6 Tiny Signs You're Falling For Someone Who's Going To Hurt You

This man is manipulating you into loving him.

Last updated on Feb 08, 2024

Couple standing at a distance Getty Images | Unsplash 

There’s no sure-fire way not to get hurt in any relationship. However, experience and a basic behavior meter are excellent instruments. Watch out for these caution lights. They are the signs of a toxic relationship.

Here are 6 warning signs you're falling for someone who's going to hurt you:

1. They get close fast

He acts interested in you. He wants to hear all about your life and you find yourself telling him things you haven’t said to anyone before. It feels like a connection, like coming home. It might feel great, but you can’t get from date to soulmate that fast. His information gathering might seem like a genuine curiosity, but it’s often just mining for your weaknesses. Beware of sharing too much too soon. You are under no obligation to tell private memories or secrets to anyone. 




Relationships have a natural rhythm. They take time to develop and mature. You both have to earn the right to share raw stories from the past. Attentiveness does not equal trustworthiness. Believe in personal space and privacy. Guard your memories like they are precious because they are. Your history and failings made you the amazing person you are today, but the stories belong to you. Be careful who you let read them.


RELATED: 7 Subtle Signs He's Nowhere Near Ready To Be In A Relationship

2. Their actions don’t match their words

It’s easy to spot when someone’s headspace and actions don't match their persona. Believe what you see, not just what you hear. Trust your observations are the truth, even if they're disappointing.  No relationship is worth staying in when mistrust hangs over it. Someone who says one thing and does another is not trustworthy. Once this guy knows you won’t hold him accountable for his suspicious behavior, he's got you trapped. You’re playing by his rules, and he's in control of where the relationship is going — even if he’s smiling and saying all the right things along the way.

3. You feel off-balance

We’re not talking about giddy, tingly, off-balance. We're talking about when you forget how to put one foot in front of the other out of fear of going the wrong way and upsetting him.  Even if you realize this is happening, once you start mirroring your steps with someone else’s, it’s hard to stop. You lose track of your wants and needs quickly. When we forget our path, we tend to borrow someone else’s. That gets confusing. Respecting yourself means honoring your values and taking steps that are right for you, accepting that your walk may take you in a different direction than someone, anyone, else’s. 



RELATED: 11 Subtle-But-Deadly Signs You're Being Love-Bombed


4. Your body reacts

Our bodies are usually smarter than our minds. If you feel instinctively constricted in the chest, gut, or jaw when you're dealing with someone, your body is telling you to run. Believe what you feel, especially if it’s fear.  It doesn't matter whether you're afraid of losing the relationship, your identity that's wrapped up in the relationship, or if you fear for your safety. If you’re more afraid to leave than to stay, run like the wind. 

If you’re not ready to run, it’s time to seriously examine your motivation to stay in a state of anxiety. Fear is a parasite. Held down, unexamined, or unexpressed, it turns on its host and will eat you from the inside out. Like an animal chewing at a wound, when we don't deal with the source of our anxiety, we attack ourselves instead of releasing our frustration and tending to our needs. 

If your body and intuition are telling you that you can’t trust this person, it’s time to do some digging and figure out who you’re dealing with — or just get out. If you’re too afraid to look, you’ve already identified as a victim — and a user will smell that a mile away. A healthy, safe relationship makes you feel like you can do anything. Its support lifts you. It’s empowering. There's no way to be empowered and a victim at the same time. And you’re the only one who can make that choice.

RELATED: 15 Immediate Signs He's Toxic And Dangerous


5. They have a lot of bodies buried in the backyard

Not quite literally. But, his last girlfriend was "crazy." His ex-wife turned out to be mentally unstable. His boss was a jerk. His past three assistants were incompetent. He has a dramatic backstory about his life and how he overcame challenges to get to this moment of glory. He'll tell you that story up front. His mother is often the hero in that story. Be wary when you see him stepping all over his past to run into your safe and loving arms. You're not here to rescue anyone. You’re not here to be the next chapter in his book of horror stories. You're, for sure, not here to be his mother.

6. Their behavior quickly turns unpredictable

Soon off the hot pursuit of you, he forgets to check his phone and doesn't respond to your texts for two days. But then he calls you four times in a row. Moods shift up, down, and sideways. This manic behavior can seem exciting and passion-filled for a while when he’s on. It can be dramatic and adrenaline-fueled when he's off. When he comes back to you, it feels like happiness, but it’s not. It’s a relief. A safe relationship, even if it’s a bit rocky, gives you a feeling of stability. An unstable one breeds anxiety and self-doubt. Once you doubt yourself over someone else’s behavior, you’ve lost your center. Now, you're at risk of being the unpredictable one.

The wrap-up is getting close to someone is always risky, yet there's joy in being seen and genuinely seeing another person. The trick is to calibrate your intentions with his as quickly as possible to move the relationship forward or end it with integrity.  When your intentions are out of sync, like when you're dating him but he's working you, the disorder of it all can steal your joy. That's because feeling manipulated triggers us to operate in survival mode. When you lose yourself in the unsteadiness of an unworthy person, you can forget you are whole, capable, and have choices. You start to feed off of the crumbs he throws at you like scraps for a love-starved heart. But you're not love-starved. You're not a victim. You have a light inside of you that no one has the authority to dim. It belongs to you alone.


RELATED: 6 Less Obvious Signs He's Only Using You

Sharon Demko is a Co-Active® leadership coach, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and professional trainer. She works with clients on one, or in teams in organizations, to build strong minds, bodies, and spirits.