5 Toxic Behaviors You Should NEVER Tolerate In a Relationship

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Couple sitting on the coach fighting

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If you’re empathetic and always see the good in a person, you may be tolerating red-flag behaviors more than the average person. It is important that you learn to recognize behaviors you should not excuse. Relationships can be a source of great joy, love, and support. However, they can also be emotionally draining and damaging when toxic behaviors are present. 

Recognizing these unhealthy patterns and setting clear boundaries is crucial to protecting your heart. In this blog post, we’ll discuss five toxic behaviors that you should never tolerate in your relationship, along with some dating terms to help you better understand these dynamics.

1. Gaslighting: 

Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulation where your partner makes you question your own reality, memories, or perceptions. They may deny events that occurred, twist your words, or make you feel like you’re going crazy. 

For example, suppose you confront your partner about a hurtful comment they made during an argument. In response, they might say something like, “I never said that. You’re imagining things,” or “You’re being too sensitive. I was just joking.” By denying their actions and making you doubt your own recollection, they are gaslighting you. 

This is a serious red flag and should not be tolerated, as it can have long-lasting effects on your mental health and self-esteem. 

2. Love Bombing: 

Love bombing is an intense display of affection and attention early in a relationship, often used to gain control and create dependency. For instance, imagine you’ve recently started dating someone new, and they constantly bombard you with lavish gifts, grand romantic gestures, and excessive compliments. 

They might say things like, “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before,” or “You’re the only one who truly understands me,” even though you’ve only known each other for a short time. At first, this attention may feel flattering and exciting, but if your partner suddenly withdraws this affection or becomes distant and critical, it could be a sign of a toxic relationship. 

This abrupt shift in behavior can leave you feeling confused, anxious, and eager to win back their approval, effectively giving them more control over the relationship. If you experience this pattern of love bombing followed by withdrawal, it’s important to recognize it as a potential red flag and reassess the health of your relationship. (Article continued below). 

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3. Stonewalling: 

Stonewalling occurs when your partner completely shuts down and refuses to communicate during conflicts. For example, imagine you’re trying to discuss a problem in your relationship, such as feeling unappreciated or neglected. 

You calmly express your concerns, but your partner responds by becoming silent, avoiding eye contact, and disengaging from the conversation entirely. They might walk away, give you the cold shoulder, or say something dismissive like, “I’m not talking about this right now.”

You might find yourself pleading with them to talk to you, saying something like, “Please, can we just discuss this? I want to work through it together.” However, your partner continues to ignore your attempts to resolve the issue, leaving you feeling frustrated, hurt, and emotionally abandoned.

This behavior is emotionally abusive because it prevents healthy communication and leaves you feeling unheard and invalidated. Stonewalling can cause significant damage to a relationship over time, eroding trust and creating a sense of emotional disconnection. 

If you find yourself in a relationship where stonewalling is a common occurrence, it’s essential to address the issue head-on and express your need for open, respectful communication. If your partner is unwilling to work on improving their communication skills or seeking professional help, it may be a sign that the relationship is unhealthy and may not be sustainable in the long run.

4. Breadcrumbing: 

Breadcrumbing is when your partner gives you just enough attention to keep you interested but never fully commits to the relationship. For example, imagine you’ve been dating someone for a few months, and they consistently send you flirty texts or messages, hinting at future plans or a deeper connection. 

However, when you try to make concrete plans or discuss the status of your relationship, they become evasive or unresponsive. They might say something like, “I’m really swamped with work this week, but let’s definitely do something soon,” or “I miss you, but I’m just not ready for anything serious right now.” Despite their promises, they never follow through, leaving you hanging and uncertain about where you stand. 

This intermittent reinforcement can be emotionally exhausting and leave you feeling confused and wondering where you stand with someone. 

If someone you are dating is unable or unwilling to provide the level of commitment and stability you require, it may be time to walk away and make room for something emotionally safer. 

5. Negging: 

Negging is a manipulative tactic where your partner gives you backhanded compliments or subtle insults disguised as jokes to undermine your self-esteem. 

For instance, imagine you’re getting ready for a special occasion, and you’ve put a lot of effort into your appearance. As you’re about to leave, your partner says something like, “Wow, you look great! I didn’t think you could pull off that dress, but it actually works on you.” While this may seem like a compliment at first glance, the underlying message is that they doubted your ability to look good in the first place.

Negging is designed to chip away at your self-esteem over time, making you feel increasingly reliant on your partner’s approval and validation. This behavior is toxic because it prevents you from building a healthy, supportive relationship based on mutual respect and admiration. 

If you find yourself experiencing any of these toxic behaviors while dating someone new, it’s essential to address them right away and set clear boundaries of what you will not tolerate. 

You deserve a love that uplifts and empowers you, not one that tears you down. Don’t settle for anything less than the respect and kindness you deserve. If you want to know how to stop dating people with these types of toxic behaviors, schedule a Free Relationship Readiness Review with me here. 



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