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Health & Medicine

4 Ways to Spot an Unhealthy Love

— December 22, 2020

Recognizing red flags in relationships can save you pain in the long run.

Relationships can be amazing for us, but they can also stifle our growth, make us despair, and bring out our worst sides. Usually, there are some clear tell-tale signs that tell you if you’re in a healthy relationship. But what about an unhealthy love? Watch out for these unhealthy love signs that often show up in toxic relationships!

Red Flags of an Unhealthy Love

1. They’re Possessive

A little bit of jealousy in love is common and quite normal. However, sometimes an unhealthy love obsession will develop from this. If your partner seems irrationally jealous or controlling, or they dislike you having contact with anyone except them, watch out. Possessive behavior can escalate in relationships and become extremely unhealthy and abusive.

2. They Blame You for Their Feelings

When it comes to healthy love vs unhealthy love, a toxic partner will often hold you accountable for their own feelings. They may feel angry, sad, or jealous due to their own behavior, or because of circumstances; but in an unhealthy love, this will always become your fault. A partner like this takes no responsibility for their own emotions and instead uses you as an emotional punching bag.

Be careful not to tolerate this behavior for too long or internalize their accusations. Even during times when you might be at fault, it is still your partner’s responsibility to manage their own emotions. They should not take their feelings out on you.

Couple looking at their phones; image by Samson Katt, via
Couple looking at their phones; image by Samson Katt, via

3. You Feel Like You Can’t Manage without Them

Controlling partners do not always use aggression to manipulate their other halves. Sometimes a relationship can become toxic if one partner regularly undermines the other’s confidence. In unhealthy love relationships, this can even look like kindness. For example, a partner may constantly make seemingly teasing jokes about how useless you are and how you could not cope without them. They may also insist on managing a certain area of your life, such as finances or your schedule, because they say you will just make a mess of it.

Partners like this may not even realize they are manipulating you or may not intend to behave in a controlling way. They may simply become addicted to playing the rescuer role in your relationship or fear that you will leave them if you don’t need them in some way. However, over time this can erode your confidence making you ever more reliant on your partner.

4. You Can’t Grow in Your Relationship

Some unhealthy love types are not abusive or controlling but simply become stagnant over time. Perhaps you feel stuck in a rut or that your partner wants to do the same things all the time. This is fine if you enjoy this too, but if one partner wants to change and grow and the other does not, then the relationship cannot flourish.

In this situation, both partners will feel resentful and like they are being held back. One wants to experience new things, and the other wants to enjoy stability. If left to fester, this clash of values can become an unhealthy love.


Recognizing red flags in relationships can save you pain in the long run. Whether you’re with a controlling partner, or you’re simply with someone incompatible, it’s always worth waiting for truly healthy love. So, remember these tips next time you face a relationship dilemma!

Do you know how to spot the signs of an unhealthy love? Have you ever experienced any of these scenarios? Did you and your partner work through it, or did you end the relationship? Share your stories in the comments section!

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