The three “red flags” that indicate a toxic romantic relationship

A painful relationship is not only painful when there is aggression or physical abuse. The discomfort may be on a moral level. To find out whether you have a healthy relationship or not, psychotherapist Assa Djelou from the “Désire et Deviens” office gives 20 minutes three points considered “red flags,” warning signs that portend a potentially toxic relationship.

Red flag #1, suffering

Pain in a relationship can be subtle and constant if the times you spend together are ‘complicated’ to bear. For example, if you continually feel uncomfortable at dinner with your partner because of their words and gestures, this could be a sign of a deeper discomfort that you need to take into account. Assa Djelou explains that this behavior may be related to what the person says or the way he or she behaves, both towards you and towards others.

If you are in a relationship, “we have to start with something quite healthy,” the therapist explains, before emphasizing that you absolutely “must feel good” next to this interlocutor, both emotionally and in terms of security. “If these two elements are not present in the relationship, it is a painful relationship,” she concludes.

Red flag No. 2, communications

If you have difficulty communicating or if there is often a lot left unanswered, you should also be careful. Assa Djelou takes the example of the restaurant and states that if the interlocutor does not make himself available to listen to what you have to say, or minimizes the severity of the emotions that it may provoke in you that evening, he will again experience a painful relation. The professional is steadfast: “It is important to have a partner you can trust and communicate with.” This way, your partner will be able to understand you better and receive the necessary information about you so that he can be the ideal person by your side.

If communication within the relationship is poor, there is a risk of certain patterns of infidelity developing, but also of becoming the starting point for declining mental health. This is what the psychotherapist says: “We can feel an emotional emptiness, an emotional deficit and this can cause anxiety. Or even a real reactive depression that can lead the subject to question themselves.”

Red Flag No. 3, “Difficulties Exist”

By ‘difficulty’ Assa Djelou means a relationship in which the partner does not fully accept you with your personality, your qualities and your weaknesses. It is clear that you cannot flourish and be fully yourself because the interlocutor rejects you, denies your qualities or questions certain projects or ambitions. In the long run, this attitude can cause you to lose your self-confidence.

“In a healthy relationship, a conversation partner should help you become the person you want to be,” the professional recalls.

“The best advice I can give you is: choose yourself”

Assa Djelou also adds that your partner “should be a complement” who adds something to you to support you. That is why this person must be especially attuned to who you are. If this is not the case, the relationship risks causing moral discomfort. To remedy this, she recommends putting “words to the ailments” to identify and treat the reason for the discomfort.

If you feel overwhelmed, she advises seeking support from associations, professionals and caring people. “It is possible to report psychological violence,” says Assa Djelou.

“The best advice I can give you is to choose yourself,” the therapist concludes. That is, forgiving yourself, without guilt, to regain your self-esteem before starting a new relationship.

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