Not all relationships are healthy relationships, even if you truly love or care deeply about your partner.
The fact of the matter is that relationships, especially romantic ones, consume a lot of time and energy. Of course, it's natural that you spend a good chunk of your day thinking about and concerning yourself with your partner, including their needs and their feelings. (If you didn't, that'd be concerning in and of itself!). But you also need to spend time on you, your needs and your feelings, too.
And the second that you stop thinking about you, you've got a toxic situation on your hands. Here are seven signs that you're letting yourself go because your relationship is claiming too much of your mental and emotional bandwidth.
1. You're feeling overwhelmed in your partner's presence.
If you find yourself feeling more overwhelmed than at ease in your partner's presence, that's a major red flag. Your relationship should add value to your life, not stress.
2. You're experiencing mental and physical symptoms of stress.
Major side effects of stress include weight gain or weight loss, hair loss, breakouts, insomnia or narcolepsy, mood swings, etc. If you start experiencing these symptoms due to the stress of your relationship, it's a clear indicator that your relationship is taking a toll on your mental and physical health. You might even have outside sources of stress, but even this might suggest that you're not in a position to be in a relationship right now.
3. You don't want to hear your partner's opinions or thoughts.
You may want to consider whether your relationship is taking up too much of your mental and emotional bandwidth if you find yourself neglecting your partner's opinions and thoughts... simply because you don't have the capacity to listen or care anymore. This may be because they've hurt you, or it may just be because you're spreading yourself too thin between your relationship and the other obligations in your life. Whatever the case, this is not a good sign.
4. Your sex life has become sub-par at best.
A gamut of research suggests that relationship stress, and stress in general, can take a serious toll on your sex life. If you find that you and your partner are having less frequent sexual encounters or you're enjoying your sex life a lot less, this might be a sign that you've got too much on your plate and, as such, you're not mentally or emotionally present or even interested.
5. You're so exhausted, you'd rather spend more time asleep than you would with your partner.
Of course, being overwhelmed can lead to utter exhaustion. And, sure, sometimes, you're just tired and you need sleep. But if you find yourself regularly preferring to sleep than spend quality time with your partner, this could be a red flag. You might not have any energy left to share with another person or, perhaps, your partner in particular.
6. You find yourself ignoring or avoiding your partner.
If you're so busy or mentally and emotionally drained that you're constantly ignoring your partner's calls or scheduling your day to avoid crossing paths with them at home, it may be a major sign that you don't have the mental capacity to deal with them anymore (or you just don't want to!).
7. You catch yourself complaining about your partner more often than usual.
It's natural that, when you're in over your head, you chew a friend's ear off about all the things stressing you out. If you constantly catch yourself complaining about your relationship or partner, it may be because that relationship or partner is making you unhappy more than it is bringing joy and ease to your life.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.