8 signs you’re dating a toxic person (and how to get out of the relationship)

The scary thing about toxic people is that you rarely see the signs up front.

If you are dating someone but feel like something is not right, or maybe red flags are starting to appear, this article will clear any doubts you have.

I know some of it won’t be fun to read, but your health and sanity come first, so it’s important you know what to look for!

First, I’ll go over the most obvious signs that you’re dating a toxic person, and then I’ll share a step-by-step guide on how to (safely) get out of a relationship.

Let’s jump straight to the first red flag:

1) They try to control you
One of the most telling signs that you are dating a toxic person is if they try to control you. But what does this look like? It’s not always as clear as it appears in the movies…

Poison control can be:

  • Monitor where you go or who you talk to
  • Making threats if you do something your partner doesn’t approve of
  • Limit the amount of time you can spend with others or alone
  • Restrict your finances
  • Guilt drives you to do things

But keep in mind that the range of control can vary greatly. Not only that, but a toxic partner may make it seem as if these restrictions are for your good.

Believe me, they are not.

Related : Can you negotiate with a narcissist and win? 10 effective tips

In a healthy relationship, you should have the freedom to do what you want, whenever you want! Consulting with your partner shows respect and appreciation, but they should not have the last say in your life.

2) They use emotional manipulation
Now, in the last point, I mentioned guilt tripping as a means of control.

This is just one of the many ways a toxic person uses emotional manipulation to force you to do what they want!

I know how hard it is to figure that out, especially at first.

Some red flags of emotional manipulation include:

  • Constantly criticizing you – makes you feel like you can never do anything right.
  • Gaslighting – Denying things or accusing you of being “crazy,” making you doubt yourself.
  • Blame You – Even if you had nothing to do with it, your partner will find a way to make it your fault.
  • The silent treatment – Instead of communicating with you, they give you the cold shoulder and leave you hurt and confused.

So why would your partner, the person who is supposed to care for you and love you, do this?

It could be for several reasons; They are insecure or lack self-esteem, so manipulating you is their way of controlling things.

It may also be a behavior they saw modeled while growing up, so they continue the toxic cycle without realizing it.

Either way, it’s unfair to you and no one should have to live a life with a toxic partner!

3) They are jealous and possessive
If the above points resonated with you, I do not doubt that you will also relate to the following point:

Another sign that you are dating a toxic person is if he or she is extremely jealous.

I’m not talking about the natural jealousy we all feel when we see another man or woman hitting on our partner, I’m talking about the ugly side of jealousy where you can’t look at the opposite sex without arguing!

But here’s the real kicker:

Most toxic partners will frame this jealousy as “love.” They couldn’t stand the idea of you making eye contact with another man or woman because they love you so much.

Or maybe they find fault with your friends of the opposite sex, even if you’ve known them your whole life.

Related : 10 ways to identify and break free from toxic relationships

I’m here to tell you that this is not love!

True love is built on trust and respect. Sure, we can all feel a little jealous from time to time, but we shouldn’t take that out on our partners and restrict who they can and can’t talk to or hang out with!

This leads me to my next point:

4) They isolate you from others
Do you feel like you are unable to see your family or friends like you used to?

Should you ask permission to go out without your partner?

If so, this is another clear sign that you are dating a toxic person!

It comes down to wanting to control you; By limiting the people you can see, they effectively cut you off from any outside support or help.

But the truth is they will never admit it. They will make it seem like they are doing it for your good, and that you are better off without your friends and family.


They want you to depend on them completely! But the ironic thing is that once you depend on them, they don’t:

5) They don’t support you
Another sign you’re dating a toxic person is that they don’t support you – in fact, they may resent your successes or prevent you from taking on new opportunities!

My ex-husband would get upset with me if I talked about going to a new job, and he was afraid I would meet someone else at work. When my cousins invited me for a small family vacation, he tried to talk me out of it because, as he put it, he would feel neglected.

These are just two examples, but lack of support can range from:

  • Lack of concern for your physical or mental health
  • It prevents you from looking for new opportunities
  • Stop your personal growth and progress
  • Which makes it difficult for you to pursue your passions or hobbies
  • No matter how much your partner tries to frame this as doing something for your benefit, it’s not.

