The Disney scene where Mickey and Minnie gaze into each other eyes right before a giant cartoon heart forms between them exists for a reason — relationships are supposed to be full of love. Even cartoon mice know this. But, unfortunately, this isn't always the case — sometimes relationships are anything but cartoon hearts. Sometimes, they aren't full of love much at all.
Unfortunately, the signs of an unhealthy relationship aren't always overt; the cartoon heart doesn't suddenly turn dark, morphing into a skull right before our very eyes. Rather, the signs of an unhealthy relationships are often more subtle. But, rest assured, they are there: you only need to know what to look for.
Abuse, meanness, and perpetual one-upping are all signs of an unhealthy relationship, but you may also have an unfit union if you have experienced the following in your relationship.
1. You and your partner never see each other.
It can be hard to consider yourself in a relationship if you never actually see the person you are in a relationship with. This is largely why people who say they are dating their internet penpals are never taken seriously. Never seeing each other — or seeing each other very sparingly — is one of the biggest signs of an unhealthy relationship. You see, it's rather simple: if you want to be in a relationship, you actually need to be together.
2. You and your partner see each other too much.
There is a delicate balance between never seeing each other and seeing each other too often. The latter can also be one of the signs of an unhealthy relationship. The reason for this has to do with codependency: you shouldn't rely on your partner for everything. Instead, you should spend some time apart, doing your own thing. This will make you appreciate each other more, ultimately strengthening your relationship in the long run.
3. You and your partner talk to everyone else, but not to each other.
When you have a problem with your partner, you call your mom and talk her ear off. Your partner does the same, calling up their friends for an emergency meeting of the minds. But, this kind of thing is like committing relationship suicide: it's fine to vent to your friends and family from time to time, but you must also talk to each other as well. If you don't, you'll never ever solve your problems and, as such, happiness will remain elusive.
4. You and your partner only focus on one person's wants.
Another of the common signs of an unhealthy relationship has to do with dreams and desires. We all have them, even those of us who aren't particularly ambitious: dreams and desires don't have to be drastic, having to do with huge career changes or wanting to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The desire to watch CSI instead of The Real Housewives of Orange County, for instance, qualifies. Thus, because wants exist within us all, a relationship must balance out his and hers. If one person always gets their way or only has their needs met, the relationship isn’t fair and, most likely, not going to make it in the long run. Even when it does make it, it's likely that one party will be unhappy.
5. You and your partner just don't like each other.
At the root of love is like: if you and your partner don't like each other, there's little chance you can love each other. The concept of loving but not liking one another only exists — and succeeds — when we feel as if we have to (such as loving our sister but not really liking her). With a partner or spouse, however, we don’t feel an innate obligation to profess adoration: instead, we struggle to love them if we don't even like them. Sometimes, this can be remedied: if there is something your partner is doing that makes you not like them, asking them to change (and them doing so) may alter your feelings. Other times, however, not liking someone is a sign that it may be time to move on, and find the person who can truly make you happy.
To learn more about signs of an unhealthy relationship, click here.