7 Subtle Signs Your Partner's Needs Are Taking An Emotional Toll On You

by Anjali Sareen Nowakowski
Benjamin Voros/Unsplash

Relationships are awesome, for the most part. They are filled with love, fun, and (usually) a promised partner for all of life's adventures. That said, if they aren't just right, they can also be, well, terrible. In fact, you may even be wondering if your relationship is taking a toll on your mental health.

In a good relationship, the parties rely on each other equally and feel that they have someone there to help shoulder the hard times. In an unbalanced relationship, however, it may seem like one party needs all the attention. If you identify with any of the signs on this list, it could be a clue that your partner's emotional needs are just too much for you at this point in time.

1. You're Constantly Exhausted

It's true: A lot of us are exhausted most of the time because, well, life is exhausting. That said, if you find yourself particularly exhausted around your relationship, this probably means it's not the right one for you.

The exhaustion you feel can take both a physical and mental form: If your body just feels tired and drained after an interaction with your partner, or your mind feels like it can't handle any more information, you may want to think some more about whether you're with someone who fits you.

There may be other things leading to your exhaustion, but if you are feeling especially tired because of your relationship, this probably means it's time to talk to your partner and reassess what's going on.

2. You Don't Look Forward To Seeing Them

The hallmark of any good relationship is the genuine excitement and eagerness that comes along with seeing the other person. My husband and I have been married for almost six months, and I still barely want him to go to the grocery store without me and can't wait until he gets back (even if he's been gone a total of 15 minutes). But if you never feel excited to see your partner anymore, something may be up with your relationship.

When your partner tries to make plans, do you find yourself dreading the moment you see them? Do you feel somewhat drained following every time you see each other? If so, it could mean it's because their needs are a little too much for you right now.

3. You Constantly Worry About When They'll Need You Next

Do you feel like your partner is constantly calling and texting and showing up because they "need" you? Do you almost feel like it's getting to the point that they can't handle any problem on their own? If you have a constant, nagging worry about the next time you'll be summoned because your partner's needs always require your presence, then your relationship might be taking a toll on you emotionally.

Of course, in healthy relationships, partners lean on each other, but it shouldn't be so much that you wonder why they can't seem to manage without you. Reassess how you feel about the relationship and communicate with your partner before you get totally overrun by their needs.

4. You Like Being Alone More Than Being With Them

A healthy amount of space and alone time in a relationship is good. After all, we're all individuals, and we need time away from our partner to remind ourselves of that every once in a while. However, you shouldn't want to be alone all the time when you're in a relationship.

If your partner has been relying on you way too much, it makes sense that you'd value your alone time so much that you may start spending more time away from them, especially if you feel drained by your time together. In this case, it's better to figure out if you really want to be together or whether you're actually happier alone for a while.

5. You Need Recovery Time After Being Together

A good relationship should never be something that you have to spend time actively recovering from. It should be something that lifts you up, gives you energy, and makes you feel like you are able to tackle anything. So if your partner's emotional needs are draining you, this may make you feel like you need to recover after being with them — almost like recovering from a hangover.

The reason you'll need this down time is because their needs take such center stage in both of your lives that you are giving all of your energy to them. This isn't a characteristic of a healthy relationship and, instead, probably means that the two of you should communicate about this negative dynamic (and potentially part ways if nothing changes).

6. You Feel Like Your Needs Aren't Being Met

Is your partner miraculously absent whenever you need something? Can they not seem to show up for even the smallest thing? A partner who is the emotional center of the relationship won't have any energy left to give you, because both their energy and your energy will be focused on them. Not only that, but they might even make you feel bad about requesting some of their attention for your own problems and issues.

If you feel totally pushed to the side and like your needs aren't getting met in your relationship, and communicating about the issue doesn't make a difference, you're probably with someone who takes up way too much of your emotional energy. This isn't usually a relationship worth sticking around for.

7. You Constantly Think About Ending It

Do you feel like you've become obsessed with the idea of ending your relationship lately, but just haven't been able to do it? This is a sure sign you are with someone who is taking a serious toll on your emotional health.

Although you might love them, sooner or later, you'll start to feel like you absolutely have to get away from them. Someone who has such high emotional needs that they exhaust you and make you want to run away won't be someone that you can be in a relationship with for too long. That's not to say you shouldn't ever help lift your partner up when they're struggling emotionally. However, you shouldn't have to shoulder all of that responsibility.

You may feel guilty about it, but in this case, it might be better to either let your partner know what you're feeling or even to take a step back so you can focus on your own mental health.

Although the signs are sometimes subtle, your body and mind will know it when you're in an emotionally taxing relationship. A good idea is to try to talk to your partner about your concerns and see how they handle it. But overall, a relationship like this isn't the best for you.

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