Is any relationship between people who don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there is competition and there is disrespect.
A toxic relationship is consistently unpleasant and draining for the people in it, to the point that negative moments outweigh and outnumber the positive ones.
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People who consistently undermine or cause harm to a partner (whether intentionally or not) often have a reason for their behavior, even if it’s subconscious.
Maybe they were in a toxic relationship, either romantically or as a child. Maybe they didn’t have the most supportive, loving upbringing. They could have been bullied in school. They could be suffering from an undiagnosed mental health disorder.
The most serious warning signs include any form of violence, abuse or harassment, which should be dealt with immediately. But in many cases, the indicators of a toxic relationship are much more subtle: Persistent unhappiness, negative shifts in your mental health, personality or self-esteem, feeling like you can’t talk with or voice concerns to your significant other.
For example, if someone feels like you’ve been cold to them, instead of saying, “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me."
It’s crucial for both people in a relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationship itself.
A toxic relationship is one where love is prioritized over everything else, including respect, trust, and affection for each other. It’s more than just a “rough patch”—it’s a recurring, long-term pattern of bad behavior on one or both sides.
Arguments and disagreements in relationships are normal, but screaming matches and every day fighting isn’t.
People who seek out conflict in their relationship for the intense reconciliation are often addicted to the dopamine that they get after the fight is over – which isn’t healthy for either person.