Extreme love isn’t always love.
Love is … strange. While the usual ode to love calls it patient and kind, you have to know that love can hurt and manipulate too. It does it all in the name of itself.
Now, I’m not saying that all relationships eventually end in heartbreak, or that anybody your with is out to manipulate you for their own personal gain — but you are a boss lady and your time is too precious and valuable to spend it wondering if this bad relationship is right for you.
Luckily, there are some sure-fire warning signs that something up that not even cupid himself can explain away convincingly. Take a look at the red flags to watch for below of an unhealthy relationship to help you determine if your relationship is worth fixing, or if it’s time you break up.
1. Your partner is possessive or controlling.
There’s a thin line between being protective and being possessive. It’s nice to feel like someone is looking out for you, especially someone you love. Teasing among friends can be normal, and if that’s the type of relationship you have with your friends, then he could just be trying to fit into that dynamic.
If his comments about your best friend turn from being nice to sly, negative comments for no reason, then that would definitely be a red flag. If he’s harshly judgemental about your friends, especially friends you’ve known most of your life, he may start suggesting that you shouldn’t associate yourself with them.
Keep in mind: your partner should not control who you’re friends with or who you spend your time with!
2. They write off your goals.
What you do outside of your relationships are just as important as the events that happen in your relationships. Keeping your own career goals in mind is super important, especially when you see your relationship as a long-haul one. It’s also super important to respect and push your significant other to reach their goals too.
Forgetting something you told him isn’t an end all be all, after all we all have our own lives we have to worry about, but if all you’ve been able to talk about is an amazing event you’re putting together for your team at work for the past three month, and he keeps asking what it is every time you bring it up, it may be more than faulty memory.
Even if your career goals don’t line up at all, if your significant other doesn’t at least try to remember your big presentation is at the end of the month, he won’t be inclined to remember the other big things that happen in your life and career.
3. Your partner goes to the extreme to prove their love.
I’m not personally very keen on PDA, but words of affirmation and love are something that mean a lot to me. However you like to show or receive love from your significant other, there’s the cute and endearing, and then there’s the overwhelming and kind of suffocating.
It’s fine to say “I can’t imagine my life without you!”. When you start hearing phrases like “If we ever break up I would kill myself” or “There would be no meaning in my life without you in it always”, consider the ramifications of those statements.
These extreme declarations of love, especially near the beginning of a relationship, can lead to signs of obsession and control in your life, and your mental health is worth so much more than that.
4. They guilt-trip you constantly.
This is one of the ones that get to me the most. I’m super involved on my campus through Greek Life, and between classes, service, and family time, there isn’t a lot of extra room to see my significant other every single day.
Relationships rely on constant communication. I don’t mean a play by play of your day, but letting your partner know what’s up so they understand why you might not be able to see each other.
If your partner is guilt tripping you into canceling your girls night because you haven’t seen him all week when you haven’t seen your girlfriends in two to three weeks, he may be jealous and it may be time to talk to him about your priorities when it comes to your friends. If he continues to guilt trip you into canceling every little thing to go see him though, then that’s definitely a red flag to end the relationship.
5. Your partner is the dominant one in all areas of their life.
While having an alpha male personality isn’t a deal breaker, necessarily, it falls on how he shows his alpha male colors to his friends when you’re involved.
He may like knowing that he has a catch like you and uses you to assert dominance over his friends. He can do this by constantly showing affection to you in conversation with his friends, joking about your intimate life, or even attempting a passionate kiss in front of them.
If your partner’s actions of dominance in other parts of their life start to read as uncomfortable for you, speak up! If he’s understanding, see if it behavior continues. If he’s not, or he continues despite telling you he’ll stop, then it’s time to question if he sees you more as a girlfriend or as a pawn.
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