Your girlfriend makes you feel like you’re not good enough, no matter how hard you try to please her.
Maybe her toxicity is obvious and transparent, but it could also be subtle. The best way to know whether you’re in a toxic relationship is to reflect on your feelings.
How does it feel to be in this relationship? How does your girlfriend treat you?
Maybe you already know the answer.
If not, keep reading as we discuss all the signs that you need to look out for. Afterward, you’ll find out how you can approach this situation so you can work to fix the issue. And, depending on your specific situation, you may need to give up on trying to fix things altogether.
Speak to a certified and experienced relationship coach to help you figure out whether your girlfriend is toxic and what to do about your relationship. You may want to try speaking to someone via RelationshipHero.com for empathetic, specific, and genuinely insightful relationship advice at its most convenient.
30 Signs Your Girlfriend Is Toxic
1. She is manipulative.
A lot of people are at least a bit manipulative, and it’s a skill that can come in handy in life sometimes. However, manipulating your partner to the extent where they believe lies and even start doubting their own sanity is called gaslighting.
Your girlfriend doesn’t have to gaslight you for her manipulative techniques to characterize her as a toxic person. If she’s ready and willing to lie to you to get you to do what she wants, it’s already enough for her behavior to be considered intolerable.
If you often find yourself doing, saying, or thinking things that you wouldn’t if it wasn’t for her, you may have been manipulated into doing so.
2. She is controlling.
Many people can get a bit controlling when they fall in love… But, it’s an entirely different story when your girlfriend wants to constantly know your whereabouts while deciding what you can and can’t do.
For instance, maybe she tries to isolate you from your other loved ones or makes decisions for you. She needs to know where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing. She decides what you do with your time, who you get to spend it with, and maybe even which career you should pursue. That’s controlling behavior that creates toxicity and can even harm your mental health.
3. You’re in a one-sided relationship.
Your girlfriend just takes and takes and takes, but gives little to nothing back. You’re the only one who’s investing your resources into this relationship while she gladly drains you and gives nothing in return. Whether those resources are efforts, time, energy, love, or money, she takes it without reciprocating.
Instead of putting effort into the relationship, she is self-centered and sees you as an extension of herself whose only purpose is to fulfil all her wishes and meet her needs. This is called a one-sided relationship, and it’s your cue to run for the hills before you get left with nothing.
4. She doesn’t support you.
Instead of supporting you and giving you what you need to flourish, she diminishes your growth. She would rather have you serve her needs than encourage your growth, and that’s a clear sign of toxicity. She’s not there for you when you need her, and she doesn’t support your passions. Maybe she doesn’t even show an interest in the things that you’re passionate about.
All in all, she’s unsupportive of your dreams; she might even be pulling you away from them, and that’s not okay.
5. She always criticizes you.
You can’t seem to do anything right according to her. She constantly criticizes you and everything you say or do. Even when she says something nice about you, there’s always a “but” which leads to what’s wrong with you.
You need to realize that this criticism has a very negative effect on you, and you shouldn’t try to justify her behavior. If she makes you feel unworthy of her love, she is not good enough for you, not the other way around.
She probably also threatens to leave you whenever you don’t let her harm your self-esteem, and that can’t be tolerated!
6. She makes ultimatums.
Sometimes, ultimatums are necessary and can work, but this is on very rare occasions. Usually, they are just a Hail Mary people use to get their way. As mentioned earlier, your toxic girlfriend probably threatens to break up with you when you don’t listen to her and do what she says.
This is very wrong, and it’s a sign that she’s manipulating you into doing whatever she wants while giving you nothing in return. She threatens to end the relationship as a way to keep controlling you, and you shouldn’t allow it!
7. She wants all your free time.
In a way, she treats you as if she owns you. She is possessive. She wants you to spend all your free time with her, and she wants you all to herself. Instead of encouraging you to spend time with your loved ones, work on yourself, and dedicate time to your hobbies and interests, she wants you to serve her needs instead.
She doesn’t like it when you spend time with other people; she wants to be your top priority and the only important person in your life. If you let that slide, you might really end up with no one but her, and you might even lose yourself, so don’t let it happen.
8. She uses the silent treatment or guilt trips to punish you.
When she gets upset, she doesn’t communicate with you. Instead, she gives you the silent treatment and expects you to figure things out on your own. This is something some people do, and it might be justified in certain cases when the person really can’t talk about what’s bothering them or if they feel very misunderstood.
