If you want your romantic relationships to thrive, you need to be able to identify and avoid a ‘poison drip’.

This is a partner who drains your charisma and self-esteem by taking subtle digs at you.

Just like a tiny shot of poison, it might not seem like much at first.

Yet, it’ll ultimately destroy your confidence and leave you as a shell of your former self.

What does a poison drip look like?

Ever been putz-shamed or had a partner suggest you’re ‘getting lucky’ when she agrees to sex? That’s an example of the poison drip in action.

Has your girlfriend tried to talk you out of going to the gym, starting some new hobby or hanging out with friends? This is another common form of poison-dripping.

If unaddressed, the poison drip can get worse over time.

It might start as the occasional comment, then turn into an argument. Next, come personal insults or accusations that you don’t love her.

This emotional abuse can even transition into physical abuse if you let it.

Why do people poison drip their partners?

This behavior can be subconscious or accidental. Perhaps she’s trying to give you genuine feedback on what you’re doing wrong in the relationship, unaware of the impact on your mental health.

However, poison-dripping can also highly deliberate.

It’s practiced by insecure men and women who are scared their partners will leave them.

Their strategy is to drag down their partner’s self-esteem, so they don’t have the confidence to seek a better option.

Poison-dripping is a common symptom of personality disorders, such as manic depression or borderline personality disorder. It’s also a symptom of having grown up in an unhappy family.

These people often can’t accept affection from other people. They have an unhealthy fear of abandonment. On one level, they’re resentful that their partner accepts this poison-dripping. On the other, they’re too insecure to find someone better.

For a deeper insight into the causes of this behavior, see this guide on codependency.

Why do people stay in poison-dripped relationships?

Perhaps you’re thinking you’d never allow yourself to stay in a partnership like this. Hopefully, you’re right…

However, it is common for people to remain in these toxic relationships.

Let’s say you’re someone who struggled to find a girlfriend for many years. Perhaps you hated being single. Let’s imagine this relationship was initially perfect. You were completely smitten. Maybe you committed to moving in together, or even getting married.

Is it conceivable that you’d rationalize your partner’s behavior to avoid the pain and loneliness of breaking up?

Many people do…

After all, poison-drippers tend to be subtle manipulators. They’ll treat you like a king when needed, then send your self-esteem crashing within minutes.

It’s an emotional roller-coaster that has a huge impact on your mental health.

What happens if you remain in a poison-dripped relationship?

There are two options.

Perhaps you remain in a relationship with a bitter insecure woman indefinitely.

More likely, after completely shattering your confidence, she leaves you for someone else.

Now, you have to re-enter the singles market with less self-esteem, less social skills and a broken heart. Best of luck!

How to avoid a poison drip in your relationships

The first step is to build your self-confidence. Raise your self-esteem and create strong boundaries for the type of people you keep around you.

Improve yourself to the point you have an abundance of romantic options. This process might involve improving your physique. It should definitely include working on the personality traits that make you attractive.

Once you build yourself up like this, you’ll be less willing to accept a woman crossing your boundaries. You’ll find it easier to address a potential poison drip as soon as it pops up.

Calmly explain that she crossed a line. Reinforce what you love about your relationship while explaining that you won’t accept this behavior.

If the poison-dripping stops, you can carry on in a happy partnership. If it doesn’t, you need to cut her out of your life.

The thing is: you won’t be scared of losing her…because you’ve improved yourself to the point where you’d be a catch for most women.

This lack of fear is key to avoiding unhealthy relationships.

For the full story of how I overcame a ‘poison drip’ relationship, learned to enjoy being single and became a stronger man, see my book The Thrill Of The Chase.