4 Red Flags Your Partner Is A Bad Influence, So Maybe Take A Step Back
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes, the people you love can negatively impact your life. It's possible that the red flags your partner is a bad influence could be popping up in your relationship, and you don't notice them. Or maybe, you purposely turn a blind eye because your love for the person outweighs the negativity they could be bringing into your life. It happens. Trust me, you're not alone.
This inclination to turn a blind eye to the things your partner does that may be hurting you can often be a result of your unconditional love for bae, and that may be a risky feat. Don't get me wrong. I think unconditional love is absolutely beautiful, but I feel like when you love someone to that degree, it can be hard to see they may be doing you more harm than good. But it's not only in situations of unconditional love that this happens. Even with conditional love, I feel like it's possible to not see the ways your partner may be hurting you.
I spoke to dating expert and matchmaker Stefanie Safran and noted psychologist LeslieBeth Wish to see if there are any red flags you can spot that your partner may be a bad influence in your life. Here's what they said.
1. Your Partner Has Addiction-Like Qualities
Addiction is no joke, and because of that, Safran points out that if your partner has addiction-like qualities, it's important to be careful when approaching the subject.
"I think you have to tread lightly," Safran tells Elite Daily. "I think the thing is, see how they respond in terms of if you think they drink too much alcohol, if you ask to do more alcohol-free type of things. If you know they smoke a lot of pot, you can flat out say, 'Hey, can we try a week without?' If they like to gamble, you know, again, kind of push it toward, 'Hey, can we focus instead on saving for the vacation?'"
2. Your Partner Is Overly Meshed With Their Family
While I'm all for a partner with strong family values, I'm also all for a partner who can make their own decisions without always having to consult their family first. Safran says that if your partner can't make decisions without talking to a family member, if they have to get together with their family religiously, and if every holiday has to be spent with their family only, it's not healthy. “I think it’s under-reported how much enmeshment can destroy relationships,” she elaborates.
Safran also mentions that, similar to addiction, the family issue should be approached with caution. "If you go and say, ‘Your family’s f*cking crazy,’ it’s probably not going to go very well," she says.
She explains if you approach your partner about their family in a way that shows you're trying to work with them instead of against them, you're more likely to have a positive outcome.
3. Your Partner Is Pushing You To Do Things You Don't Want To Do
Wish notes that there's a line between your partner pushing you to challenge yourself and your partner pushing you challenge your self-worth.
“If your partner is pushing you to challenge yourself and to be your best, that creates anxiety, but it’s a kind of anxiety that accompanies things that help you grow," Wish tells Elite Daily. "But, if your partner is pushing you to do things that challenge your values and your sense of self-worth, those are red flags that you should be looking for — when your partner is asking you to diminish your self-respect, to drop your standards of values.”
4. Your Partner Wants You To Engage In Demeaning Acts
Being sexually adventurous is one thing, but being coerced into doing something sexually adventurous that you don't want to do is not OK.
"You know the red flags are flying when your partner asks you to do things sexually that demean you," Wish explains. "We like to think that we’re all so sexually liberated and informed, but it isn’t true. Not everyone is comfortable doing sexual things that you think are normal and typical. So, be careful in making assumptions about what other people’s comfort levels are."
It's crucial to establish boundaries in any relationship. If one of the partners feels like their boundaries aren't being respected, it can be a bad sign for the relationship itself.
If you find yourself noticing that your partner may be showing any of these red flags, you may want to step back from the relationship and try to look at it from an outsider's perspective. Do you think your partner is a bad influence on your life? Do any of these red flags sound familiar? If your answer is "yes," or even "maybe," it might be best to have a serious conversation with your partner, seek professional help, or, worst case scenario, rethink the relationship entirely.
"Know who you are," Wish advises, if you see any of these red flags. "Have a safety plan if your partner has a history of abuse or if you fear your partner, and don’t do anything that’s against your values." Remember, you should never feel like you have to do something that hinders your self-worth and/or values. Those are two of your most precious attributes.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!