Are You In A Toxic Relationship? Study Says You Probably Are

YourTango presents "Love Life Reboot."

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New York, NY (December 17, 2012): A survey of YourTango Experts exposes the ugly truth about toxic relationships. For starters, a staggering eighty-nine percent agree that half or more of all people have toxic relationships in their lives.

But how can you tell if you are in one? The top three indications of toxicity include: "spending more time fighting than enjoying each other," "regularly feeling like you can't do anything right" and "feeling depressed and/or anxious." Two other telltale signs of toxic relationships are when the relationship stops being fulfilling and when you notice friends start distancing themselves from you.


Additionally, 71% of experts identify poor relationship role models, including parents, as the leading cause of toxic relationship habits, followed closely by low self-esteem, with "fear of being truly open with someone else" clocking in third. Other causes of toxic relationships include narcissism/selfishness and incompatibility. Meanwhile, YourTango Expert and therapist Kim Olver offers a different explanation for toxic relationship habits. She says, "When we get into relationships, we have a vision of what we want the relationship to look like. Over time, if it doesn't resemble our vision, we try to force our partner to be the person we imagined rather than accepting him/her."


A whopping sixty-four percent of experts agree that the number one way to overcome toxic relationship habits is by replacing them with more positive behaviors and habits, followed by couples or individual therapy. Dating Coach and YourTango Expert Ronnie Ann Ryan believes that in order to overcome toxic relationship habits, it's essential to work on one's own self-esteem and confidence, which she also sites as the leading cause of toxic relationship habits.

The good news: YourTango is here to help! From December 17 to December 21, YourTango Experts will host Love Life Reboot, an initiative designed to provide relationship detox. Plus, YourTango experts features over 1,100 mental health professionals who are available for consultation. 

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Join YourTango's #LoveLifeReboot Twitter party, December 19, 2-4 p.m. EST.

More love advice from YourTango:

"With January being the biggest breakup month, we seek to help couples not only start the new year positively but transform those relationships where toxicity or a break up threaten," says, Andrea Miller, YourTango's CEO. "Love Life Reboot was created to offer tools that help readers achieve lasting relationship change."

Additional survey findings:

  • 66% of experts polled agree that "communication issues" is the most common toxic relationship habit, followed by "consistently blaming others for your problems" (50%) and "shutting down emotionally" (48%). Other toxic relationship habits deemed common by surveyed experts include: being stuck in the past, lack of trust and yelling.
  • The top three ways to move on from a toxic relationship? 1) Allow yourself a proper grieving period, 2) focus on self-improvement and 3) cut ties with the ex. Dating coach and YourTango Expert David "Spike" Osterczy adds that "toxic relationships should be ended quickly. However, each person should look in the mirror and ask, 'What did I add to that relationship?'"
  • The relationship habit most likely to keep someone single is "constantly looking for the next best relationship" followed by anger about a past relationship.

Research methodology: Conducted on, we polled 119 mental health professionals between December 3 and December 8, 2012.