Toxic (Not The Hit Single By Britney Spears)

Nora McGuire

As children we dream of fairy tales; we picture ourselves in the perfect Disney relationship and fantasize about our future partner. We never think about what would happen if we were in a toxic relationship or what it would even look like. We’ve grown up with the idea that relationships should be perfect and that we’ll all find the perfect person, when in reality even healthy relationships have problems. This mindset has set a blurry picture of what a relationship should be like, ending up with people not even recognizing that they are in a toxic relationship. So here are a few ways to recognize whether or not a relationship is toxic or healthy.


In a healthy relationship there should be communication. With communication comes trust and honesty because you feel safe communicating what you need to. If you feel like you can’t communicate, slowly lying and not saying what needs to be said creeps in. Jadyn, a junior at SPASH, says: “And if there’s something that’s bothering you, you have to tell the other person.” Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away, especially in a relationship.  


Honesty is the next biggest thing in a relationship. You have to be honest with your partner and with yourself. If you start to see warning signs and red flags from your partner you need to be honest with yourself and recognize that these genuinely are red flags. A study was commissioned by Liz Clairbone inc. and Family Violence Prevention Fund showing that 1 in young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. Some people will make it through life without being in an unhealthy relationship, but still a large percentage will experience an abusive relationship. That’s why recognizing red flags early on is important. And on top of that, having you and your partner being honest and open with yourselves strengthens a relationship. It shows that, even if your relationship is messy or not, you have the maturity and trust to be honest and not lie.

Another thing to make sure of in a relationship is that both people in the relationship are mentally and emotionally healthy enough to provide for the other. Mental health is a big part of our lives, and it’s no different in relationships. When even one person in a relationship has bad mental health it affects anything and everything in that relationship, including the other person. “It’s important to recognize if your partner is healthy or not because that can affect the whole relationship.” says Jayden. 

When a partner isn’t mentally healthy they can become toxic and manipulative. They might not even know what they’re doing, but it’s important to give yourself space from those relationships regardless. Jaiden Animations is a youtube creator who made a video titled “Things about relationships I wish someone told me about”. It’s a really great video that shows how you are not responsible for other people’s mental health. In it she says: “Mental illness doesn’t negate their responsibility to maintain a healthy relationship.” Mental health does affect people everyday, but it isn’t a pass to treat another person like dirt. 

Honesty, trust, and communication all go hand in hand with having a good, healthy relationship. And learning to implant these things in your relationship can make the relationship stronger and be smoother. Relationships may not be perfect, but they don’t have to be mentally and emotionally draining.