However, purposely ignoring someone is abuse. Even using it in the previous example isn’t healthy for your relationship, let alone when it’s used as a weapon against you. She could also use guilt trips to get what she wants, and this is just another manipulative toxic technique to control you.
9. She can’t trust you.
It’s very difficult to have a healthy relationship when your partner doesn’t trust you and even doubts your feelings for them. If your girlfriend is insecure and can’t believe that you care about her despite your efforts to show her, then she has trust issues that need to be addressed.
Maybe she often thinks that you’re dishonest or she has the need to track your every move in order to make sure that you’re not cheating on her.
Trust issues are a serious problem that should be discussed with a therapist in order for you to have a healthy relationship. Otherwise, you’ll constantly have to reassure her and give her explanations that aren’t necessary.
10. She depends on you too much.
Your girlfriend might be emotionally dependent on you to the point where you’re afraid of how your words and actions could trigger her. She is needy and relies on you for happiness and fulfillment as if she is not a complete person without you.
This makes you anxious, and you can’t be yourself around her because you have to be careful not to affect her in a negative way. A relationship like that can be exhausting, and it will drain your energy. This type of emotional dependency is something that you need to talk about with a therapist.
11. She doesn’t appreciate you.
No matter what you do, it’s never enough. She doesn’t appreciate you and what she has with you. Instead, she compares you to other people and wishes that you could be one of the couples she sees in the media.
In some cases, this could be interpreted as ambition and lead to growth. However, in the case of a toxic girlfriend, she’ll never be satisfied, even if you do achieve the goals that she sets for you.
She won’t appreciate your efforts even if you do everything according to her wishes, and this leads to chronic toxicity. You don’t feel cared for, and she doesn’t acknowledge your efforts to show her love as you continuously work on your relationship.
12. She doesn’t give you any privacy.
Toxic girlfriends usually show no respect for your privacy. They will go through your phone whenever you leave it out of sight and go through your search history on your computer. Your girlfriend might demand to know your passwords or even hack your social media to read your messages.
Not giving you any privacy goes even beyond this. She will want to know everything and won’t respect your need for privacy and alone time. You basically won’t get to have a life outside of the relationship.
13. She always has to be right and win the fight.
A toxic girlfriend won’t ever admit that she’s wrong. She will either avoid all conflicts or engage in them purely for the purpose of winning the argument. Since she has to be right, she will focus on proving her point instead of solving the problem.
When proving you wrong is the only reason she fights with you, your fights are toxic, and your problems will keep damaging your relationship. Talking to a therapist can help improve your conflict resolution skills, but if your girlfriend refuses to try therapy, one of those fights will likely end your relationship, so she will lose even if she wins.
14. She always keeps tabs on everything.
Keeping scores is very damaging to a relationship, and a toxic girlfriend usually does this. She keeps tabs on everything and isn’t willing to give anything unless she gains from it.
She counts how many times you did or said something and uses these things against you to prove you wrong. Because of this, the nice things that you do and say lose their value and become a weapon that’s used against you.
15. She wants to fix you.
You are supposed to be her partner, not a project she’s working on. It’s okay when someone wants to help you grow when it’s what you want too. However, trying to “fix you” is a whole other thing, which probably means that she doesn’t love you for you. Women often hope that their men will eventually change, but this rarely happens.
Even if you do need to change, you don’t need unsolicited advice, and it’s your choice who you want to be, not hers. Unless you’re fine with her helping you a bit, fixing you is just a part of the toxic control that she’s trying to establish.
16. She always has to get her way.
It’s her way or no way. She always has to get what she wants, when she wants it, and exactly how she wants it. When this doesn’t happen, she throws a tantrum even if it’s something insignificant. She is uninterested in hearing your opinion and basically expects you to fulfill her every wish and listen to her every command. Because of this, it’s not just that your relationship is unhealthy and under her control, but you can’t even communicate properly.
17. She is dishonest.
Obviously, a girlfriend who regularly lies to you is toxic, and you should definitely consider ending such a relationship. She will be deceitful and maybe even won’t be loyal to you. She’ll probably expect honesty from you, while frequently coming up with fake excuses and lies about anything and everything.
Someone who can’t be honest with you isn’t someone you can have a relationship with. Even if it starts as small fibs, it is likely to grow into pathological lying if your girlfriend is toxic. And never underestimate the psychological effects of being lied to and whether this relationship is worth potential damage to your mental health.
