Partners unconsciously send up some red flags that indicate the kind of person they are, especially if they're toxic.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 30, 2020. It has since been updated.
When you get into a relationship, you do so with the expectation and hope that there will be mutual love, respect, commitment, and trust between you and your partner. However, sometimes, our partner's true colors start to come out, and while it may not be too obvious at the start, slowly, certain phrases and behaviors stand out and not in a good way. Dr. Lillian Glass, a California-based communication and psychology expert, defines a toxic relationship as “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.”
And it's small actions that can be your warning signs. Whether it's your partner trying to control how much you meet your friends or disguise insults as compliments, you may brush it off in the beginning but later on, realize just how toxic such behavior is. For a lot of you, it can leave you with scars that remain for a long time. One Twitter user named Halima decided to ask her followers what signs they saw that were "red flags" of a toxic relationship that they should have noticed before.
Hi loves, let’s start a very important thread on toxic relationships. We don’t enter relationships with a guide or ANY sense of what’s normal and what’s toxic and it’s left a lot of us lost and traumatized.— Halima🧞♀️ (@imdatfeminist) February 17, 2020
“I should have known the relationship was toxic when....” Add yours.
Here are the responses from various women:
“I should have known the relationship was toxic when he accused me of being crazy everytime his lies were exposed”— Charlotte ☁️ (@catchpole75) February 17, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when I was begging for the person I cared about for communication and consistency. When everything and everyone else came before me and when I would express myself then I was the bad guy.— girl with the dragon tattoo (@K1SSFROMAROSE) February 17, 2020
i should have known the relationship was toxic when he hugged me onto his lap, looked into my eyes, and said (while smiling) “you are not my person and you never will be”— ☽☉☾ (@solelunastro) February 17, 2020
..when he took me away from everyone else and tried to convince me they hated me— Songbird 🎶 (@songstrix) February 18, 2020
when he always had a negative opinion about what i ate, what i wore, every show, movie, artist, all music that I liked, he'd call it shit/rubbish, would be jealous of my friends, professors, family, once compared me to "Pygmalion" and treated our relationship like a prison.— Vanessa Clark (@FoxxyGlamKitty) February 17, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when he refused to commit but would view me as the problem if I entertained anyone else.I should have known the relationship was toxic when he would would disappear for a long time and come back as if nothing happened.— Invader Slim (@ari_bignal) February 17, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when...I was making up the apologies I wasn’t getting everytime I expressed my hurt.— egg body (@elizabethsnazz) February 17, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when I constantly had to ask permission to do the things, or talk to the people that I cared about because he was threatened or jealous 😬— Mira (@ohheyitsmira) February 17, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when I was the only one willing to compromise time and time again; giving so much of myself with minimal effort on his part. It was only ever on his terms, when I brought it up he would gaslight me.— Michèle (@the_pohlkat) February 17, 2020
my mental health would be thrown in my face when he didn’t get his way. i thought it was me being the toxic one and everything was turned into my fault. gaslighting and manipulation to its finest— nae (@renae_blaich) February 17, 2020
I shpuld have known the relationship was toxic when I was ready to compromise and settle for less than what I wanted and had to constantly convince myself that “it’s gonna get better” .— trishaaaaaa (@trrriiiisshhaaa) February 17, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when he “tried” to hang himself with an extension cord because I was hanging out with my friends. Which was really just manipulation. I should have known the relationship was toxic when he said “You asked for it” when I was assaulted— Em :/ (@lewinemilay) February 17, 2020
I should have know the relationship was toxic when I realized I was the least of the priorities in his life ,I actually came last ,no communication ,begged for attention and time ,he took the side of his x and protected her over me, never again— Anne rose 🇰🇪 (@candybaibe170) February 17, 2020
I found myself spending hours every day deciphering our texts, figuring out why he was acting the way he was (inconsistent and hot/cold) and writing whole paragraphs beforehand to get my point across without making him upset/blaming me/ giving me the silent treatment— ʀคคѕнιкค ɢ๏ʏคʟ (@AdrenalineRaash) February 17, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when he pointed out my flaws and compared me to every other girl. I don’t know if I can ever fully repair my insecurity in relationships. I hate it.— Dalfy ➳ (@Dalfairy) February 18, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when I basically had to cut off all ties with all of my guy friends. Over time, I felt isolated to only the relationship.— meli 🛸 (@meliveeee) February 17, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when I realized he was very argumentative with me and constantly saying what I need to do to look better and bringing more attention to my “flaws”/insecurities— 💥 (@OGcalibarbie) February 17, 2020
i should gave known the relationship was toxic when he tried to make me feel low for crying when he cheated when we were fresh in the relationship.— camrien 💗 (@camriendm) February 17, 2020
I should have known the relationship was toxic when every time he upset me, he'd say im too sensitive, and I had to beg to be loved and treated like a girlfriend should be— stella (@sunfIowerdior) February 17, 2020
i should've known the relationship was toxic when i was in constant fear of losing them because they kept leaving— mimi 💫 (@_ameliaophelia) February 17, 2020
i should've known the relationship was toxic when i was putting in the most effort and not having it reciprocated