7 Signs of Toxic Relationships and why they’re so Addicting
Knowing the signs of toxic relationships can help you to avoid these experiences in your dating life. While no relationship is perfect, toxic relationships are extremely draining. They can hold you back in life as they often will degrade other core areas outside of your relationship.
Your work life, relations with friends and even family can only be damaged by toxic relationships. Not to mention your confidence, mental clarity, and overall happiness in life.
Generally the same for men and women
While this site is self development for men, and the article is therefore going to be written in this context, toxic relationships obviously affect women as well. The signs of toxic relationships here apply to both men and women, as the major signs are the same regardless, since relationships have both men and women.
I’ll use examples that generally happen to men, but if you’re a woman reading this, I’m sure you can apply it to your life or current situation.
For my boys reading this and seem confused why I’m addressing potential women readers, toxic relationships is a term often use by women in general, which is why I’m addressing this outright. Women are more likely to go search for the term “toxic relationships” while men are going to search for “drama queen” and “she’s being bossy” etc.
But this article is necessary for the guys reading my site who want healthy relationships. A lot of you guys find yourself in toxic relationships with women and want to know the clear signals.
What is a toxic relationship?
A toxic relationship is a romantic relationship that is consistently destructive and detrimental to one or both members.
2-way Toxic Relationship, Toxic to each other
Generally toxic relationships are thought as two people who are always fighting and going at it. When you’re both hot and cold, one person gets mad then the other, and it’s always a back and forth struggle. This is what I’ll refer to as a toxic relationship in the article. Below you’ll see the 7 symptoms of a toxic relationship so you can avoid this kind of interaction.
1-way Toxic Relationship, aka one person is obsessed
While this is definitely true, a relationship can also be toxic for you and not for the other person. This is when you’re all in on them and they’re never in on you.
Basically when you’re obsessed with a woman (or a woman obsessed with a man), and the other person has total control over you.
However, these situations never last, ever. They don’t go on indefinitely, in fact generally a few months. Women will sometimes write to me about a man they feel does nothing, yet when they tell me their situation their man actually does get angry, emotional, and jealous. In that case it’s a normal toxic relationship. Still not ideal, and that’s the focus of this article, but that’s not what a 1-way toxic relationship is.
When a man is obsessed over a woman, she becomes so disgusted and she leaves the relationship. When a woman is obsessed over a man, he will either leave her or he will stay because he likes the power, but he’ll constantly be annoyed of her and he’ll drop her soon.
A 1-way toxic relationship is when one person is 100% cold all the time, and never gets emotional, while the other person feels like they want to die. This is like a pimp and a hoe.
You can’t be cold 100% of the time for a real relationship to work
And while I think the man should lead the relationship and have control of his emotions, he shouldn’t be 100% cold to his girlfriend, wife, or women in his life. He should have emotional control, yet still be able to give some emotions to a degree and lead from a place of integrity.
I don’t teach guys to manipulate their women. Instead I teach to be straight up. Set your terms, be strong, communicate clearly, and yet be willing to walk away when needed. If you think about it, this is common sense.
A lot of men with little dating experience want to be 100% dominant, however the only way you can truly be like this if you don’t care about the woman at all, in which case you’ll usually just leave. The men who fantasize about dominating women are usually the ones who find themself obsessed with woman after woman.
Signs of toxic relationships
I know that was a bit of an intro, but wanted to set the stage clearly before diving into the 7 signs of toxic relationships that you need to be aware of. The symptoms of a toxic relationship are as follows:
- Breaking up often
- Physical abuse
- Temper tantrums and extreme frustration
- Hot and Cold
- No Accountability
- Unresolved issues
- Lack of Trust
1. Breaking up often
Breaking up often is a stable and one of the most common symptoms of a toxic relationship. Couples will break up so often that it becomes the norm. While a break up can happen in a relationship and it’s even normal for it to happen once or twice before reconnecting, this is in the duration of a long lasting relationship.
