17 Early Signs of a Toxic Relationship

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Early signs of a toxic relationship can be hard to spot, especially in the beginning.

If you’re an empathetic person who wants to see the good in everyone and give them a chance, it might not be until months or even years into a relationship that you realize something isn’t right.

Love sends us to joyous, lofty heights that we never want to come down from, but the same heart can send us into a loved-up euphoria.

It can trip us up and have us falling into something more toxic.

You may be in a toxic relationship without even knowing.

In this article, you’ll be seeing a few early signs that you might be in a toxic relationship.

Early Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

1. Toxic Communication

There is a lack of respect and poor communication as most of your conversations would be filled with criticism or sarcasm.

For example, if you make a mockery of your voice or accent when conversing.

You may start dodging their calls, in order to get a break from the inevitable arguments and hostility.

2.  Envy Or Jealousy

It’s normal to experience envy from time to time, but this can become an issue if your envy keeps you from thinking positively about your partner’s success.

This also applies to jealousy. Yes, it’s a natural human emotion.

But, when suspicion and mistrust come into the picture, they can quickly begin to scrape away your relationship.

3. Controlling Behaviors

If your partner asks you where you are all the time, or they become annoyed when you don’t respond immediately and keeps texting until you do.

These behaviors they are exhibiting might cause jealousy or lack of trust to set in.

They can decide to take control which can contribute to relationship toxicity.

In some cases, these attempts at control can also lead to abuse much later.

4. Dishonesty

When you constantly make up lies about your whereabouts or who you went to meet.

Whether it’s because you want to avoid how they’ll react if you tell them the truth or avoid spending time with your partner for some reason.

5. Displaying Disrespect

Being late or constantly forgetting events and other behaviors that show disrespect for your time is a red flag.

Except they truly struggle with making and keeping plans on time, so it may help to start with a conversation about this behavior.

If it’s not intentional, you might notice some improvement after you explain why it bothers you.

6. Lack Of Support

When things turn toxic, every achievement becomes a competition. In short, the time you spend together no longer feels positive.

You don’t feel supported or encouraged, and you can’t trust them to show up for you.

Instead, you might get the impression that your needs and interests don’t matter, that they only care about what they want.

7. Resentment

Holding on to grudges and letting them withdraw gradually at intimacy.

Over time, frustration or resentment can build up and make a smaller gap much bigger.

If you can’t trust your partner to listen to your concerns, your relationship could be toxic.

8. Your Boundaries Aren’t Being Taken Seriously

When your physical, mental, or emotional boundaries are not being taken seriously, re-evaluate the relationship.

 You’re an individual and your boundaries are well-grounded and should be respected in all relationships.

They might excuse their crossing of your boundaries as a joke and tell you to calm down. This might not be the relationship for you.

9. They Have No Interest In The People You Care About

When you notice that they are avoiding meeting the people you care about, you might be in a toxic relationship.

In healthy relationships, people often feel excited to build relationships with the people they care about.

They show interest in these valued relationships and the roles they play in our lives.

In a toxic relationship, this person might speak badly about your friends or attack their character.

They might even remind you of these people’s past mistakes or attempt to convince you to stop seeing them.

10. You Feel Drained

Early Signs of a Toxic Relationship

A toxic relationship often drains and makes you exhausted from all of the drama, disrespect, or striving to be perfect.

 If you feel drained during or after spending time with this person the relationship might need a rethink.

Relationships do require work, but they shouldn’t have us feeling drained or dull.

11. Physical Abuse

Early Signs of a Toxic Relationship

This is an obvious warning sign of a toxic relationship.

Healthy relationships involve no physical pain of any kind and any relationship inflicted with pain is toxic.

12.  Hostility

Early Signs of a Toxic Relationship

When you feel unsafe emotionally, mentally, or physically hostility has set in.

Hostility can look like constant anger, yelling, or throwing objects.

This person might use verbal hostility by trying to break you down; they disrespect you or constantly speak to you unruly.

Hurtful comments and physical abuse are all warning signs of a hostile environment and an overall toxic relationship. Healthy relationships always feel safe.

13. Conflicts

Early Signs of a Toxic Relationship

Healthy relationships improve your life; they don’t make it messier or harder.

A relationship is unhealthy if there is constant drama or conflict present.

14. Everything Is About Them

You never get the opportunity to choose what movie to watch, or where to go for dinner.

Toxic people have a way of making everything about them and like to be in control of every decision, no matter how small it is.

They might pretend to care about your feelings and opinions but will always end up putting themselves first.

15. You Avoid Saying What You Need Because There’s Just No Point.

We all have important needs in relationships.

Some of which are connection, appreciation, love, sex, and affection.

When those needs are ignored, the emptiness of that unmet need will clamor like an old church bell.

If your attempts to talk about what you need end in a fight or an empty promise, accusations of neediness, insecurity, jealousy, or madness.

You’ll either bury the need or resent that it keeps being overlooked.

 Either way, it’s toxic.

16. All The Work, Love, and Compromise Come From You.

If you are doing all the work alone you can’t hold the relationship together.

It’s lonely and it’s exhausting doing everything all by yourself, this is also a sign of a toxic relationship.

17. Nothing Gets Resolved.

Every relationship has its own issues. In a toxic relationship, nothing gets worked through because any conflict ends in an argument.

There is no trust that the other person will have the capacity to deal with the issue in a way that is safe and preserves the connection.


Toxicity in any relationship doesn’t make sense.

If you find yourself in a toxic relationship, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to stay in it.

You can make changes and get out of the situation before things get worse.

The first step is recognizing what type of relationship this is, whether it’s abusive or controlling or just plain old bad chemistry between two people who should never have gotten together in the first place!

Once that happens, then it becomes easy for us all over again: leave.

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17 Early Signs of a Toxic Relationship

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