10 red flags your relationship is bringing out the worst in you 

When we think of relationships, we imagine love, happiness, and stability. 

But what if you’re feeling drained and exhausted? What if your relationship is making you profoundly unhappy?

It can be hard to recognize the signs when your relationship starts to negatively impact your life, especially if your emotions are already all over the place. 

So, without further ado, here are 10 red flags your relationship is bringing out the worst in you: 

1) You’re constantly seeking approval 

One of the first red flags to look out for is if your self-esteem has plummeted, your confidence is at rock bottom, and you depend on your partner to approve your decisions. 

And this can be for small things as well as big decisions – you may find yourself asking them to confirm whether you’re getting the right bread from the store, or whether you should go for that job interview or not. 

The point is, if you’re in a relationship that doesn’t encourage independence, you might find yourself falling into a bad habit of codependency

Especially if you weren’t this way when you were single or in previous relationships!

2) You’re always on edge 

Do you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner?

Are you often stressed or tense? 

If so, this is another red flag that your relationship is bringing out the worst in you! 

In a healthy relationship, we should feel secure, safe, and able to communicate without getting into an argument. 

But if your relationship isn’t like that, it could cause you to feel anxious and on edge. This, over time, will take its toll on your mental and emotional well-being. 

3) You neglect your own needs and desires 

Another red flag your relationship is bringing out the worst in you is if you don’t make time for yourself anymore. 

When was the last time you:

  • Did something you enjoy? 
  • Pampered yourself?
  • Spent an afternoon enjoying a hobby?
  • Took a mini-break or vacation for yourself?

If your relationship demands your attention all the time, you’ll quickly end up neglecting yourself. And this can impact your mental health, not to mention lead to a loss of identity

4) You’re becoming isolated from your loved ones

Following on from the previous point, it’s not just your sense of identity that you might lose, you could also become isolated from family and friends. 

And boy, this is a major red flag to look out for. 

If your partner kicks up a fuss every time you want to make plans with other people, or you’ve lost all will to keep up a social life because you’re drained from your relationship, it’s time to be concerned. 

In a healthy relationship, you should comfortably and confidently maintain your own friendship groups. Seeing family should never be an issue. 

And if this isn’t the case, you should think carefully about whether this relationship is serving you or harming you.

5) You experience frequent mood swings 

We all get mood swings from time to time, but if yours are often, it could be another red flag. 

If you’re in an unhealthy relationship, you might often feel:

  • Stressed
  • Frustrated
  • Angry
  • Upset 

And sometimes all of those emotions in just one day! This could be the case if your relationship lacks stability. 

If your relationship is like a rollercoaster, full of turbulence, your emotions will be too! And unfortunately, this can bring out the worst in a person.

6) You’ve started self-destructive behaviors 

Since being in this relationship, have you picked up harmful behaviors or habits that you never had before?

For example, do you find yourself drinking more to escape from all the tension?

Things like substance abuse, self-harm, and over/under eating, are all signs that you’re turning to coping mechanisms because of the issues in your relationship. 

And whilst you may not be doing this consciously, if you don’t make a major change soon, these destructive habits could get much worse. 

Remember – they might temporarily make you feel better, but if you’re not addressing the root cause, these habits could take over your life.

7) You constantly blame yourself 

Another red flag your relationship is bringing out the worst in you is if you find yourself explaining away your partner’s behavior and blaming yourself instead.

Rather than look at the way they act, you find it easier to accept responsibility, even if you haven’t done anything wrong. 

This is a red flag because it shows that your self-esteem and worth are taking a deep dive, essentially bringing out the worst in you

If this is the case, it might be good to confide in trusted friends to bring you back to reality and help you see the situation for what it is. 

8) You don’t fight fair anymore

 Do your fights with your partner turn dirty? 

And no, I don’t mean in the exciting sense, I mean nasty. 

If you were normally a fair fighter before, but now you punch below the belt and things escalate often, it’s another red flag your relationship is bringing out the worst in you.

It could be that you’re acting this way because you don’t know how else to make your partner pay attention and hear you.

Or, maybe you’re simply drained, exhausted, and out of patience. 

Either way, if you feel ashamed about your behavior after a fight, it could be that your relationship isn’t working out and there are some serious issues to think about. 

9) You don’t feel like yourself anymore 

This red flag requires you to listen to your intuition. You could also stand in front of a mirror and take a good, long, hard look at yourself.

Do you recognize yourself? 

If not, it could be that you’re losing yourself to the relationship

Whether it’s because of codependency, or a toxic, controlling partner, this is a slippery slope and one that you should consider getting out of ASAP.

The truth is, we all change a little when we’re in romantic relationships. But we shouldn’t change who we are fundamentally – our values, desires, hobbies, personality – all of those qualities that make up who we are!

And if you’re losing touch with them, it’s a sign you could be in the wrong relationship

10) Your work is suffering 

And finally – how’s your work life? 

This isn’t something that is discussed enough: 

What happens at home can severely affect how we perform at work.

And if you’re not in a happy, healthy relationship, it’s likely your work will suffer. If your relationship is bringing out the worst, you won’t have much motivation, energy or drive to tackle your projects. 

This is another red flag that your relationship is wearing you out and bringing out the worst

So, what can you do about it? 

Let’s cut to the chase here – if you relate to most of the signs on this list, it’s super important that you consider whether this relationship is worth continuing. 

Of course, maybe there is genuine love there, but love doesn’t always equal compatibility. And a relationship without compatibility is doomed for failure. 

So, you have two options:

If you’re able to work on things with your partner, go for it. But you may need professional relationship help, so be prepared for a long process. 

And if your partner isn’t willing to improve things?

It might be time to walk away. I know this isn’t a light decision to make, but if your life is slowly fading away before your eyes and you’re losing your sense of identity, it’s time to take action.

The whole point of a relationship is to bring love and support into your life, not drag you down! 

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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