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Thanks, Psych2go, for this idea.
Disclaimer: These are all based on my personal experiences and what I have learned while being in an abusive relationship. Not all of these behaviors may lead to an abusive relationship, but for me, they were red flags that I had ignored.
1. You are questioning the motives of your significant other.
This has to be the biggest red flag on this list. If you’re questioning if your boyfriend or girlfriend is toxic for you, they probably are. In a relationship, you shouldn’t be questioning if your spouse is bad for you. That’s honestly the first sign that they are, and all the online quizzes you’ll end up taking would say so as well.
2. When you bring up a friend of the sex you have a preference over, they get jealous.
This happened to me a lot in my last relationship. My best friend just happens to be a guy and my ex was not the least bit happy when I would talk to him. In the beginning of the relationship, it seemed like harmless jealousy, then I started school. While I was at school, things got out of hand, my ex would go through my IPad and block any guys that I had mentioned hanging at school with from my socials. The thing is, I never gave him a single one of my passwords. He would watch me unlock my iPad just so he could control who I talk to. What used to be, “He better stay like a brother,” turned into, “You’re such a (insert crude insult here), stop talking to guys behind my back.” If I knew that kind of jealousy was a red flag, I would’ve broken up with him as soon as he had shown it. However, I was blind and it turned into something that was highly emotionally abusive.
I’m not saying all jealousy is abusive, but it can be. Just keep an eye out for it and don’t let it get to the point in which you’re crying every day because of what your significant other says to you.
3. They stop taking you out.
Honestly, a person that constantly hangs out with their friends more than their significant other is a person that shouldn’t be in a relationship in the first place. Out of the year we were together, my ex only took me on two dates and partied with his friends on my birthday and our anniversary. When I would make plans for dinner or a date night, he would never be there. Him being out constantly only lead me to put more of myself into the relationship, and I stopped focusing on my own happiness. I just wanted his attention and appreciation, I longed for it. However, every time he said he’d be there more, he never was. It got to the point in which he’d never return home until 3 AM on a daily basis and would still be the one to accuse me of cheating.
A true significant other would make time for you and their friends, not one or the other. Spending too much time with your significant other could be toxic, too. Yes, you both have lives, but you’re also together. There needs to be a balance or things can get sour.
4. They go through your personal belongings.
I already mentioned this while describing jealousy, however, it’s a red flag all on its own. If they have no reason to not trust you, they shouldn’t want to go through your items like my ex did. It only leads to both of you becoming paranoid. While they are freaking out because they think you’re cheating, you’re freaking out because you have no idea what they’re talking about. To my ex, a simple hi from a guy meant that we were having an affair. When I told him I didn’t approve of him going through my stuff, he never listened and interpreted it as if I didn’t want him to see my messages because I was indeed cheating.
5. They put the blame onto you.
No one should make you feel bad for being mad at their actions. If they get you mad, you have a right to be mad. However, they’ll say, “You’re not seeing my side,” and instantly make you into the bad guy. This is an extremely narcissistic behavior and not a behavior a significant other or friend should express towards you. If I had friends with brothers, my ex would constantly ask if we had sex when picking me up. When I got offended, of course, he would say, “I’m only trying to make sure you’re safe, you’re the one freaking out.” If they can’t see what they’re doing is bad or don’t want to admit it, they’re not the type of person you should be around.