11 Signs the Guy You’re Dating is Toxic: Red Flags in a Relationship post image

Bad relationships happen to the best of us. We don’t mean to get into these toxic situations, it’s just hard to see beyond the blinding lights of lust and what we mistake as love.

When you meet a guy and feel that ever-evasive click, it’s really hard to tear yourself away no matter how loud the alarm bells sound. I get it. I’ve been there and I’ve lived it and I’ve suffered the inevitable consequences of staying in these damaging relationships for a little too long.

MORE: 5 Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship 

If you want to have success in your love life and avoid heartbreak and pain, you have to choose wisely. That means choosing someone who wants what you want (and more importantly, someone who wants you, not someone you have to chase to pin down).

And with that, here is my ultimate list of signs you’re dating a guy that you need to be running away from. Be honest with yourself. If a few of these hit a little too close to home it’s time to get some cardio and hit the pavement!

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12 Subtle Signs of Emotional Abuse in Your Relationship post image

The signs of physical abuse are pretty cut and dried because they always involve unwanted bodily contact or physical force of some kind that’s meant to harm or intimidate.

If he touches you physically in any way that harms or traumatizes you, it’s physical abuse. The most obvious example of physical abuse is hitting, but other forms of unwanted contact also apply, such as pushing, grabbing, kicking, pinching, restraining, and even unwanted sexual contact when you’ve said no or are being coerced into doing things with your body that you don’t want to. Physical abuse often starts with the use of less immediate violence meant to intimidate, such as reckless driving, throwing things, and hitting walls, but this is usually a prelude to more direct violence against you like hitting.

MORE: 5 Warning Signs You’re In a Toxic Relationship (And It’s Killing You) 

Emotional abuse takes a much more subtle form and isn’t so easy to detect. Since there isn’t physical evidence, we can rationalize and reframe experiences to fit the reality we want instead of the reality we have, keeping ourselves in a state of denial.

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The Difference Between True Love and Unhealthy Obsession post image

I think  most women run into issues and confusion in their love lives because they don’t know what a truly healthy relationship looks like, and is supposed to feel like. And it’s not surprising given the very unrealistic portrayals of love in movies, TV, and music. There is this idea that we have one soul mate and that real love stories are supposed to be filled with obstacles and drama. While this makes for good entertainment, it isn’t real life.

Most of the love stories we see in pop culture are rooted in infatuation…not real love. Some degree of infatuation is fine, but a relationship entirely rooted in infatuation is usually doomed. It’s usually based on an obsession, or idealization, more than a genuine appreciation and acceptance of who the other person is.

There is a tremendous difference between real, true love and unhealthy obsession or fixation… but it doesn’t always feel like that.

What do I mean by love and fixation?

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5 Warning Signs You’re In a Toxic Relationship (And It’s Killing You) post image

Something I, and unfortunately many other women, know a lot about is toxic relationships. A toxic substance is something that causes damage to you, drains you, and depletes you. A toxic relationship can irrevocably damage your sense of self.

There are toxic relationships and then there are toxic relationships, and I found myself in the latter when I was a junior in college and head over heels in love with a guy who was all sorts of wrong. Like most relationships, this one got off to a relatively problem-free start. The chemistry was electric, the attraction was strong, conversation flowed effortlessly, and we couldn’t get enough of each other. I felt a pull toward him unlike anything I had ever felt before. I saw some signs of trouble early on, but convinced myself that it would all work out because it simply had to. But it didn’t.

As time went on things only got worse, and throughout the course of our year-long relationship I turned into a dark shadow of my former self. I was no longer fun, outgoing, optimistic, confident, and full of light. Instead I felt constantly on edge, painfully insecure, drained, and sad. I lived under a dark cloud of fear … fear that it would end, that he would leave. I may have been miserable with him, but I believed that without him I would be beyond repair, so I stayed. I stayed far longer than I should have. I stayed even though he gave me every reason not to. In the end, he was the one who left, and as expected I felt gutted.

