic or avoids it altogether, it shows their lack of communication skills. This can sometimes result in one party feeling neglected and unheard, or another being too hesitant or scared to communicate their feelings, particularly if the other partner deflects a lot or is dismissive.
You need to understand your partner and what communication method works for them - and vice versa.
This is a form of psychological manipulation, in which one partner makes the other partner think they are crazy. Does that sound familiar? When someone gaslights you, it can have an effect on your mental health, because you start to question if you are sane, and if all these things you see are only happening in your head.
If your partner makes you feel like you are crazy for, say, asking them a question, or expecting them to call/text you back when they said they would, or they completely brush aside your perception of how something happened in favour of their own version, then they are in fact gaslighting you.
Gaslighting gives your partner power over your mental control, and people don’t usually see it clearly until they remove themselves from the situation. You know what you asked for or did is not out of the ordinary but the response you get makes you feel that it is too much, or farfetched. This can breed resentment, anger, and emotional breakdowns.
What do you think is something to look out for to see if you are in an unhealthy relationship?