Everyone has dated someone who isn’t right for them. Sometimes, certain traits simply do not match up together. It’s one thing to be in a rocky or unhealthy relationship, but could you be in a dangerous and toxic one? These relationships don’t just make you cry, they can ruin your entire mental state. Even worse, they could mess you up financially, socially and physically. Here are the signs you need to keep an eye out for.

They are possessive.

Possessive behavior may take the form of jealousy or forced isolation. They will tell you that their actions are justified because they love you so much and only worry about you. However, possessiveness is not about love but about a lack of trust. They may lie or make excuses to prevent you from spending time with other people, like by saying they are sick, or by manufacturing a crisis, for example. They may even call or drop by unexpectedly to “check up on you.” At first, this behavior might feel like intense love, but in reality, it’s stalking.

They established trust through charm.

Charm is a way to convince a person to disregard red flags, making you unable to determine if there’s an ulterior motive. When you first started dating them, did you feel they were excessively trying to hard? They were trying to establish trust with you quickly. Remind yourself that charm can be a form of control, because it’s easier to let down our defenses and turn off our intuition when we think someone is charming.  It’s also important to not share so much of yourself right off the bat simply because they seem trustworthy. Be leery of someone who encourages others to share first all the time. This is a way of learning their prey’s intentions and then adopting it as their own. In this manner, they successfully conceal their own true intentions of deceit while endearing their prey to come closer.

Their past relationships were all negative.

One of the best methods of detecting a devious person is to look at the trail of victims or scapegoats left in their wake. If a person has a long list of such people, it usually because they refuse to accept responsibility for their contribution to whatever damage occurred. They will blame every failed relationship they had on the other person, and never take any responsibility for their actions. They will not have learned anything from their past. Avoid anyone who consistently blames others for their life circumstances.

They are critical of your every move.

We can all be critical of the ideas and behaviors of others at times, but when it’s frequent and done with the intent to hurt or belittle, it’s unhealthy. Critical people make you feel inadequate or unworthy. They repeatedly disrespect you, your thoughts, your behaviors, and your words. They often may humiliate you in front of others. Anytime someone makes you feel as though you are not good enough, intelligent enough, attractive enough or that your ideas are stupid or worthless, the warning bells should be going off. Your self-worth should never be placed in them.

They lure you into obligations.

This strategy is used to create a situation where one partner feels like they owe the other, and therefor is not as likely to ask them to leave. The dangerous person may force help on you, even when you didn't ask for it or refused their assistance. They do not seem genuine about wanting to give you aid. Furthermore, loan sharks are a real threat even today. After you have been brought in, they may ask you to start letting them borrow money. They will give a million excuses as to why they can't pay, and mention all the great things they did for you in your time of need. It's a huge form of manipulation.

You've caught them lying.

Dishonesty has no place in a healthy relationship. Not only is dishonesty inherently wrong, but it disintegrates trust between two people. The lies may be big or small, excessive exaggeration or complete fabrication, often with no discernible reason. People are dishonest for a number of reasons: they may be trying to exaggerate their own importance, get themselves out of trouble, or trying to hurt others or cause drama. The reason is irrelevant; the lack of honesty and trust makes a healthy relationship impossible.

They have mood swings.

One day you might feel that they love you, but the next they are screaming at you over a trivial issue. Unpredictable behavior and volatile actions do not belong in a healthy relationship, and are a tool to keep you under even more control. It can be very confusing and mentally draining to try to deal with sudden shifts in another person’s mood. A person who rages in a fit of anger one minute, then smiles, cries or acts as if nothing happened the next is unstable and needs help. Volatile people can also be hypersensitive to things you say and do, and small or unexpected things seem to set off a drastic mood change.

Dating someone with these traits is toxic. It can be dangerous for you in the long run not only for your mental health, but for your physical, financial, and social health as well. They will do whatever they can to extract what they want from you. They are a predator that does not care, and the sooner you realize that the better off you will be.

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