If your girlfriend has broken up with you multiple times and you get back together the next day, or you do the same to her, this is a toxic relationship. It’s not a normal behavior for a healthy, and you can’t have a functioning relationship like this.
Unfortunately, while it’s not normal for a healthy relationship, it’s so common because so many people are in toxic relationships.
However, take a step back and realize that if you’ve ever broken up more than 2 times, yet still find yourself together, you’re probably not in a healthy relationship. If it’s happened so many times that you can’t even count, then you’re in an extremely toxic relationship. It can’t be standard outcome for fights you have.
2. Physical abuse
This one should be clear as day. One of the biggest and most obvious signs of a toxic relationship is physical abuse. Obviously a man hitting a woman is wrong and unhealthy. However, the same goes for a woman hitting a man.
If you’re a man reading this, you may not think it’s a big deal your woman hits you when she gets mad especially if doesn’t hurt you. But don’t mistake your lack of pain because you’re a lot bigger than her to be a sign of strength on your part. If a girl is hitting you when she’s angry, she could always escalate. And even if she doesn’t, she doesn’t respect you enough not to keep her hands off of you.
3. Temper tantrums and extreme frustration
Sometimes this ends up in break ups, but it could just end up with lots of hostility. Of course people can get angry and sometimes that ends up being taken out on their girlfriend / boyfriend, etc. But you’ll notice the difference between an occasional bad day and extreme frustration.
If your girlfriend has tempter tantrums constantly, whether it’s because if the relationship itself or that’s just her behavior, you’re going to have a toxic relationship.
Temper tantrums, especially used as a common method for not getting what someone wants, generally comes from a lack of correct parenting. Like I said, no one is perfect. Getting really mad here and there, as in a few times ever, is normal. But if you’re having your girlfriend show extreme anger even once a month or more, think about it. This is a big sign of a toxic relationship that you shouldn’t be apart of. Women tend to get upset and emotionally flustered more easily, that will always be the case even with good women. But extreme anger consistently is never good.
4. Hot and Cold
Most of the signs of toxic relationships could be broken down into this concept. Hot and cold. If the fighting is limited – some fighting is healthy to a degree – and things are generally calm, then you have a healthy relationship.
When it’s always really hot and cold, you have an unhealthy relationship. Toxic relationships are hot and cold because that’s what makes them toxic. Extreme love and hate. There’s a big rush when things are great and a big crash when they suck. Which is then followed by the desire for that rush again.
This is why toxic relationships are so addicting.
If you’re always fighting and then making up, then fighting again, then making up, you’re in a toxic relationship. It’s true that toxic relationships are the most passionate. That’s why people stay in them. But the extreme passion must be met with the opposite. It’s the Law of Polarity. That’s why it’s better to have controlled passion. Because then you also have controlled fights. And therefore can maintain a relationship for much longer and in a more sustainable way.
5. No Accountability
Not holding each other accountable is one of the major symptoms of a toxic relationship that I see often with guys.
This is one that’s preventable from day one. If you keep accountability, you keep the relationship healthy. And if you’re dating a girl who turns out to be toxic on her own, you stop this early on. Keeping her accountable will allow you to catch this early on before you get too invested.
You do this by setting terms for your relationship, and then checking your girlfriend when she goes against these terms. If you choose a high quality woman, and you’re a man of strong character, then chances are you won’t have to keep her check her on going against your terms.
However, you must keep her accountable and you must keep yourself accountable. As the man, it’s your job to bring order to the relationship.
6. Unresolved issues
Unresolved issues step from lack of accountability, which is why this is listed next. One of the biggest signs of a toxic relationship is having unresolved issues.
In fact, all toxic relationships have unresolved issues.
When you keep each other accountable, you resolve issues as they come up. When you don’t, this causes them to be put on the back burner. In turn, they come up again later, except this time they’re 10x the problem they were before. Handle issues early and often if you want to avoid toxic relationships.
