15 Signs Of A Toxic Relationship | iAmEars: Safe place to speak your heart and get community support
In the last two weeks our therapists have answered 211 queries related to mental health.
Blog Details

Debamita Banerjee


15 Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

Relationships are an indispensable part of human life. Everybody craves companionship and goes to drastic lengths to receive it. Fights and disagreements are a part and parcel of every normal relationship, but at the end of the day, the right relationship makes you happy on the whole. Toxic relationships are a different story altogether.  

It's sometimes hard to recognize that you're being subjected to toxicity and abuse when you're so emotionally invested. You need to distance yourself from such an association before it causes long-term damage.  

Signs You're in a Toxic Relationship  

No relationship is perfect but neither is it supposed to be the most draining part of your life. If any of the below-mentioned signs sound familiar to you, it's time to either talk it out seriously with your partner or move on towards better things.  

Here are some common signs of a toxic relationship.  

Lack of Respect  

We often value love and care the most when it comes to relationships but in actuality, respect is the driving factor behind every connection, whether it's personal or professional. Somebody who doesn't respect you has no consideration for your emotions or aspirations and will disregard your opinion at every turn. Mutual respect is what helps you get through the rough phases without causing permanent damage and at no point should you tolerate a partner belittling you.    

Controlling and Manipulation  

Despite two people coming together to be a part of each other's lives, their individuality must not be compromised. If you get into fights over slightly late text replies or your partner polices your lifestyle choices, it's a clear sign of toxicity. In fact, this control can often transform into mental, verbal, or even physical abuse over time.  

Lack of Trust and Dishonesty  

Trust and honesty go hand-in-hand. There needs to trust in a relationship and it mustn't be exploited through dishonest behavior. It's hard to keep up with somebody who doubts your every move. The constant questions and disapproving glare can start feeling burdensome.  

Similarly, lying about things whether they're big or small time and time again points towards toxicity as well. Reliability is what makes having a companion so valuable to most of us. You can hang onto a relationship of this sort as long as you want to, but it'll likely go nowhere.


A relationship consists of two partners who have an equal say and contribution over all matters. It doesn't mean that every penny spent needs to be shared or every chore divided in half. There just needs to be a give and take for both partners involved. If you notice your partner making all the decisions, expecting you to pay every bill, or putting in significantly lesser effort compared to you, it's about time you re-evaluate your circumstances.  

Lack of Support  

Your significant other needs to be your ride or die in life. They must call you out when you're heading towards the wrong path but continuous criticism without any support reflects an overly critical approach. Healthy relationships are based on a mutual desire to see each other succeed and live their best life. If your partner never helps you achieve your goals and blatantly discourages every new idea you have, you're going to start feeling lonely.  

Persistent Negativity  

If every time you talk to your partner an air of negativity engulfs you, they're not serving any productive purpose in your life. Our lives aren't TV shows and never-ending drama can get exhausting. You shouldn't have to fight for love every single day. A toxic relationship seldom yields anything positive despite the lessons you learn. Hence, if you're feeling perpetual negative vibes from your partner, chances are that they're toxic for you.  

Excessive Jealousy

Romantic relationships are bound to come with a certain degree of jealousy, but you should be alarmed when it starts to go overboard. Both the partners should take into account the sanctity of the relationship and carry their social lives accordingly. But, if your partner accuses you of betrayal or hinders you from seeing people you care about, it's a sign of deep-rooted insecurities.    

Their jealousy might also stem from you doing well in your career or social interactions. You're not liable to downplaying your success to stroke a partner's ego. 

Unhealthy Communication  

To have a happy relationship, it's essential to have an open line of communication. If you're too apprehensive or scared of expressing your true feelings in front of your partner then it means that you don't feel comfortable around them. It's much better to have things out in the open compared to brewing in anger and bitterness on your own.    

If every conversation the two of you have ends with snarky comments, hostility, and guilt, you need to alter your existing communication patterns.  


When you choose to intertwine your life with another's, you sometimes have to prioritize their needs before yours. This certainly doesn't mean dedicating your whole life to serve them, but there must exist mutual care and compassion.    

Overly narcissistic behavior can cause any relationship to fizz out. If your partner is blind to your wants and doesn't try to strike any kind of balance, the relationship only exists to fulfill their personal demands. Such an equation holds next to nothing for the other half.  

Feeling Unworthy

A lot of people place their self-worth in how others perceive and treat them. The effect is even more pronounced with the people you love. In most toxic relationships, your partner often can't fulfill your need for affection and makes you feel bad about yourself. This can set off a feeling of unworthiness, inadequacy, and even self-hatred. You might start believing that this is how good relationships get for you and you don't deserve any better than the treatment you receive.    


You can never be too sure of anything in life because the only thing really expected is the unexpected. But, if you're constantly uncertain about their feelings for you and the future of the relationship, then it is probably not made for the long term. Partners usually learn each other's behavioral patterns over time and can predict the other's reach to provide comfort accordingly. A lack of basic understanding and compatibility never lets you get into this comfort zone. There remains constant friction between the two of you.  

Playing the Victim Card

Unless there's outright abuse involved, both partners in a relationship are to blame for the issues caused. If you notice that your significant other always try to portray you as the bad guy and themselves as the victim, it means that they're not trying to solve the issue between the two of you but prove themselves right. It's important to remember that in some situations you indeed might be in the wrong, but the goal of any fight should be to find a solution rather than plain bashing.  


As your relationship extends and evolves, the initial butterflies in the stomach and excitement might simmer down but if you seem to grow or learn in absolutely no way, then your relationship can soon turn toxic. Spending years with somebody who does not intrigue you at all can be gruesome. You could start to resent each other over time and have ugly fights.  

Never-ending Criticism

You can't admire everything about somebody and you have to learn how to adjust to some degree. If your partner constantly criticizes everything you do to put you down and boost their own ego, they certainly don't have your best interests in mind. Such behavior is also detrimental to your self-confidence and can lower down your performance in all spheres of life.  

Bringing Out the Worst

Your partner is supposed to be cheering you on while you become your best self, but in a toxic relationship things play out in the exact opposite manner. If you find yourself at your worst behavior because of your partner, then you're probably not in the right relationship. You must take responsibility for your actions but it can be exhausting to move mountains every day to just feel like a good person. Hence, find someone who is better suited to your personality traits.


Toxic relationships can have dire consequences on your mental health. When a person so close to you turns out to be the one who hurts you the most, it's essential to have a steady support system. Visit iAmEars to find a group of kind and empathetic individuals who are going through similar problems as you. You can pour your heart out on the forum anonymously and receive valuable advice from the experts on our panel. You can also read through the stories of other people, interact with them, and learn from their experiences. iAmEars offers online counseling sessions with renowned counselors and psychiatrists so that you can consult medical professionals to revive from the mental and emotional damage incurred. Find a safe space for your mental well-being at iAmEars.  


People often choose to stay in toxic relationships because they're too attached or have spent years building up an equation that now destroys their peace. If you can relate your current state with the multiple signs mentioned above, do not be afraid of separation. Try your best to solve the existing issues with your partner. Couples therapy can be a great alternative if both of you are willing to work through your issues. But in case you can't, remember that it's not the end of your life. Not every relationship is meant to be and it's much better being in solitude that fulfills you instead of an unhealthy relationship.