Dating isn’t exactly the easiest thing on the planet. Let's put it this way… I'm grateful to be married.

More and more people are randomly hooking up online, feeding their addictions to internet porn, abusing drugs to escape the pain of their parents’ divorce, and more.

Has destruction and pain become the undertone of dating in the 21st century?

austin-senior-portrait-photographer_0010-620x413This addiction to variety, selfishness, and escape has made destructive behavior the new normal in our culture. So what can a person do to recognize “the crazy” in their dating-life, and land themselves in a healthier relationship?

You may not be dating a sex addict, but you’re seeing signs – like red flags on a hill – that something is not quite right in your relationship. How do you know? Have you talked to your friends about it? Have they expressed some concerns?

Here are 4 signs I've seen cause destruction in a relationship …

You’re ALWAYS the Giver:

Healthy relationships are reciprocating relationships. There’s a healthy flow of give and take, serving and being served. Both people in the relationship are equal contributors of time, money (in most cases), and energy spent in making the relationship work.

If you’re in a relationship where, you are constantly the “strong one”, always giving and caring for the other person, it’s time to remind yourself: this is not a parent-child relationship. You deserve to receive and have needs just as much as the giver in a relationship of equals.

Your Partner Expects You to Meet EVERY Need:

We all have needs. But are your partner’s needs constantly being shoved to the forefront of your relationship? Have you ever heard the expression:

“Two beggars trying to borrow from each other”?

How can beggars, with nothing to give, lend to anyone? The point is, they can’t. If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s consistently acting like a beggar – it’s likely that your partner will cause your own well to run dry if you’re not careful. The healthiest relationships are those which overflow with servant-hood and hearts of willingness. Meet each other's needs, equally and realistically.

Your Partner Displays Destructive Behaviors Such as Addictions and Abuse:

The world we live in is populated by hurting people.

Hurt people, hurt people.

If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve been hurt. How does your boyfriend or girlfriend deal with hurt? If the person you’re dating displays addictions to alcohol, pornography or has a pattern of mental, verbal, or physical abuse, have you confronted him or her in love about it? What was the response? If you’re in a relationship with someone who won’t admit they are hurting yet have an obvious problem, you're not their counselor, and it’s probably time to leave.

You’re Dating a Liar or Denier:

Everyone has problems. I’m not saying you should be looking to date a perfect person because they don’t exist. We're all broken. What’s most important is how you answer this question: when you confront your partner about a behavior that hurts you, how do they respond? Do they lie or deny that it happened? Do they deny that it hurts you? If the behavior is a pattern, are they taking active steps (such as counseling or reading) to address the issue and to move toward emotional wellness?

If you’re dealing with a liar or denier, you essentially have no foundation on which to build anything lasting. Healthy relationships are built on honesty and truth. It’s best to cut your losses now, and move on.

Have you been in a destructive relationship? Tell me about the signs you've seen in the comments below.


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6 thoughts on “4 Signs You’re in a Destructive Relationship

  1. Donna Masseo says:

    I have a close friend who has a girlfriend, but he treats me as if I’m his girlfriend or his wife (badly). He said at the beginning he didn’t want to get in a relationship with me because he didn’t want to ruin our friendship because he treats his girlfriends like dirt. Well, after 5 years, he is now treating me like dirt. Yelling at me, not visiting or calling, telling me he has more important things to do, not paying me back money he owes me, not keeping his word, the list goes on and on. Lying, stealing, denying anything I bring up about this behavior, getting angry when I bring it up, etc. Saying this is all in my mind. I have slowly backed away from him, but have not been able to completely end the friendship. He is a good conartist, and I don’t understand what keeps me so hooked to him. I am more concerned with my inability to end this friendship than his behavior. What is wrong with me?

