7 Toxic Relationship Habits You Might Think Are Healthy
If we're being realistic, all relationships are basically made of continuous attempts to find a balance between healthy and toxic behaviors.
We've all got issues, and nothing brings our emotional baggage into the spotlight quite like really caring about someone, which can unfortunately lead to a lot of questionable feelings-driven responses. The only thing you can do is recognize which behaviors are bad and which are good, and try to respond accordingly.
However, even recognizing positive behaviors isn't an exact science, and it's possible that you could be confusing some toxic habits for healthy responses. Wondering what those might be? Check 'em out below!
1. Dropping Hints
Ugh, dropping hints—a subtle way of trying to get your point across without actually having to say how you feel. While dropping hints might seem totally harmless and may even be an effective way of avoiding conflict, it really isn't a healthy relationship habit. Not only is it completely passive aggressive in nature, it can also be highly manipulative. It hinges on the idea that your partner should be able to figure out how you feel or what you want without you having to open up and say something. Healthy relationships require open and honest communication, and dropping hints is literally the opposite of that.
(The Kissing Booth via Freeform)
2. Holding Your Partner Responsible for How You Feel
Relationships require a lot of give and take and a whole lot of communication about what you do or don't need. It's healthy to tell your partner what they can do to improve your relationship, but as you become more comfortable with someone it becomes much easier to blur the lines between behaviors that need to be changed for the sake of your relationship and normal actions that just rub you the wrong way.
Maybe you had a long day and you wanted to spend some time cuddling with your S.O., but they already had plans to meet up with friends. You start to feel like you're so upset and annoyed because they just won't make any time for you, when in reality you just had a bad day and need some time to recover. At the end of the day, you're the only person who can be held accountable for your emotions. Blaming your partner for how you feel will only result in a lot of anger and bitterness that will eventually ruin your romance.
There's a general idea that a little bit of jealousy in a relationship is a good thing. It just "means your partner cares" or "shows that they don't want to lose you." Human beings are flawed, so while jealousy is totally natural in a relationship, it should never be considered healthy. Jealousy is almost completely founded in insecurity or doubt, either in yourself, in your relationship or in your partner.
Because insecurities are always going to exist, the best you can do is manage your jealousy and make sure it stays under control, but you should never assume that jealousy is a healthy aspect of your relationship.
(Friends via NBC)
4. Never Fighting
Conflict is hard, but it's also necessary—especially in a romantic relationship. Conflict allows you to learn new things about your partner and see if you can make it through some rough patches, which are bound to happen in any romance. While never fighting might seem to indicate that you're just totally on the same page all the time, it's actually more than likely a sign that you're both swallowing how you really feel for the sake of avoiding conflict. Not only does it keep you from being honest with yourself and your partner, it also stops you from discovering how your partner reacts when something bothers them, which is usually when their true colors start to show.
5. Threatening a Breakup
Sadly, we've all done it—you're in the heat of the moment, arguing with your partner, and you dramatically throw out a "I can't do this anymore" or "maybe we just shouldn't be together." Of course a breakup is always a possibility and it might seem like you're simply reminding your partner what's at stake, but using a breakup as a threat is actually a very unhealthy habit. It's basically the equivalent of emotional blackmail, causing your partner to freak out and do their best to end the conflict by any means necessary.
Disagreements and tough times are bound to happen in a relationship, and you and your S.O. should be able to talk through them without being afraid that it will mean the end of your relationship. When you use a breakup as a threat, you turn your entire relationship into a bartering tool in order to keep your partner in line. It's unfair, manipulative and highly toxic behavior.
(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)
6. Thinking They 'Complete' You
It's a major line used in all our favorite romance movies: "You complete me." Finding someone who naturally smooths your rough edges and fixes all your emotional problems—what a romantic idea, right? Wrong! Thinking your partner completes you, or even searching for someone who does, implies that you can't be whole on your own. Therefore, you'll always be using your partner as an emotional crutch instead of dealing with your own shortcomings and working through your issues.
You have to be enough on your own before you can align yourself with someone else. If not, you'll always be reliant on your partner, creating an unfair power balance in any relationship. No relationship can survive if the two of you aren't equal, and you don't need someone else to be complete. It's toxic and unhealthy to think that you do.
7. Constant Communication
The digital age is really awesome in a lot of ways, but having so many avenues to stay in touch with people means that you can literally be in contact with your partner all the time. From texting to social media to FaceTime, you could literally be talking to your S.O. every second of every day—and many people are.
It doesn't seem like a bad thing to stay in touch with your partner all the time, but it's actually a pretty toxic habit. It doesn't allow either of you any space to breathe or live your own life outside of each other, and it ruins the development of trust in your relationship by allowing you to keep tabs on your partner all the time. Separation isn't only a nice way to remember that you have to be your own person, it's also crucial to the healthy development of your relationship.
Wondering if your romance is actually a positive force in your life? Click HERE for eight signs your relationship is actually good for you.