People Share Early Warning Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
Image by Jan Steiner from Pixabay

Love is too often blind. The blind is only for justice. We have to adhere to warnings and truths when it comes to love and relationships. Love is hard work and most of the time it's rarely ever a fairytale. Too often we're so blinded by our feelings that we miss the red flags about when the relationship we're in is not meant to be. When you get that gut feeling that something is not right, follow it. You should not be made to feel bad when love is suppose to uplift.

Redditor u/Glorii3 wanted everyone to be very clear about when it's time to run. Love shouldn't be that difficult or painful. They asked.... What are early signs of a toxic relationship?

The Innocent

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Nothing is ever their fault and always yours.


This reminds me of my ex. After I found out she cheated on me, she tried to explain to me, how it was my fault, because my family didn't like her that much (because my family had kind of figured out that she was abusive). Needless to say that was the last straw that finally made me dump her and cut all contact.


Feeling Bad

When they do something that makes you uncomfortable, and they get mad at you for expressing your discomfort.


"You shouldn't feel so bad about it." Like wow I'm sorry I'm not just the amount of hurt you think I should be in response to the hurtful thing you did.


Lost Voice

When you don't feel like you can actually speak about your problems since they will take it personally or won't bother listening.


Once I was having a moment of insecurity in a relationship, and I told my then boyfriend that I didn't want to talk about it because it was irrational and unfair. He insisted I tell him, and when I did, he lost it on me and said I should have lied to him instead. He held onto that for the rest of our (nearly two year long) relationship. Learn from my mistake. Don't be in a relationship like that.


Bad Feels

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Feeling tense whenever you're around them.


At Fault

When every argument is your fault and you have to be the one to apologize every time.


Same here. My PTSD enabled my ex to use my constant feeling of guilt to consistently make me the butthole, slowly breaking me down. My current partner is still helping me to break that habit.


Just Run. 

All taking and no giving.

Subtly insulting you for their own pleasure.

Money problems and/or addiction.


The subtle insults! Gentle teasing now and then is fine when it's mutual. But when the jokes are always at one party's expense- especially in front of other people, designed to belittle them- that's a red flag.



I am working on repairing the psychological damage from years of having to jump through hoops to prove that it's not selfish/unreasonable/crappy of me to disagree with partners or have my own needs. Turns out always having to beg to have your feelings acknowledged (not even respected, just acknowledged) messes you up a bit. The whole time I thought it was MY fault that I wasn't communicating properly or using the right words to explain my point of view, but in reality it was narcissism and selfishness on the other side, and nothing I could've done would have changed that.



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An inability to take responsibility for their own actions, especially if you find yourself apologizing to them for being bothered by something they did.


Their Plan

Definitely control.

But how to tell that? They will take an over active interest in your reactions to things.

They won't take no for an answer. It might be in a cute way at first, but, it still is not taking no for an answer. Insisting you go along with something (no matter how harmless it might seem), or insisting you will enjoy something.

Pretty soon, if you let that slide, they will be controlling various things.

Where you can go, who you can talk to or see, who you can look at, even. Maybe not saying it outright, "don't go there, stay home; why are you looking at them," but acting out if you do things like that and they don't like it. Having a temper tantrum if you aren't exactly the way they think you should be, and of course the trick is, there is no pleasing them. They area always upset about something you did.

It isn't only about jealousy but also friendships, family too.

And then if you give in to that, there will be a new level. Bit like a video game, only not leveling up; leveling down, into hell.

So once they get you to focus solely on them, now you are boring, or you did this wrong, did that wrong, if you say anything you talk too much, if you don't you don't talk enough, or you laugh too much, or your cooking is name it, it's wrong. Pretty soon you forget who you are and what makes you happy. Worse, you forget that it matters if you are happy.

Abuser will often pour it on too thick with romance and compliments in the beginning. That is another way to control you and it won't last. No one can keep that up.

If someone 'sweeps you off your feet' remember what comes next is a fall.


Too Much Unrest

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When they seem to argue with you a lot, and make petty things into a huge dispute. It's stuff like this that makes you realize how much of a toxic relationship your in.

Also when the only time they seem like there not arguing is when they need/want something from you.


Let's Chat

Just for discussion's sake: I am friends with a couple who are absolutely attached at the hip. They work together, live together, visit friends together... literally everything. I think it's weird, and probably not healthy but they seem to like it... is that still toxic? Again, this is just for the sake of discussion, I'm not really sure what I think aside from it being odd (and I little annoying because I haven't seen my friend without their s/o in years).


Independence Dayz...

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I'm in my early 30's but from my experience, when you don't let your partner have their own independent life outside of the relationship- it's a red flag.


The Silence

Trying to control you.

Giving you silent treatment.

Trying to alienate you from your friends.

Making you choose between them and your family/career/passion

Trying to police your social media.

Pressuring you into sexual activities.


I Feel It....

This is profoundly what I felt early on in my last relationship. I could feel it in the pit of my stomach, that something was simply... off. I brought up this feeling to him numerous times throughout our 6 year relationship and he countered it by saying things like " everyone feels like this in a relationship, you just have to work to get past it." I was a coward and a fool for agreeing with him each time. Not surprisingly, our relationship was garbage. It turned me into a mean, spiteful person towards him. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. Never ignore that feeling.


It's on Them

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When you realize that you are spending all your time dealing with their issues, and never yours.




Lovebombing is a classic emotional abuse tactic and the abuser often goes hard into it early in the relationship, to get you hooked. Let's say you've been seeing someone for 3 weeks and they surprise you with tickets to an exotic vacation. Or an expensive gift. They'll also usually profess their affection for you often and kind of exaggerated. Lots of "no one else has ever made me feel like this" kinda stuff.

That way you get attached quickly and form positive perceptions of this person, so that when the abuse starts you A: don't leave because you know they're "good" underneath it and B: they can weaponize it against you as a guilt trip.

That's not to say every fast paced relationship is emotionally abusive, mind you. Every relationship works at its own speed and some are faster than others. But it's a reason to be cautious. Especially if it's an early relationship for you: abusers tend to favor inexperienced targets. Don't be afraid to say you're not ready for something, or that it's happening too fast for you to keep up with. In healthy relationships the other person will understand.


Convo to start

When you have to psyche yourself up to before you see them. When you have to map out regular conversations beforehand in your head to prevent an explosion.


Pay Attention

When you have to constantly and carefully police your words and actions to avoid setting them off. Whether it's an "anger thing" or a "drama thing," whether it's over jealousy/suspicion or neediness or them being critical or whatever, if you have to constantly walk on eggshells because it will make your life stupidly difficult if you accidentally say or do something "wrong" that triggers them to respond irrationally, you know you have a problem.

I think this is a good thing to pay attention to because it's nonspecific to the type of problem. It applies equally to physical, emotional, and psychological abuse and to those who are just energy-sucking due to their own personal issues which may not be abusive at all.


be careful.....

If, according to them, everyone they've ever dated before you mistreated them/is crazy/is to blame for their trust issues/etc, and you're the "first person who has ever treated me well", be VERY careful. It absolutely could be true, but often people who are incapable of taking responsibility for their behavior create narratives like this around their past conflicts, and it can be very easy to get sucked in (the ego validation alone can be pretty seductive).


Back Up

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When they're emotional when you do leisurely things that don't involve them. Sir, this is a relationship, I need some space dammit!!!


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