if it drains you, it’s not for you.
Relationships take work. They require compromise, communication, and a willingness to put your partner’s needs on the same level as your own. However, there’s a difference between a relationship requiring effort and a relationship being emotionally exhausting. If you find your relationship consistently leaves you depleted instead of fulfilled, it may be time to take a step back and evaluate whether this partnership is right for you. Here are some signs your relationship may be emotionally draining you:
You Constantly Feel Exhausted
One major red flag is if you constantly feel drained after interacting with your partner. Healthy relationships provide mutual support and lift both people up. If every conversation with your significant other leaves you wiped out, that’s a problem. You should feel energized by your time together sometimes, not perpetually wiped out. If your normal state around them is tired and depleted, pay attention.
Your Needs and Opinions Don’t Seem to Matter
Relationships should make you feel seen and heard. Your thoughts, desires, and priorities should carry weight with your partner. If you find yourself constantly sacrificing your needs for theirs or struggling to be heard, it’s a sign something is off balance. You shouldn’t have to fight to have your voice count in the relationship.
You’re Always Giving More Than You Receive
Similarly, make sure the give and take feels fair and mutual. Emotionally healthy relationships have reciprocity – both partners consciously give to the other. If you’re constantly going above and beyond for them but rarely see the same effort in return, you may be putting in more than you’re getting back. Pay attention if it feels very one-sided.
You’re Constantly Criticized and Made to Feel Inadequate
Toxic or emotionally manipulative partners will break you down with constant criticism. They highlight your every flaw and make you feel like you can never live up to their standards. This gradually undermines your self-worth. A good partner builds you up and makes you feel empowered, not criticized. Don’t accept excessive critique or meanness from a loved one.
You’re Starting to Isolate From Friends and Family
Abusive or controlling partners will deliberately isolate you from other supportive relationships. They may disparage your loved ones, guilt you for spending time away from them, or monopolize all your time. If you start declining social invitations and pulling away from close friendships, it could mean your partner is (consciously or subconsciously) isolating you. Stay connected.
You’re Walking on Eggshells
Do you feel like anything you say or do will set your partner off? Do you find yourself avoiding certain subjects or tip-toeing around to keep the peace? This isn’t sustainable. A loving partner should make you feel safe, not anxious. You deserve to relax and be yourself without fearing their reactions.
Your Partner Lacks Empathy for Your Feelings
Part of emotional intimacy is having a partner who cares about your feelings and life circumstances. When something big happens in your life, whether good or bad, your significant other should be there for empathy and comfort. If your partner seems dismissive or uninterested in what you’re going through, it’s a red flag. You deserve support.
Your Partner Controls or Dominates You
Manipulative or abusive partners will try to maintain dominance and control in the relationship. Tactics can include monitoring your spending, telling you what to wear, guilt-tripping you, or isolating you from others. Don’t tolerate controllers. You deserve autonomy in your relationships.
Your Needs and Desires Feel Small
Sometimes toxic relationships shrink our sense of self. Your wants, needs, desires, and voice start to feel unimportant – while your partner’s expand. Make sure your relationship still makes you feel empowered. Your dreams should feel possible and your desires valid. A relationship that squashes you is harmful.
The Relationship Lacks Intimacy
Intimacy isn’t just physical affection – it’s also emotional intimacy like sharing feelings, dreams, fears, and vulnerabilities. If there’s no depth or vulnerability in your relationship, it can be draining. We all need true intimacy sometimes. See if you can open up communication with your partner.
You Don’t Feel Like a Priority
You shouldn’t have to beg for your partner’s time or attention. In healthy relationships, both people make each other a priority. If juggling their schedule always seems to leave little time for you, take note. You deserve to feel valued and important. Talk to your partner about needing more focused time.
If you notice some of these red flags, have an honest conversation with your partner. Explain how the relationship has been making you feel and see if they’re willing to work with you to build a healthier dynamic. If not, don’t be afraid to walk away and prioritize your wellbeing. You deserve a mutually fulfilling partnership.