A loving partner will encourage you to be your best and will support you 100% in the process!

6) Their mood is unpredictable
Do you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner?

Does their mood seem to change as quickly as the weather?

Unexpected mood swings are another sign that you are dating a toxic person because you never feel safe and secure around him.

What starts as a normal, innocent conversation can quickly blow up and turn into an all-out argument…and that’s not normal behavior in a relationship!

This is a tactic that keeps you “on edge.” If you don’t know how they will react, you should probably tread lightly and avoid doing anything that upsets them.

The bottom line is:

In a healthy relationship, you should be able to discuss everything — even uncomfortable topics — without fear of criticism!

7) They lack respect for you
Now, all the points on this list point to one main thing:

Your partner doesn’t respect you.

This lack of respect in itself is a sign of toxicity in the person. So, aside from what we’ve already covered, what does disrespect look like?

  • Embarrassing or humiliating you in front of others
  • -Mocking your decisions, actions, appearance, and personality
  • he is lying to you
  • To be unfaithful or disloyal

Unfortunately, you may not know whether the latter two events occurred. But of course, if your partner makes fun of you or insults you, you will remember it.

Because those kinds of feelings, no matter how excusable their behavior, will stay with you.

Related : 11 red flags you’re dealing with a toxic person

These are all signs that you are dating a toxic person and you should consider getting out of the relationship!

8) They are verbally or physically abusive

Finally, if you are experiencing verbal or physical abuse, you are undoubtedly dating a toxic person.

Verbal abuse can take the form of threats, insults, yelling, or trying to intimidate you with words/sounds.

Physical abuse can range from:

  • It is pushed or pressured
  • Exposure to a light or strong blow
  • Exposure to pinching or hair-pulling
  • Being hit or kicked
  • Being forced to have sex (this is sexual assault)

Oftentimes, a toxic partner will physically or verbally attack you, then return the next day with tears in their eyes and a ready apology (usually accompanied by a letter either blaming you for what happened or with false promises of change).

I would like to stress that if you have been exposed to any of the above, you should remove yourself from the situation and get to safety immediately.

I know you may feel scared, but your health has to take priority and you can’t do that if you stay with this person!

To get out of this relationship forever, read:

How to get out of a toxic relationship

If leaving a relationship fills you with fear because you know your partner will overreact, please know that the longer you stay in it, the worse it will get.

And even if they promise to change, if you don’t see any dedication from them to work on their issues (e.g. attending anger management classes, seeking therapy, etc.) then 99% will not change their toxic behavior.

So the first thing you need to do is build your support system.

If you haven’t told anyone what you’re going through, now is the time. Follow these instructions:

Only trust the people closest to you and most trusted (such as a best friend or family member)
Don’t post about it online or anywhere your partner might see it
Remember not to feel ashamed of your situation – it is not your fault, and even the most knowledgeable people can fall into this situation

Next, once you’ve established your support system, you’ll need to create an action plan for leaving. If you live with your partner, this might look like this:

  • Arranging a safe place for you to stay
  • Arranging for your financial security (especially if your partner controls this)
  • Organizing a time to leave the house (preferably when they are not around) and remove your belongings (ask someone else to collect or enlist the help of the police if necessary)
  • Let your workplace know that you are leaving an abusive relationship (especially if you are concerned about physical assault or stalking).

Finally, if you need to communicate with your partner during the breakup process, you need to set strong boundaries.

These boundaries will define what works for you and what doesn’t, for example, only meeting in a public place, not being verbally abusive over the phone, etc.

Unfortunately, I know what it’s like to leave a toxic relationship – it won’t be easy but there are things you can do to help yourself.

One resource I wish I had at the time of my breakup is Relationship Hero. This is a site where professionally trained relationship coaches offer their services.

I have since used it for other relationship issues, but if I had known about it at the time, I would have sought help from a coach to make sure I set strong boundaries for my ex, as well as to help me heal from the relationship trauma!

The truth is that family and friends will do their best, but sometimes you need a professional to guide you through the tough moments in life, which is why I highly recommend Relationship Hero.