Top 10 Signs You're in a Bad Relationship: What to Look for If You're
Unsure About Staying
By Naomi Kent
Contrary to popular belief, a good relationship is not measured by how
often the "L" word is said, nor is it gauged by the frequency of
gift-giving and public displays of affection. In reality, the strength
of any relationship can be easily determined simply by observing how
partners treat one another on a day-to-day basis.
If you're questioning the validity of your partner's love, your
uncertainty in itself should be a warning sign that something is not
quite right. But if you're still on the fence when it comes down to
sticking it out or throwing in the towel, read the telltale signals
below that indicate if your relationship is one to invest in, or one to
close the book on.
1 - Your Partner is Attentive When You're Alone Together, But Ignores
You in Public
If you don't get an introduction when bumping into your partner's
acquaintances at a social event, or even on the street, your
significant other may not think of your relationship as something
permanent. Sometimes a missed introduction is simply due to forgetting
a name or nervousness, but if your partner neglects to introduce you
regularly, you may want to reconsider your status in his or her life.
2 - Your Partner Constantly Criticizes You
If your partner is always pointing out your weaknesses, puts you down,
or bullies you into changing, they're attempting to make you something
you're not. This form of behavior usually comes from people who are
looking for an unattainable ideal, even at the expense of the other
person's feelings. If your significant other is always putting you
down, it's time to move on and find someone who will truly appreciate
you for who you are.
3 - Your Partner Holds the Proverbial
Bargaining is not the same as compromising in a relationship. If your
partner refuses to commit unless you: get a higher paying job, lose 20
pounds, or cut all ties with your friends, understand that you will be
making all the sacrifices in the relationship. Manipulative behavior
does not lead to loving and respectful unions. A person who continually
uses bribes is seeking authority - not love, and in turn has no respect
for the person they are attempting to control.
4 - You Have to Argue With Your Partner to Get Them to Spend Time With
This doesn't mean you should be living out of each other's pockets, but
rather you should have similar expectations about how you spend your
time together, and how often you see each other. If you're troubled
because your partner would rather spend their weekends with other
people, or do things that don't include you, you many have different
expectations concerning the level of commitment in the relationship.
Opposite personalities do tend to mesh, but couples need common
interests to form a strong bond that will last for the long haul.
5 - Your Partner Avoids Having Their
Picture Taken With You
This seemingly insignificant behavior can tell you a lot about your
partner's long-term intentions. If your partner perpetually avoids
being photographed with you, they may have a reason for not wanting to
document the moment. If you've e-mailed a photograph of yourself or the
two of you and it has been hastily deleted, you might want to start
moving some of your eggs to other baskets. Keep in mind that some
people hate having their picture taken at all costs - but all lovebirds
like to have at least one picture as a couple, even if it's not the
most flattering picture.
6 - Your Partner Keeps His/Her Family and Friends Separate From You
This can mean two things: either your partner is ashamed of their
friends and family, or they're ashamed of you. Either way, you're not
fully integrated into your partner's life until you've experienced all
aspects of it, and that includes meeting the people who they interact
with on a personal level.
7 - Your Partner Neglects to Help You When You're in Trouble
This is the true test of love. If your partner doesn't offer to help
you when you truly need it, it's time to throw in the towel. This
doesn't mean they should fund your addictions, or pay your rent when
you've drained your bank account on the latest gadget; but when life
throws you a curveball that turns things upside down, a person who
truly loves you will offer support without hesitation. Of course, it is
not their responsibility to get you out of the mess, but they should at
least be there for you during the difficult time, and to help you work
out a solution. By the same token, if you neglect your partner in their
time of need, you may want to reconsider why you're in the relationship
in the first place.
8 - Your Partner Continually Compares You With An Ex
It is perfectly fine to talk about previous relationships; lots of new
couples share past love experiences. But when you're constantly being
compared to "the ex," your partner is either not over that person, or
they're wishing you were more like that person.
9 - Your Friends and Family Dislike Your Partner
Although it's maddening when your friends can't see your partner's good
side, take stock of what they do notice about your partner. Often when
people are in love, or are floating in the sea of infatuation, they
fail to see the warning signs in a relationship. If you're wondering
whether to hoist the sails or to jump ship, adopting the perspective of
your closest mates may steer you in the right direction.
10 - Your Partner is Verbally or
There is no excuse for abuse. If your partner causes pain to you
physically or emotionally, toss aside all reservations and get out
while you still can. Apologies don't heal bruises, and a low
self-esteem can take years to recover.
Remember, relationships have to have a solid foundation to have a
fighting chance in the long run. If you're unsure about your partner
now, chances are it's not going to improve when marriage and children
are thrown into the equation. The simplest method of deciding whether
to stay or leave is simply to ask yourself if you'd be happy living the
rest of your life in your current circumstances. If the answer is yes,
then you're probably in a good relationship; if you're hoping things
will change, then prepare yourself for a lifetime of heartache and
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