Negative Relationship Patterns

Negative Relationship Patterns

There are some negative relationship patterns that can’t be ignored. If you’re deciding to be in a new relationship or you wonder if you will ever meet the right person, knowing your negative patterns can help.

The thoughts, patterns and behaviors that you have can shape or destroy your relationships. There are some patterns that are full of red flags while others are more subtle, but they can all be destructive.

It is important to stop these patterns before you ever get into a new relationship and even though it isn’t easy, here are some things that can help you to have self-improvement and to better your future relationships.

What Do You Want?

There are things that everyone wants when it comes to love. You might want someone that has a good sense of humor, someone cute, someone that has nice teeth or other things. Everyone has deal breakers and things that they’d like to have when it comes to dating and having standards is healthy.

You should also make sure that you are looking to see what kind of behaviors and patterns the person has because being in a toxic relationship can be horrible. Think about what you want and what you dream about when it comes to dating. Do you expect there to be good and bad days and arguments from time to time? You need to be realistic with what you expect.

There should be a list that you make of what you want and what would be dealbreakers. Some of the deal-breakers can deter you from dating the wrong person but you should also not be too rigid in what you expect.

Being rigid in your thinking can cause you to have stress, depression, to be fearful, controlling and even a perfectionist. When you are dealing with these things it can be hard to believe that you’ve found the right person in your life. Here is how you know that you’re thinking too rigidly:

  • You control where your partner goes.
  • You tell your partner who they can talk to.
  • You criticize everything they do.
  • You want to change them.
  • You freak out if your partner doesn’t do just what you want.
  • You make all of the decisions.
  • When your partner makes a suggestion, you feel attacked.

This kind of thinking can hurt your relationship, and this leaves no room for negotiation between you and your partner. Saying things like:

  • Never.
  • Always.
  • Perfect.
  • Impossible.

This can also lead you to avoiding conflict, losing friendships so that you don’t end up hurting, being someone that quits their jobs often and not thinking life is good enough.

When people think overly rigidly, they are people that want to be in control. They want to control what everyone thinks and does. This is fear-based thinking, and it can be fixed through extensive counseling and therapy.

Making Everything About You

Another negative relationship pattern is when you think that everything has to be about you. Here is what that can look like:

  • You make plans with your partner, but they don’t have enough money to go so they suggest a place that is less expensive, and this makes you mad.
  • Your partner spends more on your birthday than you do on their birthday.
  • You only do what you want to do when you plan a date.
  • You manipulate your partner to make them apologize first.
  • You guilt them to get what you want.

Relationships have to be about compromise, and everything can’t be about you. You will end up with a partner that resents you and one that doesn’t want to be with you if you are always the one getting your way and you don’t consider their feelings.

Demanding to get your way will ruin your relationship over time. When you are self-centered in your relationship it will cause you to have less happiness in the end. Being selfish will make you and your partner unhappy and your partner will see you as less desirable.

People find that kindness is attractive and if you are self-centered and you don’t care about the needs of others then this is a negative relationship pattern, and it can cause your relationships to not work out.

Making Everything About Them

Just like making everything about you, you also can’t make everything about them. Being overly self-less can cause a relationship to end as well. Here is what this looks like:

  • You don’t buy what you want so that your partner can get a phone that they’ve been wanting.
  • You give your partner whatever they need no matter what it is.
  • If your partner needs something done even at 4 AM you are the one that is there.
  • Whatever they ask of you, you do it.
  • They don’t say thank you much.
  • They ask for space.
  • You are always saying you’re sorry.
  • You go above and beyond for them.
  • You resent not having what you want and need.

It can be tiring to always be giving and not getting things in return. Relationships that are not balanced will cause you to have poor mental health. Relationships like this are often codependent relationships and this means that you give up your own needs to make your partner happy. This can cause you to have stress and depression and it can be toxic for you.

Codependency traits can look like this:

  • Feeling responsible to make everyone else happy.
  • Wanting to fix your partner.
  • Focusing on keeping your partner happy.
  • Having a hard time dealing with your own feelings.
  • Feeling guilty when you stick up for yourself.
  • Not able to have boundaries.

This can cause you to have more stress and depression and it can cause you to:

  • Not have what you need even outside of your relationship.
  • Ignoring the negativity in your life.
  • Feeling guilty when you don’t do what your partner needs.
  • Feeling like you have no goals.

This is also a relationship that can become codependent and can bring about stress and anxiety. This is dysfunctional and can cause there to be toxic situations. Not all people that are in dysfunctional families have codependent relationships with others.

You can change a codependent relationship and you can learn to live a better life. Here are some ways to make these changes:

  • Therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Substance Abuse Counseling and Trauma Therapy.
  • Group Therapy.
  • Medication.
  • Journaling.
  • Support Groups.

Letting Your Ex Make the Decisions

When you think about your ex do you have negative feelings and thoughts about them? Think about your relationships that you’ve had with them. Did you go out of your way to make them happy, but nothing seemed to work?