18. She doesn’t meet your needs.
Her needs are the only ones that matter, while you’re left to take care of your own. She won’t ever meet your needs or even pay too much attention to them. While she expects to be a priority to you, she won’t give anything back when it’s her turn to take care of you. You are left feeling neglected and uncared for, which might even be the reality of your relationship.
19. There are double standards in your relationship.
She is allowed to do things that you are not. There are double standards in your relationship, which could apply to anything.
Maybe it’s okay that she goes out every weekend, but you can’t even meet your friends for coffee. Perhaps she always expects you to initiate things, or you’re in charge of all the work around the house while she does nothing.
Double standards are not fair, and shouldn’t be tolerated. You can try setting boundaries and making compromises, but if she’s not willing to budge, these double standards might doom your relationship.
20. She can’t maintain a long-term relationship.
No one wants to be with a toxic girlfriend for a long time. Even if someone falls in love with her, once they become aware of her toxicity, they will either leave or the toxicity will doom the relationship. So, a toxic girlfriend probably hasn’t had real, serious, long-term relationships.
She likely went from one short-term relationship to another, all the while complaining about the people she’s been dating as if they’re the problem. If she badmouths all of her exes, she is oblivious to the fact that she is likely the problem, not the people she’s been seeing. And when your relationship eventually ends, she will most certainly talk badly about you.
21. She is unsure about the relationship.
This might not be a sign of toxicity, but she is unsure whether she even wants to be with you, and it’s a big problem. She doubts that you can make it work, so she puts no effort into the relationship. She might even have already broken up with you in her head and now expects you to put all the effort into making it work while she’s looking for an exit strategy.
While this might not be exactly toxic, it’s definitely bad behavior that you didn’t deserve from her. If she is unsure about your relationship, she should talk to you about it and see if you can find a way to work things out together. Instead, she stonewalls you when you want to talk about it and doesn’t even let you know that your relationship is already ending.
22. She withholds intimacy/emotional support to punish you.
Sure, sometimes, when a woman is upset, she won’t be willing to give you emotional support or any kind of intimacy. That’s reasonable. What’s toxic is when she, again, purposely uses these things as weapons to control you.
She will stonewall you when you want to talk to her and withhold these things until you figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it, instead of communicating about it. It’s important to note that intimacy doesn’t happen only in the bedroom. Your girlfriend might frequently become cold and distant as a way to punish you even if you have no idea what you did to deserve it.
23. She has drastic mood swings.
In the case of a toxic girlfriend, drastic mood swings are not about PMSing or hormones, it’s a part of who she is. Her mood will change quickly and drastically without a clear reason, or she will be in moody as soon as you do or say something that she’s not okay with.
For instance, she could freak out because you said that you should try counseling or that her behavior has been causing you stress and you wish to work things out. When you calmly discuss something and she becomes short-tempered, it’s a red flag, unless it’s hormone-related. It’s not much of a relationship if you feel like you always have to walk on eggshells around her and can’t be yourself.
24. She hurts you.
She doesn’t spare you when she chooses her words. Your toxic girlfriend says hurtful, demeaning things and she even purposely does it to cause you pain. She talks down to you, shames you, criticizes you, and makes you feel bad about yourself most of the time.
So, the big question is, why are you still sticking around? If she makes your life a living hell and isn’t willing to work on it, it’s a much better choice to end the relationship than to let someone treat you so negatively.
25. You can’t be yourself around her.
As already mentioned, you feel like you must walk on eggshells around her and can’t be yourself. This is a clear sign that you should reconsider dating her, even if she is not a toxic person.
Maybe she doesn’t really like you for who you are and wants you to be different, or she controls you to the point that you can’t express your feelings.
Perhaps she has mental health issues that could be worked on with the help of a therapist, but if you can’t be yourself, your best bet is to leave the relationship.
26. She puts you down in public too.
As if it’s not enough that she talks down to you in private, she puts you down in public too. She shames you and mocks you, especially when there are other people around who can hear it. This is a very bad way to treat someone, especially someone who you supposedly love.
Unless you set clear boundaries and she learns to respect them, you shouldn’t tolerate this behavior for a second longer, especially if you already tried talking about that problem and she continues to put you down.
27. She can’t see things from your perspective.
Toxic girlfriends usually lack compassion and empathy, so it’s hard for them to see things from someone else’s perspective. She can’t put herself in your shoes. Even if she is willing to hear your side of the story, she can’t understand it.