7. Lack of Trust
Unresolved issues lead to a lack of trust. This is why most toxic relationships have all of these signs, with the exception of physical abuse.
Most of the signs of toxic relationships, especially the last 3, are interconnected. When there’s a lack of accountability, then unresolved issues build up, which creates a lack of trust.
It could be lack of trust around:
- your girlfriend cheating
- talking to other guys without you knowing
- or just not being able to trust if she wants to be with you from one moment to the next
Trust is critical to a relationship. When you can’t trust your girlfriend (or boyfriend, wife, husband, etc.), there’s going to be hostility to a degree. And there’s always going to be an element of toxicity that arises.
Why are toxic relationships are so addicting?
The On and Off, Hot and Cold nature of these toxic relationships is what’s addicting. You literally get a dopamine rush when things get hot. But because they get so hot, things also get cold. Most people in today’s age, both men and women, think that getting the strongest feelings and attachment makes for a healthy relationships. But that’s not the case.
Most people don’t marry their fantasy’s, unless that fantasy was having a healthy relationship with a mature person from day one.
The women you’re obsessed with, or the men that women are obsessed with, generally aren’t the ones they end up with. Because all of that intensity wears out. Toxic relationships are toxic because they’re addicting, addictions end with the person dead or recovered.
Toxic relationships will ruin your life
You need to realize that toxic relationships end with break ups in the best case scenario. Sure, it’s always possible that both of you mature and 10 years from now have a better understanding of psychology and basic communication skills. But don’t count on it. You can count on gaining relationship skills yourself if you put in effort.
As a man, you need to stay in your manhood and lead the relationship. Yet you also will benefit greatly by learning how to communicate with your girlfriends / wives / women in your lives.
This doesn’t mean you get weak or cry or nothing beta. However, you can still communicate with women clearly to set your terms, and discuss issues as they arise. If you bring up issues you see and keep yourself and her accountable, you will maintain your leadership position while keeping a healthy relationship.
A lot of guys try to be cold to their girlfriends. While it’s good not to get overly emotional and have control over your emotions, being cold isn’t the answer if you want the relationship to last. You can be cold in the sense that you’re not always giving emotions and giving big reactions. But you need to address problems and disrespect when it comes up.
Obsession never lasts
Being cold to her and showing emotion will get her super obsessed with you, and you’ll have all the power, but this will be a toxic relationship. Having a girl be 100% into you when you’re 0 into her sounds cool, but in reality these relationships don’t last.
Girls don’t stay with the guys they are obsessed with forever. Because that state never lasts.
If you do actually want your relationship to last, you do need to give your woman emotions from time to time. Again, don’t go overboard with this. This should be controlled. If she’s upset, sometimes she needs some love and comfort. If she’s angry, sometimes she needs you to fight with her a little bit, before you shut down the fight and not letting it get too far.
Lead, be strong, and learn to give some emotions here and there
While you want to avoid a toxic relationship, women do need some emotions from you. If you give too much emotion, she’ll have all the power and you’re the one who thinks it will be a toxic relationship, while she’ll look at you as an annoying weak beta. If you give her no emotion, you’ll have all the power, but you’ll be annoyed of her as well, while she’ll always be crying over you and the relationship.
Instead, it’s better if you remain in a calm state internally at all times, and give some emotion from time to time in the relationship. But doing this with full understanding and control, using the emotions because you know she needs it sometimes, not overindulging in them. You should still maintain your cool internally and never get too emotional. You still need to be the rock in the relationship.
It’s a tough balance, to be the cool, calm, collected rock, yet give her a bit of emotion from time to time. But if you lead the relationship properly, communicate clearly, set your terms, and keep both of you accountable, and give her some emotion from time to time in a controlled way, you can have a healthy long lasting relationship instead of the toxic relationships you see most people in.