    • Amanda Foust says:

      Donna, it sounds like you have a great heart! It’s hard when we are mistreated and we don’t understand why. Sometimes we have to put ourselves first (even if it goes against everything we are taught) and love ourselves enough to walk away from relationships that do nothing but bring us pain and heartache. Wishing you well as you navigate this difficult circumstance. You deserve so much better! <3

  2. Dating Sucks says:

    I was in a 16 year marriage before my current relationship. It wasn’t planned and we live 4 hours apart. Long story short he’s in his late 40s, has had a bad relationship with his mother until he and his brother was taken to a foster home, had 2 long term relationships. An ex-wife with major issues (alcohol, stealing etc) and had 2 kids with whom he left for the other who also had issues (manipulative, coniving) whom he cheated on and left also. He told me his story and how these experiences changed his view on trusting women. My heart went out to him bc I also had a rough past. I wanted to show him what being loved was like and I thought if I made him feel loved he it would help change his outlook on women and relationships. After 2 years ogf going back and forth every other weekend and holidays my hope us fading. We had our routines, I’d call to wake him for work or we just hang out on the phone or facetime as we go about our day but now he complains about them. Sometimes he dissappears and won’t answer his phone or text. We had no arguement so i get worried and keep trying to reach him. When I tell him this he gets mad and calls me controlling and gets angry why I ask him his business when I’m not there when it’s not important. When we’re apart there are moments when he’s sweet and loving and then a sudden change where he feels distant and won’t say I love you, but when I’m there for the weekend everything is great. I asked him about this but i never get a straight answer. i told him if the distance is too great and he wants to see other people he should let me know so i wont best myself up traveling and trying to reach him but he says I’m letting my imagination run away with itself. Overall I care about him, I do love him but i cant sleep or think because I’m worried about what he’s doing when I’m not there. Granted i did catch him cheating once the day after he told me we were exclusive but i let it slide bc at the time my soon-to-be exhusband was still living with me. I know it’s conplicated but I feel lost. I thought of giving up but I feel I’m abandoning him like all the other women did. I feel we can have the relationship we’re both looking for but if he’s telling the truth of not cheating how can I show/teach someone who’s never really been loved not to scated and how to love another person? Sorry if I’m rambling but I wish I knew what to do. I’m not a quitter but this is relationship is getting harder and expensive.

  3. Jothi Mariyam Thomas says:

    I have been in an abusive relationship for 7 years. I was 16 when I met him. He cheated during our relationship multiple times. Unfortunately, I was too forgiving and I forgave every time he cheated. He took advantage of my forgiveness. When we would have fights, he’d verbally abuse me and bring in those topics that hurt me the most. He was addicted to sex. If I’d not sleep with him he would tell me that he’d leave me alone and there wouldn’t be any relationship. I was scared to be alone. I was scared to live without him because by then he became my addiction. He would flirt with other girls in front of me. To top it all this was a long distance relationship.

    He restricted me from doing anything I wanted to. I couldn’t hang out with my friends, I couldn’t talk to boys in class, I couldn’t go for the movies, with friends, I couldn’t even attend my graduation ceremony because he did not like the costume. I had to cut people off from my life.

    I can go on and on. It took me seven years to realize that he is not going to be a better human being. I took it as my duty to be there for a person like him when he had none.
    In the end i only realize that he took a huge part of me and I am still only recovering.

    He is now married to one of the girlfriends he cheated me with. He is soon going to be a father as well. I cannot wish him bad. I only wish him the best

    • Amanda Foust says:

      What a difficult relationship! I am happy to hear you’ve found freedom from not only the terrible relationship but also through not harboring resentment. Thank you for sharing your story!

  4. Sad to see says:

    It saddens me to see the desperation of young women to have ANY man in their life, and to see what they will endure for the sake of having a boyfriend. A lack of self-esteem keeps them from walking away from an abusive relationships. I give young people the following simple advice about dating and choosing a partner: Ladies/Girls – EXPECT and SELECT a gentleman.
    Men/Boys – BE a gentleman.

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