In the beginning, infatuation makes it very difficult to see through to the toxic center of an individual.
You’re over the moon, beside yourself with a vitality for life you haven’t felt before or in some time. You have no inclination to stop this high and have a bias for anything that threatens to take it from you.
But toxicity can and will creep quickly into your life, and every facet of it, whether that’s physical or emotional abuse or the mind games of the narcissist, so you need to be vigilant to protect your positivity and happiness.
It’s hard to see the signs that someone is toxic early on in a relationship. That is unless you know what you’re looking for.
You still have your work cut out for you, but if you know what to look for it’s much easier to avoid a toxic partner and save yourself the heartache and emotional toll.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
– Wayne Dyer
Here are five signs your new relationship might become toxic.
1. There’s tension early on
When it comes to relationships, you need to go with your heart. And that means paying attention to how you feel: how you feel about them, how you feel about yourself while you’re with them, and how you feel about your life as the relationship progresses.
Tension develops in any good relationship, especially when you move in together, get married, and have children. But early on? That’s a bad sign.
If you notice, or feel, like there’s tension developing early, that’s a good sign your new relationship will eventually become toxic.
2. Your relationship is making you do (or feel) worse, not better
Any good relationship should coax out from you the best parts of yourself. It should make you a better person.
If your relationship is throwing you off, whether that means you’re not doing as well as you were professionally or personally with this person than when you were on your own, or you just don’t feel as good about yourself, the relationship probably has a toxic trajectory.
3. You feel like you’re settling
At times in your life, settling might appear to be the safe option. It may appear to be the “secure” and more “surefire” route to a happy life.
After all, you’ve found someone pretty good. Who knows if you’ll find someone else better, right? And you don’t want to end up alone.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Settling festers all kinds of long-term issues in a relationship, namely intense frustration and unrest.
Over time, you’re just not going to be happy — neither person is, even if you’re the only person who believes themselves to be settling — and that will create a lot of toxicity between you and your partner.
It might be hard to hear right now but it’s always better to get out there and live your life to the fullest and not wait around for the right person to show up on your doorstep. In my experience, you’re much more likely to find someone who is right for you if you just pursue the things that fill you with passion and vitality and let life guide you.
4. They show signs of having two personalities
One of the biggest warning signs of narcissistic and sociopathic behavior is when your partner displays the ability to flip a switch and suddenly turn into another — less empathetic, demanding, and angry — person.
It can be hard to notice little signs of potential toxicity in the early stages of a relationship. Fortunately, given how dangerous the level of toxicity is in the case of a narcissist or sociopath, this is quite easy to notice if you know what you’re looking for.
Watch out for your partner becoming intensely angry, often shedding all or any of their characteristic warmth, when certain things occur such as:
- When they don’t get what they want
- When they believe they’re being questioned or disagreed with
- And, sometimes, completely out of the blue with no discernable source of frustration
5. They’re inconsistent
It’s just one of those basic requirements of any good, stable relationship that you need to be able to count on the other person.
If early on, the other person shows themselves to be somewhat inconsistent, unreliable, and generally dodgy, it’s not going to end well.
There are several reasons someone could be acting in a manner that befits these qualities, however, it’s virtually always connected with a lack of understanding and a certain moral fiber.
They’re not prepared to care for another person the way someone needs to be cared for in a relationship and you don’t deserve someone that’s going to treat you that way.