Most likely, she doesn’t even care about your feelings and thoughts enough to listen, let alone try to understand things from your perspective. This makes it impossible for you to communicate properly and resolve conflicts, so it will likely doom your relationship.
28. She has jealous outbursts.
Another typical sign of a toxic girlfriend is extreme jealousy. She’s not only jealous of other girls, but anyone you give your time and attention to—maybe even your own family.
When it comes to other girls, the smallest things will cause her to have jealous outbursts. She frequently makes a scene over something that doesn’t mean a thing, such as talking to another woman in a polite way, without even innocently flirting.
If she goes through your phone (and she probably will) she will find a message to another female that will make her go crazy, even if it’s just a coworker that you’ve been talking to politely.
29. She is abusive.
Your girlfriend might be downright violent and abusive. We usually talk about men when it comes to violent and abusive behavior, but women can do these things to men just the same. And, no, it’s not normal for your girlfriend to hit you. Her behavior will be volatile and unpredictable and you may fear for your safety at times.
Even if she doesn’t physically hurt you, she will likely abuse you mentally and emotionally.
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, don’t try to fix things, just leave it. You did not deserve to be treated that way, and an abusive partner won’t stop hurting you just because you show them more love. In fact, they might see it as permission to hurt you even more.
30. She doesn’t make you happy.
Your girlfriend might depend on you for her happiness, but she does nothing to make you happy. She doesn’t care about your feelings enough to try to put a smile on your face, and this means that she is either toxic or has no love for you.
In either case, it’s worth considering leaving the relationship and finding someone who will give you the love that you need and deserve. Before you do that though, here are some things that you can try if you want to stay in this relationship.
6 Ways To Deal With Your Toxic Girlfriend
1. Confront her about it.
The first thing that you need to do is talk to her about it. Stay calm and explain that you want to keep dating but that there are some things she does that you cannot tolerate anymore. Give her examples of the behavior that bothers you and explain how she makes you feel in those moments.
For instance, you could explain that you require honesty, respect, loyalty, and transparency to be happy and content in your relationship.
2. Set clear boundaries.
The most important part of all this is setting clear boundaries. Some people will abuse you simply because you stay quiet about it and let it slide. Speak up for yourself and learn to say “no.”
When something bothers you, say it aloud. Don’t bottle it all in. Set clear boundaries and let her know when she’s about to cross them.
This is not something that you can do only once for it to work. You have to keep speaking up for yourself and sticking to your boundaries. Don’t let her push them, even if it means that you show a willingness to walk away.
3. Hear her side of the story.
You should give your girlfriend the benefit of the doubt. If you can communicate with her without it being about who wins the argument, let her tell you her side of the story. Maybe there are things that she can tell you to explain some of her bad behavior. Hey, she might even be willing to apologize and work on herself.
So, give her a chance to say what she has to say for herself. Don’t be aggressive, and actively listen to her arguments. Encourage her to open up because all of these problems might have something to do with the bad experiences that she had in the past or her mental health issues. Hear her out and let her know that you want to work on this if she will put in the extra effort too.
4. Work on making compromises.
She can’t always get what she wants, and you need to work on making compromises so that you can both benefit from this relationship. Again, you will need to speak up for yourself. If you do not want to do something or act in a certain way, talk to her about it and see if there’s a different solution that could work for both of you.
Suggest alternatives when you’re not happy with her suggestions. Making compromises is not easy for everyone, so be prepared that the only compromise you might be able to make is to agree that you need couples therapy.
5. Suggest therapy.
If you want to save your relationship, your best bet is to try therapy. Encourage your girlfriend to talk to a therapist and tell her that you’ll support her every step of the way. Explain that she could talk to someone by herself or you could do it together but that it’s likely the only solution to the current state of your relationship.
6. Consider ending the relationship.
In the end, consider walking away from your girlfriend if she really is that toxic, especially if you have tried all the previous steps and she refuses to put in her share of the work and/or try therapy.
You deserve to be with someone who cares about your needs and your happiness, not just what they can gain from you and how they can control you. So, when you show a willingness to walk away from her, consider walking away for good.
Still not sure whether your girlfriend is toxic, or what to do if she is?
We really recommend you speak to an experienced relationship expert about it. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can listen to you describe your girlfriend’s behavior and help you identify the toxic and not-so-toxic patterns in it. They can then offer tailored advice to help you improve the situation one way or another.
A good place to get help is the website Relationship Hero – here, you’ll be able to connect with a trained and compassionate relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.
You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to an expert. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.