Think about all of the energy that you used to put into your past relationships. People that have exes often stay tied to them such as ones that have kids together. They also might still hang out together some if they share the same friend group. Maybe the relationship stands out because they were toxic to you or maybe you are still hurting because you don’t understand why it had to even end. No matter what the reason, giving your ex a place in your mind might keep you from finding new love.

It is normal to grieve over a lost relationship and reflecting on this relationship can help you to move forward if you do it with an open mind and you don’t stay in it for very long. There aren’t any people that handle their relationships the same way, but chances are that you can be sabotaging your own relationships and here are signs that you are:

  • People asking you to stop talking about your ex.
  • You compare everyone to your ex.
  • You make statements about your ex.
  • You think constantly about your ex.
  • You avoid relationships because you are hoping your ex will call you.
  • You have a hard time thinking about anyone but your ex.

Thinking constantly about your past and your ex can hurt any chances you have to have a future relationship. Dwelling in your past can cause your relationships with new people or even your friends and family to lack. You will cause your social connections to not want to be around you and nit will end up leaving you isolated.

Rumination or overthinking the past can cause stress and anxiety. Here are some facts about this:

  • Women will overthink the past more than men.
  • People that have insecure attachments will stay too connected to their past relationships.
  • Teenagers have problems with bullying and friendships when they overthink their past too much.
  • People that have secure attachment styles don’t overthink their past as much.

Do you overthink your past often and you find that you are in a dark place? Stop doing this by being mindful and by journaling so that you can get your emotions out and not get stuck in a pattern.

Ignoring Red Flags

Ignoring red flags is one thing that can be a pattern. If you have not enough boundaries or too many boundaries your relationships can lack. Learning to understand what is going on in your relationships can help you to know when you need to let things go or when you need to stand up for yourself.

What kind of boundaries do you have? What things do you let go? What issues would cause you to put someone out of your life? Here are some things that you need to ask yourself:

  • Would table manners cause you to stop seeing someone?
  • Would you leave a partner if your family and your partner argued about politics?
  • Would you let your partner go if you felt that he and your best friend always put you in the middle
  • Do you want to stay friends with your ex even if your partner doesn’t like it?
  • You have a problem with your partners friend, you feel like they are too clingy to him, what would you do?

Did some of the situations make you think that you would leave the relationship? Whatever choices that you make in your relationships will depend on the issues that you have. You can decide to work things out or you can decide to leave the relationship at any time.

Figuring out what is a minor issue and what is a major issue is important and then you have to decide what you’re going to do when these issues are broken. It can allow you to get rid of toxicity in your relationship. Some people decide that they would rather stay in relationships even if they are toxic.

If you feel a lack of communication then this can happen in abuse, people that are in toxic relationships have increased anxiety, those that stay in toxic relationships have distrust of themselves and feel disrespected and unimportant, they often act like their toxic partners and they feel that they can’t do anything right.

Staying in a toxic relationship can cause you to have a lower self-esteem and lower mental health. All situations are different and here are some of the bigger reasons that people stay in toxic relationships:

Caring for Their Partner

Some people will stay in a toxic relationship because they feel that their partner is too dependent on them, and they care about their partners needs.

Benefits of the Relationship

It can be hard to leave a relationship when you depend on the finances and the practical needs such as shelter.

To Save Appearance

Abusive relationships can make people feel that they are going to be judged by their family and friends.

Age and Gender

Younger women are more likely to stay in toxic behaviors and men are more likely to stay in emotionally abusive relationships.


Trauma can cause people to feel that they have to stay in relationships that aren’t healthy. Boundaries will get weaker when they are in toxic relationships.

No matter what kind of toxic relationship that you’re in, some people choose to leave, and they become happier, and they are healthier. If you’re dealing with a toxic relationship, ask yourself these things:

  • What keeps you in the relationship?
  • What makes you want to leave the relationship?
  • If you could have a perfect life, what would that look like for your relationship?
  • What financial needs is the relationship giving you?
  • What emotional needs is the relationship giving you?
  • What physical needs is the relationship giving you?
  • What about the relationship upsets you?
  • What do you feel when you think of leaving the relationship?
  • Do you feel like people would judge you for leaving the relationship? What do you think they would say?
  • What would you say to a friend that was dealing with the same kind of relationship as you?
  • How does the thought of ending this relationship make you feel?

Whatever choice you make know that no one deserves to be mistreated or to stay in an abusive relationship.

Final Thoughts

Look at the article above and see what kind of negative patterns that you have in your life. What have you noticed that you don’t like about your relationships? What kind of behavioral patterns to you have that you wish you could change? When you think of self-care, what does that look like to you? You can always talk to a mental health professional if you need to.

Find the right kind of support that you need when you are dealing with negative relationship patterns or with toxic relationships. By doing this you can learn to have better mental health and a better overall life.