11 Signs You Are In A Negative Relationship

Signs You Are In A Negative Relationship
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Do you know what’s worse than dealing with negative thoughts? Dealing with a negative partner with negative thoughts in negative relationships. Yes, that’s too many negatives, but that’s the point, too much negativity can be detrimental to a relationship. If you are currently in a negative relationship, getting through the day gets harder and harder and you probably find yourself asking, “Is this normal?”

Negative relationships have a way of sucking the energy out of you and making daily life seem like a struggle. It’s easy to blame yourself and wonder if you deserve better. But here’s a fact for you: You do deserve better and it’s time you get it. This post will help you identify if you are dating a negative person and how to walk away from them without feeling guilty. The surprising thing is that negative relationship examples are plenty and yet, most victims lack the words to describe negative relationships and articulate their problems.

That’s why, we turned to psychotherapist Dr. Chavi Bhargava Sharma (Masters in Psychology), who has vast experience in diverse spheres of mental health and wellness, including relationship counseling, for insights on negative relationships. She compares negative relationships with spoilt food items. She explains, “Dating a negative person is like eating a dish that has turned bad. It might look good enough from the outside, but it will eventually leave you with a bad aftertaste.”

What Does A Negative Relationship Feel Like

How do you differentiate between positive and negative? You simply associate it with your feelings, right? If something makes you feel good, it is positive, and when something sucks the life out of you, you know what it is. It is the same with relationships. But then, why are things more complicated on that front?

This is because negative relationship patterns often hide in plain sight. When the cloud of romance engulfs you, your vision is too blurry with the thrill and excitement to see the negative qualities in a partner. But as time passes, if you feel like a romantic connection is sucking out your happiness like dementors, you are likely in a negative relationship. Negative relationships bring about negative feelings such as:

  • Lack of self-worth
  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Insecurity
  • Feeling invalid and unappreciated

If you experience similar negative emotions quite often, you need to pay more attention to your relationship dynamics. A negative relationship usually disguises itself as a normal one and if you don’t pay attention to your feelings, you won’t be able to spot the problematic patterns until it’s too late.

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11 Signs That You Might Be In A Negative Relationship

From the outside, negative relationships don’t seem all that different from regular relationships. For the involved persons, however, differentiating between the two can be the key to a lifetime of happiness.

“Am I in a negative relationship?” Mary asked herself when her then-boyfriend, Andrew, asked her to marry him. They had only been dating for a few months and he popped the question all of a sudden. Being a close friend, Mary had discussed with me the many serious issues they had been struggling with. But she hadn’t given it any serious thought until the proposal came. Eventually, she realized she was stuck in a negative relationship and broke up with Andrew. Serious life mistake averted!

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But not everyone gets a last moment wake-up call like Mary. You might not see your negative relationship for what it truly is until it’s too late. Don’t risk it. Pay attention to the 11 signs of a negative relationship mentioned below and see where your relationship stands:

Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips To Grow In A Relationship Every Day

1. Your partner doesn’t show any personal growth

If someone is stuck in a rut, it can be hard for them to see the bigger picture of what’s going on in their lives. They may treat their loved ones unfairly because of their small thinking. If that sounds like your partner, then you might be dating a negative person with no worthwhile goal in their life.

There’s a chance your partner may be unaware of this problem. You could try sharing your personal life goals with them. See if that gets them out of their negative mindset. But if it doesn’t, then you might want to end the relationship. The price of staying in negative relationships where the potential for growth seems limited, or nil, is often too great.

2. Your partner has trouble making and keeping friends

Negative people tend to repel others in their life and often leave them emotionally exhausted. Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Why does it feel like my relationship negativity is draining me?” Nobody wants to be around a person that leaves them drained and desolate. If your partner finds it difficult to maintain friendships or other meaningful connections, then you might be dating a negative person.

Ignoring the negative qualities of a partner in such instances can have serious repercussions for your personal life and mental well-being. Eventually, people who are stuck in negative relationships also end up losing their friendships. The negativity from your relationship may begin to spill on to other important relationships in your life, pushing away those who matter the most. Unless you are ready to lose all your friends for the sake of a negative relationship, you might want to end the latter.

Dr. Sharma advises, “Negativity is one of the most harmful aspects of modern relationships. It is capable of destroying the strongest emotional bonds. Deterioration of friendships and other meaningful connections is often a sign that the person is suffering from a negative mindset.”

3. Communication problems

If there is a lack of communication between two people in a relationship, then there are bound to be problems. Communication issues are often signs of a negative relationship. The lack of communication can stem from many different things. But no matter what the origin, it can create negativity in the relationship.

If someone is constantly making excuses for why they cannot talk to you or will not respond when you reach out to them, then they probably don’t have any interest in making the relationship last.

Infographic on signs you are in a negative relationship
Signs you are in a negative relationship

4. You constantly feel bad about yourself

When you are in a relationship with a negative person, it affects your overall demeanor. You hold yourself back from being yourself around your partner. It could be because they keep putting you down or make you feel as if you are not good enough. This can be extremely damaging to your mental health.

Your partner should not only bring out the best in you but also help you become the kind of person you aspire to be. But dating a negative person can make it hard to even be yourself. Being in negative relationships can lead to you doubting if you deserve happiness and success in life.

