Courting dating and hanging out
Your relationship with this person should come down to one question, says Kelley Quirk, Ph D, a clinical research fellow at The Family Institute at Northwestern University: Do you like yourself less when you're around them?"If you are confident in your values and you're not swayed by their influence, it might not be a problem," she says."It can simply be that you feel frightened to share your opinionsyou're constantly walking on eggshells because you're afraid of your partner's emotional reactions."A controlling partner may also ignore or overrule your opinions, even when you do have the confidence to voice them."A lot of times it's a matter of imbalance," says Bonior.It can also backfire: Instead of giving your partner more affection, you may just get angry or decide to retaliate with manipulative behaviors of your own."Your partner should really come to you and talk openly about feeling neglected or lonely," says Quirk, "not wait for you to figure it out or get your attention in deceptive ways."We can't choose our family members—but we can strive to make our bonds with them healthier, says Bonior.To help you do just that, here are 30 signs you've entered toxic territory—and what you may be able to do about it."One of the first signs of a toxic relationship is when one partner is very controlling," says Bonior.Controlling doesn't always mean physically threatening or violent.
Close friends can sometimes fall into a trap of competing against each other, especially if they are in the same line of work or have similar lifestyles, says Bonior.
"But if that person brings something out in you and you feel yourself getting sucked into their bad behavior, that's not a healthy relationship."You may think you know what intimate partner violence looks like, but it isn't always as obvious as it seems.
"Grabbing her arm and saying ' Get back here, I'm not done talking to you,' or gripping his face and saying, ' Look at me when I talk to you,'—these behaviors don't necessarily cause physical damage, but they do represent low-level boiling-over points of conflict," says Quirk.
This type of behavior may be especially overlooked when a woman does it, she adds.
"For a long time, society accepted it as funny or spunky, but we wouldn't look at it the same why if the genders were reversed."Punching a wall or throwing objects during fights should also be seen as red flags, says Quirk.