Isolation: A Marker of Unhealthy Love
When you are in a new relationship it is normal to want to spend a lot of time with your new partner, you want to experience new things together, learn more about each other and just bask in the glow of new love. BUT this turns unhealthy when your partner starts pulling you away from your friends, family and support systems. They may say something like ‘I cannot spend a single minute away from you’ or ‘Your friends are losers, let’s not hang out with them’ or ‘your family doesn’t like me, they want us to break up’. This is when isolation creeps in and makes you feel like you cannot rely on anyone from your pre-relationship life. Additionally, in South Asian cultures we may have dating restrictions that could add a layer of secrecy to our relationship, making us even more isolated from our support networks. Healthy love includes space and independence. It is normal to spend a lot of time with your new lover, but it is very important to make sure you stay connected to your friends and family and continue doing activities that you care about. Be conscious and intentional about making plans with friends and encourage your partner to do the same.
Unhealthy love in its extreme forms is abuse. Not every unhealthy behavior pattern means that there is abuse in a relationship, it is important to look at the signs in their totality, to see the patterns in the relationship and trust your gut. Recognizing these early signs of unhealthy love can help us work on them to make them better through open communication, mutual respect and kindness.Understanding is the first step to improving, but not every relationship can be made better, some of them you may have to leave behind.
If you feel like your relationship is heading towards abuse or you are in an abusive relationship, seek help. You are not alone.
You can call our confidential hotline on 713- 981- 7645 or look for resources on our website.
Although love is an emotion and an instinct, the ability to love in a healthy way is a skill that we can all build on and improve over time, and it is high time we all did that.