The feeling of having a crush and falling in love with someone new is a special kind of joy all on its own. You just want to spend hours talking to them, feeling butterflies in your stomach with every passing glance and conversation you share together. You can’t stop thinking about them and you always want to see them, because just being around them is euphoric.
Crushes are cute, sweet, and innocent, but they can also be intense and passionate. When a flirtation with a crush turns into something more, we should always make sure we’re not falling headfirst into a potentially disastrous relationship that’s going to leave our hearts and our mental health shattered in pieces.
With that said, here are 10 warning signs that your crush might be toxic for you:
1. They’re emotionally unavailable
Maybe your crush isn’t really looking for anything serious right now, or they’re still nursing a broken heart from their last failed romance. Either way, it’s never a good idea to get romantically involved with a guy or girl so emotionally unavailable because they won’t be able to give you the kind of emotional fulfilment you need. Worst of all is if they’re already in a relationship with someone else but they’re still flirting with you. Yikes, definite red flag!
2. They don’t try to get to know you
The beginning of any new relationship is always a stage of getting to know one another. You ask about where the other person grew up, what they want to do in the future, what hobbies or interests you share, and try to gauge how compatible your personalities are. But if your crush never makes the effort to try and get to know you on a deeper level, it just goes to show he/she don’t really care. And you’re better off forgetting all about them than chasing after someone so uninterested.
3. They don’t appreciate you
Another telltale sign that you’ve fallen for the wrong person is if they don’t know how to appreciate you. A crush can quickly turn toxic if the other person is constantly criticizing you and judging your every move. And when this happens, it’s easy to feel desperate and crave their praise and approval the more they withhold it. But it’s not a healthy relationship dynamic, and it’s a power imbalance that will always leave you with the short end of the stick.
4. They’re mean to you/other people
If your crush rude and impolite towards others (especially towards those who can’t fight back) but kind and caring towards you, they might just be putting on an act to impress you. Sure, they seem nice and sweet now, but it won’t be long before they show you their true colours, too. So it’s better to leave now while you still can than stay and let them mistreat you next.
5. They treat you unfairly
Does your crush seem like they only like you for the things you do for them? Are they only nice when they’re asking you for favours? Do you suspect they might be starting to take advantage of you and your feelings for them? If your crush never ceases to ask for your help but can’t be bothered to do the same for you, then your relationship with them is at risk of turning toxic.
6. They keep leading you on
Your crush is always turning hot and cold with you. One minute, they act like they feel the same way, but the next, it seems like they couldn’t be less interested. There have been plenty of times when you thought they were finally ready to take the next step with you and make things official, but they just keep dangling maybes in front of you. Being in such an on-again, off-again relationship with your crush isn’t healthy because it traps you in a cycle of constant disappointment and it can be very damaging to your self-esteem.
7. They don’t want to be seen with you
“I really like you,” your crush says, “But I want to keep this just between the two of us.” You might feel so overjoyed about your crush liking you back that you’re willing to overlook the fact that they only want to be with you behind closed doors. But that probably means that either they’re just having some fun with you and want to keep things casual, or they’re embarrassed by you and your relationship. Either way, it’s not good for you or your mental health to be with someone who can’t commit.
8. They’re bad for your self-esteem
When we like someone, it’s only natural for us to want to win their praise and affection. But it’s not healthy for you to make your self-esteem so dependent on your crush’s approval. They don’t look your way and it ruins your entire day. They compliment someone else instead of you and it makes you feel worthless. They make an off-handed remark about your appearance or your figure and you suddenly can’t help but spiral into a bout of self-loathing and self-pity. Once you start to base your sense of self-worth is on what they (and only they) think of you, it’s all too easy to fall into a dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship with them — and that’s no good at all.
9. They’re all you think about
These days, it seems like all you do is talk about your crush, how wonderful they are, and how perfectly matched they are with you. You can’t stop thinking about every little thing they do and you wish you could see them every minute of every day. Your work/studies have become affected, your other relationships are struggling, and you have a hard time eating/sleeping well because they consume your every waking thought. Worst of all is if they’ve already rejected you but you still can’t seem to get over them. Yikes!
10. They only care about themselves
Last but most certainly not the least, another important thing you need to look out for is if your crush only ever seems to care about themselves. Narcissistic and self-absorbed, these kinds of people live for the adoration of others. Because of this, they’re often insensitive and inconsiderate towards others, but can easily be charming and manipulative as well. They only want you for your undying love and loyalty, but couldn’t care less about you as a person.
Do you relate to any of the points mentioned here? There are plenty of easy-to-miss signs that you’ve fallen for the wrong person, so be careful not to rush into things too fast with your crush. You might be too emotionally invested to see them for who they really are — someone who’s toxic for you. Because, as the famous BoJack Horseman quote goes, “When you look at someone with rose-coloured glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”