You can google for days searching signs of a bad relationship. You may fit a few of the criteria. And then you rationalise that it might be okay because you don’t fit them all. I know, because I do it too.
If you find yourself asking any question along the lines of is my relationship toxic? then you are experiencing a pretty bad situation.
The problem is, when you find yourself in a bad situation, it is nearly impossible to see clearly. It isn’t just that your partner is toxic; it is that the entire environment in which you exist has become toxic. It affects your ability to think clearly; it affects your self-esteem and your life begins to shrink as you hide the truth from friends and family out of sheer embarrassment over the truth of your relationship.
Watch: Relationship deal breakers. Post continues below.
What toxic really means.
Relationships are by definition, the way in which two people are connected to one another. When it becomes toxic, two people have become dependent on one another for how they feel.
Instead of being self-sufficient and finding their value in the world by what they contribute, they depend on their partner to make them feel good.
In place of a genuine connection between partners, you find manufactured drama. By fighting, toxic partners can feel some emotion for each other by fearing loss of the relationship. This descends into a cycle of bickering and disagreement followed by making up, maybe followed by great sex. Then, just for a moment the relationship feels like true love.