If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing about my previous relationships it would be to pay attention to the little warning signs in the first few months.
Paying attention and choosing to walk away after seeing the warning signs would have saved me a lot of heartaches.
After all, someone doesn’t immediately start abusing you right out of the gates. If they did it before an emotional and physical connection was built then you wouldn’t stay with them.
Instead, it is similar to the analogy about the frog in boiling water. You don’t realize the situation that you are in until it’s too late because the relationship turns toxic very slowly.
Luckily, there are some warning signs that you can pay attention to if you are in the beginning stages of a relationship.
If you are feeling or experiencing these things it is either time to talk to your partner about changing their behavior or you need to jump ship.
You feel the need to keep some relationships private
It’s important to have your own social life outside of with the person that you are intimate with.
However, if you are trying to build a circle of relationships and keeping it a secret from your partner it is most likely because of two reasons.
Either you are subconsciously trying to avoid your relationship, or you subconsciously feel like you need to keep your personal life separate from your partner as a means of survival.
It’s healthy to have relationships that are separate from your significant other but if you find that you are hiding them all together you may already sense that the writing is on the wall.
There is no time for your friends or yourself
Someone wanting to spend every waking moment with you may seem sweet in the beginning and romantic but it’s actually a huge warning sign.
In a healthy relationship, your partner will encourage you to spend time alone and with your friends.
In a toxic relationship, isolating you from your friends and preventing you from having any alone time is a means of control.
Cutting you off from your support system ensures that a controlling partner will most likely be able to gain full control because you won’t want to leave. Ensuring you don’t spend time alone with your thoughts allows them to gaslight, confuse, and manipulate you.
You are both mentally and physically uneasy
If you are nervous to share your emotions, feelings, or thoughts with your partner that is a huge warning sign.
If you are in a situation where you are constantly being critiqued you are naturally going to be more careful and this can lead to walking on eggshells in order to not upset an emotionally unsteady partner.
Our bodies often react to things before we do, and paying attention to how you feel is a huge indicator of if there could be a danger.
If you feel like your heart is constantly racing with anxiety listen to it. If you are suddenly getting sick all the time, think about the kind of energy you are letting into your life.
You confuse jealousy with love
In more recent pop culture examples of “the ideal man” such as Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey, we are supposed to be convinced that jealousy is a sexy and desirable trait by the male protagonists.
However, if you are seeking a healthy relationship that is built on a pillar of trust than jealousy is not a sexy or desirable trait.
Jealousy stems from insecurity and it is not an attractive trait nor is it love. Someone may try to make you believe that they are acting jealous because they just love you so much, but that’s not acceptable.
Letting any jealousy slide will allow someone to be possessive and controlling if the behavior isn’t stopped.
After many unhealthy relationships and more heartbreaks than I want to remember, I came to the following conclusion.
Love should make you feel free.
If someone is trying to control you or possess you it is not romantic.
If you aren’t excited about your relationship and you feel uneasy and uncertain you need to pay attention to those feelings.
Remember that red flags aren’t always obvious and paying attention to the subtle warning signs could save you a whole lot of heartache.