Teen Focus: Are You in a Toxic Relationship?

by on January 10th, 2011
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Starting a new relationship can be one of the most exciting times in a teenager’s life. You have the opportunity to forge strong bonds with a special person. Learning how to have a successful relationship can be difficult. Every relationship goes through rough patches.

Many issues that you face in your relationships can be worked out with communication and compromise. However, some issues are more serious. You may not be able to fix them. In fact, such relationships may not be healthy at all. It is important to be able to recognize the difference between tough times and toxic relationships.

You’ve probably heard the term toxic relationship used on a TV program. Maybe you’ve heard it on the radio or read about such relationships in a magazine. A toxic relationship is one that is literally polluting your life. Even though it will hurt, it is important to leave such a relationship behind.

Deciding if you are involved in a toxic relationship may be difficult. Think about how you feel on a day-to-day basis. Talk to a trusted friend or adviser. It is perfectly normal and healthy to discuss your relationships with someone who cares about your well being and has your best interests in mind. Consider the following signs that are common in toxic relationships.

A deep sense of codependency. Maybe you simply can’t bear to be without your boyfriend or girlfriend. You rarely spend time alone or with other friends. Perhaps your boyfriend or girlfriend pressures you to spend time with them constantly. If you feel like you can’t do anything without your significant other, you may be codependent.

Disagreements over small issues explode into full-blown fights. Unfortunately, most couples disagree and argue every now and again. If you find that every little disagreement you have turns into a big fight, you are probably involved in a toxic relationship.

Your boyfriend or girlfriend regularly demeans you or makes you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes we say mean things to the people we love. While such mistakes can be understandable, your boyfriend or girlfriend shouldn’t make bringing you down a regular habit. A loving, caring partner will boost your self-esteem. They want you to improve and will help you grow.

Your partner is overly jealous or restrictive. Jealousy is a normal part of most relationships. It’s okay to be a little bit jealous, but it’s not okay to act on that jealousy regularly. If your boyfriend or girlfriend tells you that you can’t go out with friends or otherwise restricts what you’re doing, there may be a problem. People who are dating want to spend time together, but they should be happy when spending time apart too.

You keep going back to a bad boyfriend or girlfriend, no matter how much they hurt you last time. Taking back an ex who has apologized for their prior behavior can be tempting. Most of the time, getting back together with someone who hurt you emotionally or physically is just a bad idea. You might still love that person, but being in a relationship with them is not the right decision. Sometimes being mature means letting someone go out of respect for your own well-being.

Keep in mind that these are only some of the signs that you may be involved in a toxic relationship. You should trust your own gut and should seek advice from friends and family members. If you feel like you can’t explain the situation to anyone you know, call a crisis line. You deserve to have a happy, healthy relationship and should take steps to protect yourself from toxic partners.

Remember that you should react immediately if you are in an emergency situation. If you are being physically or emotionally abused, seek counseling as soon as possible. If you fear for your life because of your partner’s behavior, it is important that you call your local police department right away.

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