You may think that it’s very easy to spot a toxic relationship, especially when they involve your friends or family. If you notice a friend is in a bad relationship, you may push them to end it. But red flags can be trickier, more subtle, and too often ignored. If you notice these red flags in a friend’s relationship, it’s important to point them out and encourage your friend to take action.
Your Friend’s Partner Isn’t Supportive
In any healthy relationship, both partners support one another’s goals. Maybe the goals are small, like helping to study for a test. Maybe it’s listening to a presentation the day before it’s presented at work. If you notice that your friend’s goals and dreams are ignored, or even laughed at, this can be a red flag. Your friend will be much happier with someone by their side that supports them. Having a non-supportive partner can make them insecure about their own future.
They Get Jealous
Another red flag in a friend’s relationship is if their significant other gets jealous when they spend time apart. This can especially be true if your friend is spending time with people their boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t like. Jealously in general is not a good thing. It can cause your friend to become fearful and feel vulnerable when they spend time apart, even for some self-care. Depending on the nature of the relationship, it can also make them feel unsafe if their partner gets overly jealous. Jealousy can lead to verbal and physical abuse, or perhaps something worse. Studies have shown that almost half of all female homicides are by a current or previous partner, which is a very scary, very real wake-up call.
The Threat of Breaking Up
One of the most obvious red flags in a relationship is if you notice your friend’s significant other is always threatening to break up. This is emotionally manipulative behavior. Your friend shouldn’t have to go through a relationship walking on eggshells. If they’re worried that everything they do or say could be used against them, it may be time for them to call it quits.
Interest in Others
Another red flag to watch for is if your friend’s partner checks out other people. It’s fine if someone thinks a person is cute, but both parties in a relationship need to feel confident that their partner only loves them. If your friend’s partner is staring at others left and right, this could mean trouble. It could lead to them cheating on your friend, which should be non-negotiable in a healthy relationship. Staying in a relationship like that won’t be good for your friend and could lead to destructive behaviors, like drinking. It’s estimated that more than 13 million people have problems with alcohol, which is a very slippery slope that could lead to more serious issues down the road.
Another red flag to be wary of is if a friend’s partner makes their relationship all about them. Healthy relationships are about giving and taking and doing things together. If your friend’s partner is always making decisions for the two of them, it may be time for your friend to leave. This can extend to other areas of life where your friend might not be able to practice self-care because they feel smothered by their partner.
Healthy relationships have occasional ups and downs, and sometimes it’s important to let off steam if you’ve had a disagreement. For example, running is a good way to do this and can even reduce your risk of depression by almost 30%. But if you notice the above-mentioned red flags in your friend’s relationship, it’s important to let them know. Sometimes they may be too bogged down in their relationship to notice warning signs and you need to be there to support them and give them your honest opinion.