12 Unexpected Signs of a Toxic Partner That One Ought to Run Away From as Fast as Possible

The concept of marriage has gone through numerous changes. People get married later and less frequently, and they get divorced more often. Moreover, single parents who raise their kids alone are no longer considered a sore thumb. The reasons for divorces are different, whether it be due to general conflict, adultery, not bearing responsibility, etc. And at the same time, people tend to blame themselves more than their partners when the relationship gets ruined.

We at Bright Side suspect that many people are prone to idealizing their partners at the beginning, which leads to getting surprised at how such a wonderful partner can become such a jerk. But red flags are actually visible early on — you just have to remove those rose-colored glasses and not mistake manipulation with romance.

1. A readiness to support any choice their partner makes

Some people don’t take initiative or are prone to meet halfway — that’s totally normal. But a toxic person not only doesn’t want to make decisions themselves, but they will accept their partner’s decision and then blame them for all the trouble it caused.

Such a person will first tell their soulmate to choose a restaurant for them to have lunch at or a route to follow, but ultimately, they’ll be disappointed. The food will seem bland to them, the service will be awful, the weather will be terrible and, all in all, the whole idea will be a big waste of time. Such a person will easily find a reason to blame their partner.

2. Romance with tricks

Perhaps it’s easy for manipulators to do their dark deals for the simple reason that they can easily put their guilt on others. They can cause this unpleasant feeling in another person, even if he or she is not guilty at all. Oftentimes, manipulation is disguised as care or romantic gestures.

A manipulative spouse will support their partner’s wish to start work after maternity leave, for example, but later they’ll mess with their brain, constantly whining and saying things like, “We feel so bad without you at home, we miss you so much.” Even after having insulted the partner, the manipulator won’t be able to apologize in a normal way and will try to shift guilt onto the one they insulted.

3. Love on-the-cuff

Psychologists call this type of toxic partner a “user.” They are very nice and gentle from the outside, but they’ll never tell you a kind word without a reason behind it. All their actions are driven by personal profit.

“I’ll give you flowers if you cook dinner for me,” or “I’ll give you a cool present as long as I get what I want from you later.” That’s how “users” think. Up until a certain moment, they’ll wear a mask of a loving partner, and when something goes against the plan, they show their real face.

4. Passive-aggressive care

A toxic person wants to control a partner but may be afraid to take control directly. That’s when they come up with tricks that are perfectly noticeable in situations relating to communication with other people.

For example, while a guy is getting ready to meet his friends, the girl will continue to “cheer him up” by saying, “I feel bad I have to stay home alone. But it’s okay, you can go and spend time with your buddies.” The guy will start to feel bad about leaving her, while the girl doesn’t look like a manipulator, but rather, a person capable of self-sacrifice.

Here is another situation: a guy doesn’t want his girlfriend to join him at a party and disguises his despotism as care, saying, “You look tired, you’d better stay home and get some rest. I’ll go by myself and somehow try to survive this evening.”

5. Overly passionate compliments and confessions

As they say, even a cat likes to hear good words but, alas, some people hide their filthy manipulations behind the beautiful words they say. Let’s look at the seemingly romantic confession, “No one will love you as much as I do.”

This phrase can be translated from the manipulator’s language to a common one, and we’ll get something like, “Only I need you. If you leave me, you’ll stay eternally lonely.” Moreover, such a confession reads as an attempt to control: “No one is going to love you because I am your final destination.”

6. The desire to spend every minute together

The desire to constantly be close is another sign of a toxic relationship. A toxic partner may constantly call on their other half, asking to switch on a video, arrange surprises by meeting them after work, or become an SMS maniac when their partner isn’t around. They may say something like, “I get really worried when you don’t text me.”

In movies and books, such behavior is often shown through the prism of romance and looks like an indication of true love. However, in real life, such behavior indicates the attempt to control, and it should serve as a warning for the other partner.

