Humans are driven to find love and have happy relationships, but 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce — and many new singles find themselves wondering what went wrong.
We often blame our partners for our relationship distress, which may or may not be valid. Maybe it's time to take a closer look in the mirror to see if your own behavior contributes to the problems.
Here's how to know if you are the toxic one in your relationship.
1. You're hot-headed.
If something unpleasant happens with you and your partner, you go from 0 to 100 in three seconds. You mumble mean things — maybe even throw things — and you lash out whether the issue is big or small. The way out of this is to become aware of your behavior and change it. Consider an anger management program, or, at the very least, learn to take a break from combative conversations for 20 minutes to give yourself time to cool down.
2. You think your partner is inferior to you.
You think you're the bomb, and your partner isn't. When you feel you're superior, you will develop contempt for your partner and put them down either when you're alone or when you're around others. You will try to make your partner feel small — and a person will tolerate nasty behavior like that for only so long.
3. You avoid conflict.
You're the life of the party when life is rainbows and puppies — but when conflict arises, you run for the hills. Solving problems is not exactly one of your skills. But life isn't all rainbows, and if you are conflict-avoidant, you may shut down completely — which will make your partner anxious or angry. If your partner feels like he can engage you only when things are going perfectly, that's not a good thing.
4. You're obsessed with social media.
If you're always on social media posting sexy photos of yourself, or — yikes! — flirting with your exes, your partner will definitely feel insecure and threatened. And guess what? That kind of behavior also makes you look insecure and desperate for attention.
5. You don't take responsibility for your actions.
If everything is always your partner's fault and never your own, you're probably being a bit biased or irrational. If you don't easily say, "I'm sorry," and instead blame your actions on someone else, it's a sure-fire way to relationship disaster.
6. You have friends whispering in your ear.
If your close pals are filling your head with thoughts like, "You could do so much better," they may be culprits in sabotaging your relationship. Ask yourself: Is this something that happens repeatedly? How well do these close friends sustain their own relationships? It may be time to stop listening to your nearest and dearest.
7. You prioritize your own needs/wants first.
Are you constantly expecting him to understand when you change up plans — or you suddenly need a girls' night out? Are you thinking of his needs last — after you've made sure you've made yourself happy?
8. You want him to make you a better person.
You expect him to inspire you to become a better human, but the only person who can inspire you to be better is you. You blame him for your stagnancy, your lack of success — but the truth is that nothing he can say or do will motivate you. Motivation comes from within — not from the outside.
Dating coach Bela Gandhi is the founder and president of Smart Dating Academy.