If you're anything like me, you'll ignore all the red flags possible and be surprised when you end up in a relationship that is toxic and wonder how you got there. I wanted to compile a short list of things to watch out for out of my own experiences so that hopefully it'll be something not only I'll be able to look back to, but for you so you can notice the red flags if you end up talking to someone who may be toxic, or be with someone who is.

These are all signs I've seen in my past relationships and my own personal experiences, I do know these can be different for everyone else and there's always going to be more than 11 signs, but I still hope you'll be able to use this post as a sign if you are involved with someone showing these signs.

1. Not allowing you to see friends.
Whether it's physically telling you that you're not allowed to see friends or simply manipulating you into choosing them over your friends - I didn't have many friends, mainly online friends and I remember I didn't like how a guy was treating my friend and guess what my ex did? When I was asleep or even when I was awake, he'd snatch my phone off me and send messages to her and delete them so I didn't know what was said. Luckily she's still one of my best friends, but I'm not friends with anyone else from that time because he pushed them all away from me. Luckily now, I have some rock solid friendships that won't ever be affected by toxic people again.

2. Little white lies always turn in to big lies.
Lying is a big red flag in a relationship, like when he says he’s going for a drink with the boys and ends up at his exes house begging for her back while you’re in his bed? Or saying that you can’t actually come with him on a trip because there’s no room - and then his friends asking why you decided not to come? Changing names in their phone so you'll have no idea they're talking to their side piece while you're with them? It shows that they’re hiding things from you and that’s the sign that you need to get out of the relationship and find someone who’ll always be honest with you.

3. Everything is your fault.
Blaming you for things that aren't your fault is so toxic. Just because they lost at a game on their console, it's suddenly okay to start an argument or throw things at you because you're the reason? No. It's so damaging to someone to experience things like this, I've become such a timid person, I will cry if someone raises their voice at me now and  I'm absolutely terrified of confrontation. Even if customers start shouting at me I get so anxious and apologise endlessly.

4. Punishing you for asking for more sexually.
I remember with my ex, I asked if we could be a little rougher in the bedroom, more than just the only position we ever did (which was only ever cowgirl, lazy prick), and he went too far. Biting me as hard as he could, being derogatorive calling me awful names and acting like I wanted pain like that. I cried during and so much more afterwards, had bruises forming and felt like I’d just been assaulted. I still to this day have a selfie I took in bed with the biggest bruise ever on my shoulder that he gave me, even though he swore blind I must have knocked it somehow. It was the last time I ever asked for anything other than what he already got me to do and that should have been a big red flag, a sign for me to leave him, but I didn’t. I thought it was my fault, when looking back, it wasn’t. All I wanted was to do something that I liked and I was punished for that.

5. Always defending their actions.
If you're constantly defending them to other people, then think to yourself why? I found myself apologising for my ex's actions and defending him when deep down I knew it was wrong, I knew everything he was doing was wrong, the way he spoke to people and treated people but still I was defending him. How badly I wish I realised earlier, because secretly I agreed with everything they were saying to me.

6. Doing things that hurt you intentionally.
Whether it's using dating apps in front of you or pinging your bra strap because they know it hurts you, it's not normal behaviour. My ex would pull my thongs like a wedgie, ping my bra straps knowing how painful they could be for his own enjoyment and had the absolute cheek while we were out having a few drinks at my local football club with a couple of my family members - to be on a dating app, sitting right next to me so that I could see the screen swiping right on girls. Or jumping out at me when I'm walking with a hot cup of tea knowing I'll jump and spill that scolding hot tea all down me, that shit hurts. If they're doing things that will end up painful for you whether it's physically or emotionally, get rid of them - they're the worst.

7. Calling you hurtful things.
I've been called so many things in relationships, whether it's been fat because I wanted to get a snack or whether it's been a slut because my body count was higher than his, or because I decided to get a rib tattoo. Yep, my ex called me a slut because I let someone who I've known since I was 18 tattoo me under my boobs, while I was covered up. Is it really that hard for a guy to just call you beautiful in a relationship? Because that's something I've never experienced and it really does affect the way you view yourself when you don't hear nice things about yourself.

8. Controlling what you wear.
Have you ever felt amazing in a new dress you bought, and been told by your partner that it's too revealing and you need to cover up. Or if you've put on a little more make up than usual and feeling so badass, to be told you should take it off because you look stupid? Yeah, that's a sign of a very toxic person. I used to like to wear clothes that showed off my curves and you could see in my photos at the time I went from wearing short-ish dresses to leggings and jumpers. If your partner tries to control what you wear and how you look, run.

9. Demeaning your own mental health issues.
Personally I've always been open about my struggle with mental health, but with one of my exes, mine weren't valid. Because he had the two of the same mental health conditions as I did, that meant his was more important, if I was struggling, I was made to feel guilty because I should be focusing on his, not mine. My mental health struggled so much in that relationship, because I was made to feel like my feelings weren't valid, I wasn't allowed to feel things because his were the only ones that mattered.

10. Using you as a bank. 
It amazes me when guys say that they have more money when they don't have a girlfriend, because I felt that when my ex ended the relationship. It seemed that I was paying for so much and keeping track of what he borrowed off me that I was chasing him for nearly £500 after our relationship ended. I was so manipulated in it, that I offered to pay for holidays when I didn't have loads of money myself to just give away. I wasn't the only one he was using a bank, he was even taking money off other people too. Now it's a huge warning sign for me and I will never lend a guy money ever again.

11. Physical or Emotional abuse.
Personally I've experienced physical abuse in my life, it wasn't much in my sexual relationships that was more emotional abuse, but I have experienced is in my childhood. I understand how much physical abuse from someone you should feel safe with can damage your entire views on men in general and how many trust issues come with it. If a man can lay a hand on a girl, whether she's 6 or over the age of 18 then they deserve to be put in jail.

Any abuse of any kind is not forgivable.

If you are in a abusive relationship and need help call the UK Domestic Abuse Hotline 0808 2000 247 or in an emergency 999 (UK Only).   

Daisy x