Trigger warning: domestic abuse and violence

In my mind, I thought it was love at first sight. I met a boy one night and we instantly hit it off. For the next few months, I spent every chance I could with this boy. Slowly but surely I realized that he was not the person I thought he was. Eventually, I had to cut things off. Our relationship had become so toxic that my mental health went completely down the drain.

I made the mistake of not recognizing the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship. I would like to share some of the signs that you are in a relationship like this with examples from my own experience.

They control who you can and can't talk to 

While I was dating this boy I started to notice he would get really upset whenever I would spend time with other people, even including my family (ridiculous I know).

I wouldn't be able to hang out with my friends without him getting mad at me for it. In the case it was a male friend I was hanging out with, he would get livid. Due to this, I would have to purposefully stop hanging out with the people closest to me. I would start trying to look for reasons as to why I couldn't hang out with them.

I would even have to assure him that I didn't want to hang out with them (even when I did), just so he wouldn't say anything to me later about how I don't care about him. I lost a lot of my dearest friends because of this. Take my advice: DON'T DO THIS.

They constantly stalk your location or ask where you are 

Okay, boys who do this are the worst. I seriously couldn't go to a restaurant with my parents without him asking me why I was there and who I was with. He would later ask me about every place I went to.

Keep in mind I was extremely loyal and never gave him a reason to doubt otherwise. You are a human being with free will, you can go to places and do things! I felt like I was on a leash constantly.

You are still your own person and you are allowed to go places and do things. Your significant other shouldn't have that much control on your life.

They make you apologize for everything

Even when something had nothing to do with me or wasn't my fault, the only way to end an argument or fight with him was to apologize. I remember apologizing once because he had a dream I left him for someone else.

Ridiculous right?

You shouldn't feel obligated to say sorry over things that he makes up or over things he does. Apologize when something is your fault and no more than that.

They constantly take but never give 

I remember being in this relationship and going out of my way to make him happy, but he would hardly ever do anything for me.

Relationships should be balanced. You both should be giving and taking. When one person starts to only take it is no longer a relationship, you are now a slave to them. You have your own needs and they should understand that.

You are less happy WITH them than you are without them 

When you are with someone, you should be happy. You should feel like you're a better person. While I dated this boy I began to realize that I no longer felt happy.

I was sad constantly and hated waking up each morning knowing I was never going to be good enough for him. Look at your situation, because your mental state is so important, and when you start to sacrifice that for someone else, it's time to give them up.

No relationship is ever going to be perfect, but you should feel happy, secure, and loved. Emotionally abusive relationships are still abusive relationships. Take a look at the situation, if you aren't gaining anything and only sacrificing yourself, maybe it's time for a change. Be careful and remember that there is always going to be someone out there who is going to treat you the way you deserve.