7. Anxious jealousy

Scientists outline 2 types of jealousy: reactive and suspicious. Reactive jealousy appears as a reaction to a partner’s actual action, such as cheating or flirting. Suspicious jealousy is based not on facts, but on making conclusions. The partner is speaking on the phone with their colleague and they assume they’re having an affair! Or if the person spends a lot of time on social media, it must mean they want to cheat on their partner.

Reactive jealousy is more natural, while a partner’s proneness to suspicious jealousy is definitely a red flag in relationships. As a rule, such people are anxious, suffer from low self-esteem, and expect constant proof of love from their partner. At the same time, it’s impossible to prove something to a pathologically jealous person, and life with them soon turns miserable.

8. Making serving another person a life goal

It’s absolutely normal to take care of each other, but trying to assert oneself at the expense of another person is not normal. When a person’s value is determined by the benefits they bring to their soul mate, the relationship becomes toxic. And it works both ways.

For example, a partner might feel obliged to make the life of their loved one comfortable, otherwise, they might feel like they’re not needed. Or they may “let” their soul mate serve them and make them feel comfortable so that their partner feels needed.

9. A willingness to scream about their feelings to everyone around them

In a healthy relationship, a person can openly express their thoughts and feelings, share their opinions, and set boundaries that their soul mate won’t cross. In an unhealthy relationship, you can build high walls, but your soul mate will break them down anyway.

Disregard can manifest itself, even in small details that many believe to be romantic. For example, a spouse may ask not to post their private photos on social media, and the next day they’ll see their photos on their partner’s Instagram. Even if the caption to the photo is sweet, this doesn’t negate the fact that the partner doesn’t care about the other person’s opinion and comfort.

10. Eternal love at first sight

It’s one thing when your boyfriend embarrassingly says, “It seems I have fallen in love with you,” on the third date. But it’s a totally different story when he solemnly declares, “You are the love of my life.” Such loud declarations at the early stage of a relationship are typical of narcissists.

What’s so bad about such early confessions, you ask? Things will eventually turn sour when this partner sees the imperfections of his or her soul mate. The idealized image of the person they declared to be their eternal love will start to crumble. This person will feel disappointed, and their behavior can become cold and even aggressive.

11. Love with mystery and many obstacles

A dark past and disrespectful words about ex-partners are very alarming signs. Alas, many people prefer not to notice them or simply interpret them in a romantic manner. “He never speaks about the last 5 years of his life, he is such a mysterious man,” or “Her husband didn’t appreciate her, that’s why she was cheating on him, but I will show her what true love is.”

If a person doesn’t speak about their past, they may be hiding shameful things that would be better to warn their partner about. If he or she is pouring dirt on their exes and bragging about how masterfully they took revenge on them, you can be sure that they’ll do the same thing to their other partners as well.

12. Not-so-random accidents

A toxic person wants to control their partner and not let them communicate with “undesirable” people. This control can manifest in different ways. It can be done with the help of tricky questions (“Would you rather go and have fun with friends or stay at home with me?”), with blackmailing (“You need to choose — me or them?”), and even with random “happenstance.” Here is a real example of this, provided by this article’s author.

  • My ex-boyfriend, Tom, never forbade me to go alone anywhere. But every time I was planning to have a get-together with someone without him, he suddenly would feel sick, call me, and ask in a dying voice to come back home and hold his hand. I was 18 and I truly believed he had bad health. Also, it was nice to know that you have some kind of healing abilities.
    Everything unfolded when my friends and I decided to go to the mountains one weekend. Half an hour later, Tom called me and excitedly informed me that he had bought tickets for an expensive concert that would be held on the same weekend in another city. He also added, “It’s my present to you, you can start packing!”
    When I said that I had other plans and that he should have warned me about this, Tom burst out, saying, “So you like to have fun with other guys more, right? What are you going to do there in the mountains?” That’s when I realized he was reading my messages and kept ruining my plans. I dumped him, and he was “sick” for the next month, telling our mutual friends that I never appreciated him.

What bad actions from your partner are you willing to forgive, and which ones will make you end the relationship right then and there?

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