Without enough models for what a healthy relationship actually looks like, too many of us fall into partnerships with people who aren't right. You can both be good people and still be hurtful to one another. Knowing that your partner is a good person deep down can actually make it more difficult to recognize when a relationship is actually damaging you.
The longer you stay in it, the more damage you incur. And with unhealthy partnerships so commonplace, it can be difficult to know the signs your relationship is toxic.
Elite Daily reached out to Kali Rogers, founder of Blush Online Coaching, about some common signs that a relationship isn't a healthy one. If your relationship has one of the following traits, she says you need to leave as soon as humanly possible:
1. Jealousy Floods Your Relationship
Some people are more inclined to jealousy than others, depending on their prior history. I am of the opinion that everyone faces this unwelcome feeling from time to time. It's one of the challenges of dating in a society that seems to reinforce the notion that loving someone makes them their property. It can have a powerful impact on a relationship, but it shouldn't be necessary.
"People like to think that jealousy is a normal obstacle to face in relationships," says Rogers. "But it does not have to be."
According to Rogers, the way jealousy manifests — in bickering, fighting, snooping, lying, or manipulation — is never OK. "It creates an atmosphere of walking on eggshells and limits autonomy, which should be sacred in any long-term relationship," she says.
2. You Or Your Partner Engage In Gaslighting
Gaslighting keeps coming up more and more as a way to describe a certain kind of behavior in an unhealthy relationship that is used to avoid accountability and discredit another person's sanity. I've often been confused about what gaslighting actually looks like until Rogers offered some examples.
"For instance, if a person in a relationship feels hurt by another's actions, instead of apologizing, the partner might instead say, 'You're just sensitive' or 'You never understand what is going on in front of you,'" she explains.
Rogers says that if your partner is gaslighting you, they will attack your character, rather than apologizing or admitting a wrongdoing. Gaslighting is a way to avoid accountability for hurtful actions. She says that this seriously damaging behavior needs to have serious consequences.
"It's a highly manipulative tactic that should be called out immediately, and if used frequently, it's grounds for terminating the relationship."
3. Your Relationship Limits Autonomy
In a healthy relationship, you're actually not supposed to lose yourself in another person. Ideally, you maintain the person who you were before you met your partner. A friend once described her ideal relationship as that between the moon and the ocean tide. You don't become entwined, but you rise up periodically to meet one another.
If you don't have a life of your own — away from your partner — Rogers says that's a major red flag. And if your partner is actively prohibiting you from seeing people you are close to, you need to get out immediately.
Not only do those things mean that your partner is manipulative and allowing jealousy to rule his or her emotions, but they are also actively damaging your mutual well-being. "Having your own autonomy is so critical to not only your overall happiness, but for your relationship's as well," Rogers says.
It's ridiculous to think that you have to give up on your independence just because you fall in love. If you feel compelled to do so, it's another sign your relationship is toxic, because it is robbing you of your identity.
"Being able to enjoy your own private moments with friends and family is essential to having your own identity and maintaining your independence while also in a relationship," says Rogers. If you are not able to enjoy your friends, family, or private life without your partner by your side, chances are, your relationship is already in a toxic place.
Don't spend another day in a state of discomfort, anger, or angst. You deserve to be in a partnership that allows you to live to your fullest potential, and love should never involve sacrificing your own well-being. Get out now and reclaim yourself.
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