Featured Image: chrisellelim
Article By: Melina Brum
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “love is blind” once or twice in your life. There’s a quote by Will Moss that explains, “love is not blind—it sees more and not less, but because it sees more it is willing to see less.” Whether it’s portrayed in movies, novels, or real-life situations, it seems to be a common theme to be intoxicated by love. I never really understood the concept until I got older and witnessed my friends (and myself) in serious relationships. I have come to realize that deep feelings are often served with tunnel vision and a side of clouded judgment. Don’t get me wrong, being in a romantic relationship has its ooey-gooey perks, but it also has its disadvantages. Of course, everyone has their flawed moments from time to time. The problem is when those moments result in making someone else feel unloved, unsafe, or unsure. It’s important to draw the line between what’s normal and what’s toxic.
No matter what relationship you’re in—romantic, platonic, or familial—you should always feel respected, safe, cared for, and appreciated. More often than not, people get trapped in toxic romantic relationships. Not to say they are intentionally throwing themselves into bad romances, but sometimes situations silently progress. When this occurs, it’s easy to become oblivious to the signs.
Naturally, you gain feelings for someone and focus on their positive attributes. The problem is, when you are infatuated, you create an ideal image of this person and fall in love with your supreme perception of them. From then on, in any circumstance, you remember them as their highlight reel. This is dangerous because it essentially cancels out their negative traits. Sometimes it’s easier to fall in love with an ideal version of a lover rather than the reality of a lover. Isn’t this the case with most situations in life? Humans have this urge to escape reality, thinking it will ease their suffering—when in actuality, this could be the cause of it.
If you are in an unfit relationship, you might not be aware of the damage being done. It’s very common to get sucked in before identifying or confronting warning signs. In order to understand what’s good for you, you need to recognize what you should and should not endure in a relationship. You deserve compassion, devotion, requited love, and all things honorable. Trust me, I know it’s easier said than done to cut people out of your life. By recognizing how you should be treated is the first step in the right direction. By doing so, you are acknowledging your self-worth and respecting your dignity. To help you out, I’ve listed 7 negative behaviors that you should not tolerate in any relationship:
1. Discouraging Your Aspirations
When it comes to your dreams and ambitions, your partner should be nothing but supportive and encouraging—no matter how far-fetched your objectives may appear to them. If you want to be a movie star, go for it, don’t let anybody rain on your parade. No one should ever make you feel silly or impractical for aspiring toward something bigger, let alone someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally. Keep in mind if they are jealous of your talents, they might attempt to belittle your success. Never surrender to someone’s selfishness by passing up future goals and opportunities. Remember that your partner should want to see you succeed at what you’re passionate about.
2. Making Accusations
If your partner makes false accusations of you cheating on them, it sounds like they have trust issues. Just because they’re insecure with your relationship, this doesn’t give them the right to accuse you of crimes you didn’t commit. This immature behavior can be extremely frustrating and toxic. If there is genuine concern, the problem should be confronted maturely, wouldn’t you think? Your integrity should be honored; it’s offensive for someone to senselessly question your loyalty. If there is no valid reason for your partner to presume dishonesty, they might have a destructive view of the relationship. Why would they be so quick to assume you’re cheating? Maybe they possess deceitful traits themselves. Alternatively, maybe their insecurities and jealousy issues have manipulated their thoughts. This can potentially be the cause of bigger issues down the road. This leads me to my next point…
3. Controlling Your Every Move
Having to control someone else’s actions is a sign of a narcissistic personality. If your partner has to have a say in everything you do, they exhibit a need to be in charge of you. Don’t get this confused with affection or adoration—they are simply feeding their own ego. The concern revolves around themselves, not you. A lot of people find possession attractive and are fooled into thinking it’s an expression of love. Nothing about possessiveness is authentic or progressive for a relationship, it will only lead to hardships in the future. It’s important to catch these signs in the early stages of a relationship. The further invested you are, the more blind you’ll be to controlling behavior.
4. Shaming Your Appearance
In no way, shape, or form should your significant other be shaming your appearance. If they call you names that make you feel insecure about your looks, they’re immature and undoubtedly ill-mannered. Not only is making fun of your body or features obscene, but it can also be a form of abuse. Your partner might be trying to manipulate you into believing you’re not appealing to anyone else. Therefore, you will never be good enough for somebody—meaning you will never leave their control. This dominating behavior is repulsive and should not be tolerated. They’re attempting to bring you down to their level of insecurity and internal ugliness. Don’t let anyone convince you that you aren’t perfectly fine just the way you are.
5. Overstepping Boundaries
Everyone has their limits. If you’re sensitive to a certain subject for whatever reason, and your partner proceeds to taunt you about it, they need to go. I can’t stress how harmful this behavior is. After expressing your discomfort with something, the person who loves you should be empathetic enough to respect your limits. It’s dangerous if they intentionally overstep those boundaries. For example, if something triggers your anxiety and they make a joke of it, or if they taunt you with an addiction you’re trying to overcome—these are major deal-breakers. You need to eliminate yourself from any situation where somebody purposefully makes you uncomfortable after voicing your distress to them.
6. Poor Communication Skills
One of the key factors in any relationship in life is communication. I know, I know, this one is a given… but believe it or not, people have major difficulty applying this skill. There should be a present comfort in confronting all issues in your relationship. If someone refuses to listen to you and acknowledge your side of the situation, it’s just not worth it. If your partner consistently talks over you and tries to override your opinion, they aren’t respecting who you are. Disagreements are totally normal, it’s how you handle them that counts. Communication isn’t only correlated with arguments though, it should be used to express appreciation. It’s important to voice what you admire about your significant other, it shows that you care enough to let them know. Anyone who is worth your time will make the effort to share their thoughts of adoration.
7. Invalidating Your Thoughts and Feelings
It’s vital to understand that before you were in a relationship, you were your own person with unique experiences. You have your own life, besides the one that you share with your partner. This means you have experienced many things and are insightful on many subjects. If someone tries to invalidate or belittle your feelings and opinions on anything, this is a red flag. There’s a difference between having your own opinion versus claiming someone else’s opinion to be invalid. You are intelligent, and you have a right to your own feelings. If you’re feeling an emotion, don’t allow your partner to discredit it, if you’re angry, you have a reason to be. If you’re sad, you’re allowed to cry, if you’re happy, you can celebrate however you’d like. Don’t allow anyone to undermine your thoughts and expressions.
If you find yourself in a situation that resembles anything mentioned in this article, be aware and take the appropriate action to move forward. Evaluate your relationship, figure out if you’re more bothered than happy. Bear in mind that you are your own person and relationships are about a healthy companionship.