It's easy to wonder why a relationship didn't work out and blame ourselves. We wonder if we somehow missed the signs and the red flags early on, or if we simply ignored them because we loved them.
While those are possibilities, oftentimes, the problem really is them, not you. Toxic traits have a lot to do with that person's experience and sense of self; here's how.
Jumping From One Relationship To The Next
It's not because you're replaceable, it's because they're too scared of being alone. They don't take the time to heal after a breakup. Instead, they find a way to fill that void and find comfort in other people's support.
It's also the reason they still talk to their exes or flirt during the relationship. They need to always have a backup plan.
Putting On A Persona
It's not that you missed the signs of their true character, it's that they felt they had to put on a persona because they feared the real them wouldn't be good enough.
This can happen for a few reasons. It may just be the product of low self-esteem or past bad experiences. But it can also be because they're so scared of losing you that they're doing what they think they have to do to keep you.
Checking If The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side
You should never feel like you're an option or second best, but if your partner is honest about their doubts, it's because they're afraid they're settling.
It's nothing against you specifically, but rather, in line with the idea that there are so many options out there, and "upgrades" are so encouraged, that it's hard to stick with just one.
Staying With The Wrong Person
If they're sticking in what is obviously an unhealthy relationship, it's probably because they have a fear of loneliness. They can't imagine how to be on their own and how to deal with doing everything for themselves.
Plus, they likely don't want to have to face that fear, so they use the relationship as a distraction, even if that relationship also makes them feel lonely.
Refusing Commitment And Serious Relationships
Often enough, the reason they can't commit has nothing to do with you and has everything to do with their learned experiences.
If they come from divorced parents or have had their heart broken, they likely just expect every relationship to fail so they don't see the point in trying.
Being Cliny Or Possessive
They're holding on as tightly as possible because they fear that their partner will otherwise leave them. Often it's not because that person has given them any reason to, but because they're reacting to a deep fear of abandonment.
They have a tendency to overgeneralize and read into behaviors to assume the worst.
Acting Like Their Parents
If they come from a bad home, they might fear doing the same thing themselves. Ironically, they might fear ending up like their parents so much that they start acting exactly like them.
They don't know any better and try so hard to do the opposite that it has the same toxic effects.
Being Overly Emotional Or Angry
Some people find it overwhelming to not have their needs met so they let their emotions take over. The fear that your partner ends up not being able to take care of you the way that you'd hoped is actually quite common.
The fear is rooted in not being heard or understood, especially if that was the case in their past.
Avoiding Any Confrontational Talks
It can be very frustrating trying to talk to someone who refuses to discuss issues. It is usually due to their fear of facing any conflict or the risk of the relationship not working out.
They would rather live in denial and pretend no issues are present than risk acknowledging them and having to deal with them.
Living In Codependency
While you and your partner should be making each other happy, you're not supposed to be their only source of happiness. That would mean that your relationship is based on fear, not love.
That kind of fear might have been conditioned into them from a young age and now all they know is how to depend on others.
Being Overly Jealous
A little jealousy might be expected, but if they're snooping through your phone and preventing you from talking to anyone, then they're likely projecting their fears onto you.
Maybe they've been cheated on in the past, but the issue will persist for as long as they don't identify its root.
Doing Whatever Their Partner Wants
You can't be in a happy relationship if you're constantly doing only what makes one party happy. Out of fear of upsetting them, some partners lose their sense of self and live simply to please their partner.
They end up sabotaging themselves and the relationship fails anyway.
Being self-absorbed is usually an indication of worrying too much about what others think. Some people measure their own worth by how others perceive them, so they're constantly putting up a front that they hope will be liked.
It's important for these people to simply be themselves and even when they're judged, know they're trying their best.
Planning 10 Steps Ahead
Those who get ahead of themselves and start pressuring their partner into moving forward are just afraid of the uncertainties of the future.
They're trying to feel like they're in control of what's next to avoid any unforeseen obstacles or heartbreaks.
Being Hot And Cold
Katy Perry was onto something when she sang "you're hot, then you're cold." It's frustrating to feel like you're being led on and not know if you're both on the same page.
However, in most cases, it's because they're afraid of letting people get too close when they don't know for sure what it is that they want. They're trying to keep you from getting too attached because they're scared of letting you in.
There's nothing more frustrating than being left on read for three days only for them to come back like nothing happened. Often this is a tool that keeps you at arm's length without completely losing you.
It ties into some of the fears above, but it comes down to them fearing vulnerability. They're scared of love and of what it implies so they're having a hard time giving themselves in to it.