We all want to be in happy, healthy, and loving relationships. Yet the secret to a happy and fulfilling relationship seems elusive to most people, which then leads them to ignore the red flags that a toxic relationship might show them.
Let’s unravel the mystery of that secret ingredient together.
The key ingredient that determines a happy and healthy relationship is the absence of codependency.
Relationships, where one or more partners are codependent, will not be happy, healthy, or fulfilling because they will have an imbalance of power dynamics and people will be constantly playing the one up or one down game.
People who are codependent are not necessarily bad but they certainly lack the maturity and skills to be in a mature and healthy relationship. They have a lot of work to do in terms of their own healing before they can show up fully and authentically in relationships.
They have to learn to be independent first and take charge of their own life and happiness before they can get into mature interdependent relationships. Otherwise, they will keep on being needy and possessive and indulge in self-sabotaging behavior that will ultimately destroy their relationship.
I have compiled a list of warning signs that demonstrate that someone is codependent and emotionally unstable and you may need to tread waters carefully with them.
Watch out for these signs early on in the relationship and save yourself the heartbreak as these are glaring red flags of a toxic relationship:
1. They move really fast in the relationship.
If someone gets really interested in you too soon and tries to get close too fast, it is a glaring red flag. If they want to know everything that happened in your life right off the bat, you may feel wanted due to excessive attention. And may even get swayed by what feels like an instant connection but the other person might just be mining for your weakness to play you.
Be wary of anyone who moves too fast in a relationship. You don’t need to share your personal stories from the word go. Take your time and only share your personal stories when someone has earned that amount of trust and space in your life.
If anyone tries to move too fast and gets close too soon, learn to slow down the pace and set boundaries. Healthy relationships have a natural rhythm and flow. Let your connection grow organically.
2. They lack integrity.
When someone has integrity, their actions match their words.
It is very easy to spot when someone’s actions are not matching their words. But sometimes when we like someone, we ignore the obvious. We go with the story in our head about how we want that person to be instead of trusting what we are seeing with our eyes.
Please don’t disregard your own observations and gut instincts even if they are disappointing. Someone who says one thing and does another thing lacks integrity and can’t be trusted.
If you ignore your gut instincts and obvious signs and start giving him the benefit of doubt, he would know that you don’t know how to draw boundaries or are not capable of holding him accountable for his behavior; he will start taking you for granted.
3. You lose balance when you’re around them.
When I say off balance, I don’t mean head over heels in love off balance. I mean you don’t feel like yourself when you’re with them.
When you lose your center and start doing things that contradict your own value system and gut feelings, you will certainly feel off balance.
You may feel like you are only doing this to please your partner and it’s a one-off thing but once you start this habit of putting someone’s needs ahead of yours at the expense of your own comfort, it gets really difficult to bounce back and stand up for yourself. You will create a power dynamic wherein it would be very apparent for your partner that you are ok to give your power away and he can very easily manipulate you.
It is important to be true to yourself and your own values and walk our own path even if it means that you may lose people in the process.
There is no point in having a relationship where you lose yourself.
“The truth is, we tend to train people how we want to be treated. If others know you have wishy-washy boundaries then they are free to walk all over you; the results…you become a doormat. We have actually trained others to do this when we will allow people to wipe their muddy feet on us. After all, we are doormats.” ― David W. Earle LPC- Love is Not Enough
4. Your body rejects their energy.
Our bodies and gut instincts are smarter than we know. If you feel a tension in your body or constricted feeling in your gut, when you are with someone, your body is rejecting their energy.
You may not have a logical reason but trust your gut instinct. Either really dig out this person and get to know their real motives or simply walk away. Our bodies and guts have a way of picking energies and if you feel even slight discomfort or fear in someone’s presence, it is wise to listen to your own body and tread carefully.
5. They have a lot of skeletons in their closet.
If someone comes to you with sob stories about how unfairly they were treated in their past, by their bosses, girlfriends, or mother and looks for comfort in your loving arms, they really aren’t in love with you but only looking for a rescuer.
You are not here to rescue anyone or be their mother. Run, girl.
6. You feel like you’re on a roller coaster ride.
Do you feel that you can’t predict his behavior? One day he calls you ten times a day and then forgets to check your text for the next five days and then again texts you showering his love and affection on you as nothing has happened.
This on and off attention can seem exciting and passion filled initially but it is exhausting and draining in the long run.
A healthy relationship seems secure, safe, and stable and doesn’t keep you guessing. Also, it’s very important to be on the same page with your partner in terms of your expectations from the relationship.
You could be looking forward to a serious relationship and he could be looking for a fling. Such a mismatch of expectations is bound to create friction and confusion in the long run.
It is better to be clear about each other’s motives for being in a relationship so that you can make an informed decision about whether you want to stay in a relationship or move on. I know it can be hard to let go of someone you love, but if you see these warning signs in a relationship, it is better to tread your path carefully.
It helps to observe the reality and facts from a certain detached and distant state rather than being carried away by emotions.
“Detachment also involves accepting reality—the facts. It requires faith—in us, in God, in other people, and in the natural order and destiny of things in this world. We believe in the rightness and appropriateness of each moment. We release our burdens and cares, and give ourselves the freedom to enjoy life in spite of our unsolved problems. We trust that all is well in spite of the conflicts. We trust that someone greater than ourselves knows has ordained, and cares about what is happening. We understand that this someone can do much more to solve the problem than we can. So we try to stay out of His way and let Him do it. In time, we know that all is well because we see how the strangest (and sometimes most painful) things work out for the best and for the benefit of everyone.” ― Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself