BY JUDY BELMONT
Are you in an unhealthy relationship? Is it real love or just infatuation? What, you’re not sure?
Here are the 11 telltale warning signs that you’re in an unhealthy relationship:
1. Your personal growth can not flourish in the relationship
Whereas healthy relationships offer safe havens for personal growth, people who feel that their own growth and happiness needs to be sacrificed for the survival of the relationship often find themselves going the wrong way in the tunnel of love.
2. You feel as if the life is being sucked out of you
Did you ever hear of emotional vampires? These unseemly characters thrive while sucking the energy and life out of others. If you feel like you are in a relationship that is draining your energy and leaves you feeling exhausted and spent, there is rarely a happy ending.
3. They don’t “get it“ that it’s not all your fault!
If you are involved with someone who tends to blame you for their anger and problems, and you spend too much energy either defending yourself or trying to be understood, stop expecting the light bulb to turn on. Rather, it only will serve to dim yours. After all, no one can make sense out of nonsense.
4. The conflict and arguments just keep popping up
Relationships that are defined by conflict, fighting, blaming and a lack of forgiveness spell disaster. Remember that it takes two people to argue, and another person’s unreasonable behavior is never any excuse for yours. Arguments are like the Finger Trap carnival toy: the more each side is pulled, as in an argument, the more both sides get stuck in the trap.
5. One person has most of the power over the two of you
Does your loved one have too much power over you, aside from the power of love? A sure sign of unhealthiness is when someone has more power over you than you have over yourself. Remember—no one has power over you unless you give it to them!
6. The negatives aren’t turning positive
Unhealthy relationships are filled with negativity, and bring out the worst in people rather than the best. Put-downs, criticisms, and insults are all examples of emotional abuse and should never be tolerated. No one deserves to be treated like that, and never make excuses for anyone who treats you that way.
7. Being in need is confused with being in love
Look out for possessiveness and jealousy, as those signs are more about someone being in need rather than in love. If someone’s love is contingent on “what you can do for me” realize that there might not be room enough in the relationship for the two of you. If there is no foundation of trust in your relationship, you can trust that it’s a warning sign of more trouble ahead!
8. When the team is losing, they get lost
People who think they’re in love might really be more in infatuation. How do you know? One sure sign is when times get tough, the tough get going. It’s easy to be part of a winning team, but it’s time life does not go so smoothly that reveal the depth of a relationship. Infatuation is less about what a person can do for you and more about what you can do for the other person, especially through challenging times.
9. You feel worse about yourself, not better
Watch out for a relationship that do not make you a better “you.” If the relationship makes you feel worse about yourself and less comfortable in your own skin, it might be time to shed yourself of the relationship! Mature relationships are based on acceptance, not judgment of how someone thinks someone else should be.
10. The focus is on changing the other person
In unhealthy relationships, the focus is more about changing others rather than working on changing yourself. In a mutually respectful relationship, you won’t be trying to mold someone into your ideal person. When you do that, it becomes more about you than the other person, and becomes a recipe for chronic relationship unhappiness. In healthy relationships, people are respected for who they are, and are not anyone else’s “project.”
11. You lose yourself trying to find someone else
Last but not least, make sure that you don’t lose yourself in trying to find somebody else. As much as you may think you need someone else, you need yourself much more.
So if you find yourself in a relationship that stunts your growth and can only survive at expense of your own emotional survival, might be time to get out of the love boat before you find yourself sinking!