How do you know if your relationship is healthy or unhealthy? Often when we are dating someone we are blinded by “love.” We can’t see their unhealthy, controlling behaviors. Here are some warning signs that your relationship is not healthy:
- He Can’t Accept No
When your boyfriend refuses to let you say no, it is a warning sign that there are problems. Every relationship involves compromise, but each person should be able to say no. You alone get to decide what you’re comfortable with, especially regarding sexual intimacy. Some partners try to control with manipulation. This means they aren’t yelling, but you walk away feeling guilty for things that you should not feel guilty about, like wanting to spend time with friends or not wanting to engage in sexual activity. How well your partners can receive a no from you can help you to see how much they respect you.
- He Wants You to Stop Hanging Around Your Friends
In order for any relationship to flourish, you need other people to build into your life. If your boyfriend becomes jealous of time spent with your friends and family it is a red flag. A healthy relationship is one where you spend time together and apart. Your friends and family know you best and can give you good insight if a guy is worth keeping around.
- There’s Constant Conflict
If you and your guy are constantly fighting, there are only more problems ahead. Conflict is part of any relationship; however, conflict needs to be resolved. Both people have to be willing to listen, change and grow in a relationship for things to change. You can not fight all the time without working on your relationship, and expect things to get better on their own. It is also not enough for one person to want to change. Both people need to want to make the relationship healthier.
- He Needs You
Chivalry is not dead. If you are constantly paying for your boyfriend’s apartment, food, and gas there is something unhealthy going on in your relationship. There should be some give and take in every relationship. If you are the person spending all of your time and money to support the other person, you might want to consider how long that you’re willing to provide to maintain their current lifestyle. Children are supposed to be dependent, but adults are people who have grown up to care for themselves and others. It can be scary to find out if someone is staying with you just to use you, but the sooner you know, the better. Not continuing to provide for them in those ways will let you know quickly if they are around for you, or what you provide for them.
- He’s Cheating
No woman deserves to have a relationship where she has to wonder if her boyfriend is being faithful. You deserve better! Your partner should be a person who is strong for you when you are struggling, therefore they need to be trustworthy. Someone who is unfaithful in your relationship can reveal that they might not be prioritizing you the way that you are them. You have to decide what you are willing to put up with in a relationship. No one else can make that decision for you. Will you be willing to stay committed if he is consistently flirting with other women? What if he is physically intimate with someone else? What if that turns into more than someone? Even if he thinks that is not serious and doesn’t mean anything, that doesn’t mean that you have to think that it isn’t serious. You cannot make someone change or decide not to cheat, but you can decide if you will allow your partner to cheat on you. Deciding to stay with someone who cheats robs you of the opportunity to have a fulfilling, faithful relationship. If you are keeping your eyes open for someone better, you yourself become unfaithful in your relationship.
- When the Going Gets Tough…
All relationships hit rough patches every once in a while, but how we respond in those situations tells us a lot about ourselves and our partners. Does your partner want to work on the problem, or does he want to focus on you and blame you for everything? Or, does your man jet every time you hit a difficult time? Does he raise his voice or hurt you? True love is sticking around and working through the difficult issues, not jumping ship at the first sign of trouble.
- He Demeans You
Our boyfriends should bring out the best in us. Relationships should make us strive to be better people. Therefore, if a boyfriend is constantly putting you down it’s a wake up call to get out of the relationship.
Relationships are hard, but worth it with the right person. If you find yourself in a physically abusive relationship, please get help. You can call 911 in an emergency, or call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline (800) 799-7233
Author: Joelle McCormick
Joelle is a wife, mother of four, foster and adoptive mom. She resides in Vienna, Austria.