6 Signs You’re in an Unhealthy Relationship

While Valentine’s Day is all about love and relationships, there is a harsh reality that teens should be aware of when in a relationship. According to RAINN, one out of every three teens in the U.S. is a victim of some sort of abuse from a dating partner. Because of how common it is among teens, it’s extremely important to know the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

Here are some of the most common signs:

1. Control

The core sign of an unhealthy relationship is control; whether it’s with fear, violence, or kindness. If you find them telling you to change things about yourself, who you can’t hang out with, where you can and can’t go, etc.; your partner is being controlling. Though, in some cases, it may not be that black and white. While these may not seem that manipulative, over time, you could find yourself completely changing in order to please them.

A sophomore who was in an unhealthy relationship said, “Looking back, I realize that a lot of what he said was controlling and was basically telling me what to do, instead of wanting what was best for me. Sometimes, it’s really hard to differentiate between the two.”

Never blame yourself for getting out of a relationship that was hurting you in the first place.”

2. Unpredictability

Although this characteristic may not be in every unhealthy relationship, it’s usually in the more blatantly aggressive ones. This trait infers that your partner is emotionally unstable, and can be set off by the most random of things. This causes you to feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells around your partner, because you’re scared of them lashing out at any little thing.

3. Ignoring

This is a clear sign of a one-sided relationship. This is when your partner disregards everything you say, and instead concentrates on everything they say. They let you get used to their selfishness, so when they do a really small, insignificant thing for you, it feels a lot bigger; this is the way they pull you back into the relationship.

A senior said, “They never listened to anything I had to say. No matter what, they were right and I was wrong. The way they felt, I had to feel the exact same way, I couldn’t feel how I wanted to feel. If they were over something, I had to get over it too. It was like I couldn’t make any choices for myself.”

4. Dependence

While it’s normal to depend on your partner in times of need, there is a point where it’s too much. When your partner constantly makes you feel needed, to the point where it seems they can’t live without you, it’s unhealthy. This is a characteristic related to guilt-tripping and manipulation. Despite whatever your partner may say, you are not responsible for their emotional well-being.

5. Belittling

This trait may seem like a joke, but when it all builds up, it can cause serious insecurities and complexes. Belittling is when your partner makes you feel bad about yourself. Not only that, but they can make your achievements, beliefs, or ideas seem silly and small. This trait will make your self-esteem so low, you feel “lucky” to be in this relationship, which is exactly what they want.

6. Blaming

This sign is common with the good manipulators. This is when you tell your partner how you feel about some of their actions, and they somehow turn the blame on you. Suddenly, you find yourself apologizing for your own feelings and comforting them.

A freshman said, “I constantly felt like I was guilty for something I didn’t even do. The problem was my fault, no matter what it was.”

If you aren’t sure whether your relationship is healthy or not, remember there are always other people you can depend on for advice. A sophomore said, “If you are unsure, definitely talk to your friends about it, because they will usually tell you their honest opinion from the view of an outsider. While it might be harsh, it’s usually true.”

Remember,  you are not solely responsible for sustaining the relationship. A senior said, “If you’re in a toxic relationship, it’s going to be hard to leave. You’re gonna wanna fix it and make it work, but if the other person isn’t trying, then you can’t force yourself to stay in that type of environment. It is never worth it to be in a toxic relationship. You could love somebody more than you love yourself, and they could still not love you; it is not your fault. Never blame yourself for getting out of a relationship that was hurting you in the first place.”