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Exactly How to Have a Healthy Relationship post image

Here’s a situation I’ve definitely found myself in and I’m sure you can relate. You meet someone, something clicks, and suddenly a force takes you over.

After this encounter you can’t–for the life of you–get this guy out of your head. You try to think about other things, but nothing works. You ruminate over every detail of your interaction with him–what he said, what you said, what his body language said. You think about the things you wish you had said.

You check your phone constantly to see if he called or texted. If he does, your stomach drops, your heart races, you want to leap off your seat and scream for joy. And then of course you need to figure out the exact right thing to say back to him, the perfect quip to show him that you’re perfect for each other.

The high continues as you venture into a relationship and becomes even more intense. You never quite know where you stand with him. The uncertainty keeps you on your toes, constantly on alert for something that looks like a bad sign or an ominous foreshadow. This emotional rollercoaster is as exhausting as it is thrilling. You’re hooked. The worst possible thing that could happen is him leaving. It’s a fear you can’t quite shake no matter how promising the situation looks, a fear that drives everything you say and do.
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How to Fix a Toxic Relationship post image

Toxic relationships are tricky things because they rarely start out toxic. They usually start out nice and fun and exciting, giving you just enough happy memories to hold onto when the toxicity starts to creep in. It usually starts out slowly, and before you know it, you are stuck in a toxic relationship that you can’t seem to leave even though you feel totally miserable.

In my last Ask a Guy article, I discussed the defining features and signs of a toxic relationship.

Please, before you begin reading this article, make sure that you have read and understood the previous article entirely.  In this article I want to go a little deeper into how to repair a toxic relationship, and how to know if it even can be repaired, or if it’s time to walk away.

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Ask a Guy: Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship… post image

I’ve been in my relationship for over 2 years. We started out great. He was attentive, sweet, caring and I felt on top of the world with him. However, looking back I can see that after 3 months, the relationship dynamic started to change and I started to change. He started to put me down, get cold emotionally or get really angry from time to time… It wasn’t over-the-top or out of the ordinary and I would just let it go since I just wanted the relationship to fall back into harmony.

Now, after 2 years into the relationship, I’m starting to question if I’m in a toxic relationship. I have felt for a long time that I have to walk on eggshells around him… I’m afraid to say or do the wrong thing around him because I never know what will trigger his anger or harsh criticism.

On the other hand, though, when things are good, they’re really good. Our sexual chemistry is amazing, I have never connected with a man the way I connect with him and when he’s happy with me I feel like I’m on top of the world. I still love him very much and despite the negative ways he acts sometimes, I believe he loves me very much too. He’s always been faithful to me, he pays all my bills and we live together now.

I feel so conflicted: Am I in a toxic relationship? Are toxic relationships repairable? Is what I’m experiencing normal in a relationship from time to time?

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“Are You In A Toxic Relationship?” Quiz post image

Relationships can be hard, most people will admit to that. But how hard is normal exactly? And what is the line between the usual relationship ups and downs and a full on toxic relationship? It seems like it should be easy to distinguish between the two, but toxic relationships can be sneaky, sinister things and by the time you realize that you’re in one, you may be in too deep and unable to pull yourself out.

The reason it’s so hard to identify whether you’re in a toxic relationship is because they rarely start out toxic. They usually start out like most relationships, full of excitement and happiness and that warm fuzzy feeling that takes hold when you start dating someone who you share strong chemistry with.

As time goes on, however, the good times can be outweighed by the bad and even though you feel miserable, you can’t quite seem to walk away. Maybe you don’t want to admit that you’re in a toxic relationship. Or maybe you think things will suddenly snap back into place one day and you’ll feel that same sense of euphoria that you did in the beginning.

Knowing is the hardest part, but it’s also the most important which is why we’ve created this super accurate, super quick quiz to help you determine if you’re in a toxic relationship.

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