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A toxic relationship checklist: five signs yours is in trouble

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A toxic relationship is the worst kind of human contamination; it affects a person inside and out. I speak from experience. A healthy relationship, on the other hand, makes us a better person, boosts our self-esteem, confidence, and happiness, and has a positive impact on the way we view the world, and more importantly, ourselves.

A relationship can turn toxic when a caring partner becomes a negative force. Neglect and lack of communication can make it noxious, says Valentina Tudose, relationship coach at Happy Ever After, a Hong Kong-based dating agency.

“A loving partner who puts the happiness of the other above his or her own, and who is willing to put in the hard work to facilitate growth, is almost never going to create or tolerate toxicity in a relationship,” says Tudose. “However, this has the potential to happen if they also feel ignored, deprioritised or not heard.”

So what defines a toxic relationship? Is it about obsession and/or being controlling?

Simply put, a toxic relationship lacks the fundamental requirements that support and enhance the growth of a partnership. It encompasses a range of negative emotions, from permanent anger and constant conflict, to contempt, to a lack of respect, and abuse.

Abuse takes many forms, from physical to emotional to psychological. “Gaslighting”, in which one partner wears down the other by psychological means, to the point where the victim begins to question their own sanity, has also come to be recognised as a form of abuse.

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“Healthy balanced relationships are those that make us feel good about ourselves, where we feel loved, supported, and cared for, so that we are able to grow and thrive,” says Tudose. “They tend to be based on fundamental requirements such as mutual........

© South China Morning Post