New relationships can be exhilarating and plain old fun. There’s nothing quite like the first few months of a new flame to have us looking starry-eyed. In the beginning, everything seems perfect, and it might be hard to imagine your new beau having any flaws at all! While it can be easy to gloss over the early warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, it’s important to take off your rose-tinted glasses and tread with caution. Keep reading for the 5 early warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, so you don’t get swept up into a romance gone wrong.
The Early Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
It might sound charming and even sweet if your partner confesses their unwavering love for you after just a week. And you might be flattered if they shower you in excess with lavish gifts and bouquets. But don’t be fooled. This over-the-top behavior may be what is known as “love-bombing.”
Love-bombing is overwhelming a person with excess gifts, compliments, or affection in an attempt to influence them. Have they tried to convince you that you two are soulmates after only dating for a few weeks? Or tried to make plans for your future together? If so, be cautious. If this feels like it’s too much too soon, take a step back and always trust your gut.
It can be perfectly normal to want to spend every second with your love interest when you first start dating. You’ll probably enter a love bubble for the first month, but eventually, you have to come out. If your partner tries to isolate you from your friends and family, take note of this early warning sign.
Often, when isolating behavior escalates, the other person may try to turn you against your loved ones. That can have you questioning your judgment and feeling overwhelmed and confused. You might find your S/O demanding that you choose between them and the people in your life. Your partner’s demands can cause you to feel isolated, and like they are the only person you can depend on.
Belittling of any kind about anyone or anything is a warning sign of an unhealthy relationship that you should take seriously. Comments about what you’re wearing, how your hair looks, what your interests are, or how you act are major red flags. That includes any other criticism about you or those you’re close to.
Maybe your partner makes fun of your laugh but plays it off as a joke. Or tells you that you should go to the gym more often but says it with a smile. Over time, these small comments can have you questioning yourself and even losing confidence in who you are. If your partner is already acting this way early in a relationship, chances are, the issue is only going to get worse.
While a little jealously now and then is a perfectly normal human emotion, it can become unhealthy if the line is crossed. Has your partner ever questioned and accused you of doing things that aren’t true? Maybe they saw you talking to a friend and jumped to the conclusion that you were flirting with them or even cheating on them.
Have they tried to stop you from going to social events or hanging out with friends without them? Or tried to snoop through your texts to check up on you? Be wary if someone is jealous to the point where they try to control who you see and what you do. That controlling behavior is a major warning sign of an unhealthy relationship.
5. Deflecting Responsibility
Does your partner always seem to make excuses for their behavior and never take responsibility for their actions? Maybe the blame is always put on you for arguments or even on someone outside your relationship. Perhaps they make excuses like a bad past relationship or cheating ex to validate their actions.
Has your partner ever yelled at you then said things like “you made me do that” or “it’s your fault I shouted”? In a healthy relationship, you can take accountability for your actions and communicate openly with your significant other. If your partner is constantly blaming everything on you or external sources, they are deflecting responsibility.
What to do if You’re in a Toxic Relationship?
So you’ve identified one or more of the early warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. What now? Maybe you only relate to one of these signs, and you’re wondering if that’s enough to call it quits. What you can do is start by talking to your partner. Express your needs and concerns and open the doors for communication. If they are willing to accept and change the behavior that’s bothering you, that’s a good sign. However, if they are in denial and aren’t willing to put in the work for your relationship, it might be time walk away.
Ask yourself – “how am I feeling in the relationship?” If you feel disrespected, sad, hurt, betrayed, inadequate, belittled, or insecure it’s best to end things. A relationship should make you happy, and while it won’t be perfect 100% of the time, the good times should heavily outweigh the bad.