Toxic Relationships: Warning Signs, Effects, Solutions


Judy Ann Quang, Reporter

Do you know the feeling when you start dating someone and get butterflies in your stomach? Is it love or is it your conscience telling you that something is going to happen? In the beginning of many relationships, there are a lot of ups and downs that can occur between you and your significant other. 

Often times, relationships don’t work out which can lead to a break up or a mutual decision to remain friends. People will sometimes experience a toxic relationship, but how do you know if you are in one?

Simply even waiting an excessive amount of time to get a response from your partner can tell anyone a lot about their relationship. Additionally, wanting to be near their lover for 24 hours a day and seven days a week could signal a potentially unhealthy relationship. Both of these situations can lead to a significant other becoming controlling about all aspects of life. Eventually, many people in this kind of relationship will begin to isolate themselves and lose trust in others. 

“If the significant other seems to be possessive or wants to know everything like what you’ve been doing every five minutes, who you talk to, why you didn’t call them last night and constantly ask where you are, those are focal signs of being possessive or domineering in a relationship,” said AP Psychology teacher Ray Anderson.

Even a simple gesture from them such as buying them expensive gifts early on in a relationship can signal a warning. If the significant others require their partner to dress up in order to impress other people or for their own amusement, that may also be a warning sign of a toxic relationship.

Needing their lover’s praise and approval often leads to a decrease in a person’s confidence, along with not allowing the other person to speak about their opinion and how they feel. “If your partner is asking  you to do things that you aren’t comfortable with, whether that be sex or use of alcohol or drugs, is a major red flag of a toxic relationship,” said Anderson. 

According to Anderson, people often try to emulate their parent’s relationships in their own which is a sign of insecure attachment.

A healthy relationship will consist of occasional fights and arguments; however, if the fighting becomes constant or involves any sort of violence, this can lead to a toxic, violent relationship. If the significant other is constantly hurting their feelings, making the other person feel like a disappointment and causing that person to have a mental break down every day, stop and think about the relationship and how it is breaking down that person.

This constant cycle of mental, emotional and physical abuse does not need to continue. People don’t always need a partner to make them feel special. Getting out of a toxic relationship can be difficult; however, in the end, it will be worth it. 

“The advice that I would give to people in a toxic relationship is, if you’re a teenager and you are in a toxic relationship, I feel like you have to talk to your parents about it so they can help you. But if you are scared to tell your parents then go to your friends, and they could help you out,” said Anderson.