External signs are those people and things that give you feedback that indicates you are in a bad relationship. In other words, the information you get from outside of your (romantic) relationship. These signs come in many different forms.
These signs may come from things said and unsaid by family and friends. They may come from the bad reaction of people you do not know when they see the two of you together. And they may come from what you see about the person on the internet (social media) and in their home and car.
I am not talking about snooping around a person’s home or car. I’m talking about observation. How do they maintain their home and car? What’s in them? Are they clean and organized or dirty and in disarray? Do you see lots of bills, traffic tickets, or court summons lying around?
When it comes to negative comments about your relationship from people who are close to you, a common response is to reject their opinions and go into a “you and your partner against the world” mode. This response is shortsighted and immature. The smart response is to carefully “consider” what your family and friends are telling you. They know you best. If necessary, dig deeper and ask them why they feel as they do. This may require considerable courage and objectivity on your part.
Certainly, you may have a friend or family member who may be reacting to their own jealousies, insecurities, and relationship failures. This must be taken into account. But even so, don’t reject everything they say as there may be some truth in their criticism (article). If there isn’t any truth, ever, and just criticism it may be time to decide whether it’s an unhealthy friendship (article).
If you notice that the people whom you are closest to have a strong disdain for the person you’re dating or in a committed relationship it’s probably time for you to face facts. Your attention is not on who’s right or wrong but rather on what is in your best interest. You do this evaluation from a position of strength by not allowing your uncontrolled need for sex, fear of being alone, or thoughts of embarrassment for being foolish. If a trial separation or breaking up appears to be the best choice, these articles may help.