Related Reading: How To Love Yourself – 21 Self Love Tips

5. You start avoiding your partner

You often find reasons why spending time together isn’t a good idea anymore — maybe because you’re busy or because you don’t want to argue about something minor again. And even though a part of you wants to fix things, being with them feels like being punished. This is one of the most telling signs of a negative relationship. And if you are avoiding your partner every chance you get, then you should do them and yourself a favor and end the relationship.

signs you should stay away from someone

6. Things are always tense

A good relationship is both rewarding and fun. Both partners enjoy each other’s company and feel comfortable with each other. If that’s not how you feel in yours and are always on edge or dreading your time together, this is a sign that things need to change. Being around a negative person is often enough to ruin your day. If you stay in a negative relationship for too long, it could end up ruining your life.

7. You get into arguments over the smallest things

Every couple has issues, but if small disagreements always escalate into huge fights, this is a sign that something more serious is going on. Healthy relationships are not built around constant conflict. They need cooperation and compromise to flourish. Not a clashing of heads, opinions, and egos. Constant fights are signs of a negative relationship. And they are a reason enough to end the relationship and get some much-needed peace of mind for yourself.

8. You don’t listen to each other

We have already discussed how good communication is essential to any healthy relationship. Apart from communicating with your partner, sometimes, you just need to hear them out. It could solve a lot of your relationship’s unresolved issues.

However, if you find yourself unable to deal with the barrage of negativity that comes out of your partner’s mouth, then the relationship is damaged. If you find that you rarely listen to what your partner has to say or they rarely listen to what you have to say, this could be an issue worth looking into to get a reality check on the state of your relationship.

9. You can’t be yourself around them

You should feel free to be your true self around your partner. Although relationships are not just about doing whatever you like, freedom is a key component of happy relationships. If you can’t enjoy the things you like when you’re with your partner — whether it’s listening to loud music, talking loudly, or even swearing now and again — then the relationship will start to smother you. Your partner should love the real you. If they don’t like the fundamental aspects of who you are, then there’s something wrong with your relationship.

Related Reading: Relationships And Lessons: 4 Things You Can Learn About Yourself From Past Relationships

10. They make excuses for their behavior

Negative people often have trouble taking responsibility for their actions. They refuse to see themselves in a negative light. If your partner does things that upset you but makes excuses instead of accepting their mistakes, then you are probably dating a negative person.

Constantly making excuses is a sign that the person has no desire to make changes. Negative people find it difficult to confront their insecurities and work on them. If you are tired of your partner’s excuses, it is time you take a call about where the relationship should go from there.

11. Constant negative thoughts about the relationship

Never ignore your instincts when it comes to matters of the heart. If you are struggling with constant negative thoughts about the relationship, there might be a good reason behind it. When you spend a big chunk of your day around a negative person, some of their negativity seeps into your mind as well. Your thought pattern gets affected. You start having constant negative thoughts about the relationship, work, and other aspects of your life.

Are you in a negative relationship
Dating a negative person can make your life toxic

Negative thinking about relationships, health, and finances can become a detrimental factor in your life. It can feel like a giant boulder, weighing you down. Battling with constant negative thoughts about the relationship might be the final sign you need to change things for good.

Reading about and examining negative relationship thoughts can be an opportunity to gauge where your relationship stands. If you encounter any of the above signs in your relationship, don’t brush them off. While a few bad traits or some relationship issues may not seem like a big deal at first, over time they can have serious consequences on your mental health. If you suspect that you might be in a negative relationship, consider addressing the situation to improve your mental health.

Just as being in a relationship tells you a lot about your partner, your own behavior can tell you quite a bit about the nature of the relationship. How do you behave around your partner? Do you look forward to being with them and spending time with them?

Key Pointers

  • If you think, “The negativity in my relationship is draining me”, it is time to wake up
  • Relationships are about growing together, being with a negative partner can hamper your growth
  • We often tend to neglect the negative qualities in a partner until it is too late
  • Try and observe the negative relationship patterns that you and your partner tend to show
  • One of the easiest ways to figure out if you are in a negative relationship is to pay attention to negative relationship thoughts

Try answering these questions and also look for the signs discussed above in your partner as well as yourself. If there are any that ring true for you, consider spending some time reevaluating the relationship and your own emotional state.

Dr. Sharma believes that negative relationships can be turned around if the couple as a unit is willing to improve. “In case of long-standing marriages, especially if children are involved, the couple can and should improve their relationship with dedicated efforts”, she insists before adding, “If the relationship is in the initial stages, however, getting out of it might be the better alternative.”

A negative relationship can be difficult to deal with and therapy can help you make sense of your emotions and find a way forward. With a multitude of experienced, licensed therapists on Bonobology’s panel, help is only a click away.


1. What is a negative relationship example?

Relationships are supposed to be fulfilling. They are supposed to amplify positivity and vitality in our lives. They should enable growth, induce joy and happiness, and fill you with a sense of belonging. Any relationship that does not do this is negative. If it makes you feel insecure, if it feels like it is withering your growth, or it makes you feel anxious and restless, it is a perceptible example of a negative relationship.

2. What if your partner is too negative?

Like darkness is an absence of light, negativity is simply an absence of positivity. It is a void that tends to feed and grow on everything positive around. So, if your partner is too negative, the relationship will start sucking you dry of all the joy and happiness. It is important that you figure this out early and take the necessary steps because we often don’t realize what’s what before it is too late.

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