No one ever enters a relationship with the hopes of it becoming toxic and unhealthy—at least, I sure hope they don’t. However, time after time, I found myself slipping into patterns of toxic behaviors with the men I dated.
For a while, I put it down to bad luck, but it was a little too frequent to be that simple. It wasn’t until I realized these things that I fully understood why.
Firstly, It’s Never Your Fault These Things Happen
I want to make it clear that it’s never your fault for being caught in a relationship with a toxic person and we aren’t going to blame a victim for being manipulated and mistreated. These are moreso signs I ignored.
It’s Far Too Easy To Think You’re Immune To It
I’ve always seen myself as an independent, self-confident woman so I never really believed that I would end up letting a man’s toxic behaviors affect me, let alone end up in a toxic relationship. Unfortunately, just about anyone is susceptible.
A First Date Is Make Or Break
If you go on a first date and things aren’t particularly good or are merely “okay” at best, you shouldn’t continue to give that person more chances in hopes that things will be better on the upcoming dates.
I Can’t Be The Only One Keeping The Relationship Alive
I realized that in the times that I’ve felt like my actions and efforts were the only things really holding a relationship together, there was really no relationship left worth preserving.
I Shouldn’t Have To Overthink Every Move And Word
If you catch yourself in a relationship where you feel scared to speak freely or do certain things because of backlash from a partner, it’s toxic and you should leave. You shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around someone who loves you.
Texting Is Actually Important
Trust me: I hate texting more than anyone else in the world, but being able to respond to a partner’s texts, especially when they are time-sensitive, is important. You should be a partner’s priority and they can take a couple of moments to say they’re busy.
Really Listen When He Talks About Past Relationships
One of the most telling things about how a guy will treat you in a relationship is how he talks about his exes. Why did they break up? Does he say disrespectful things about them? If the answers make you uncomfortable, there’s a chance you shouldn’t date them.
I Can’t Hold Onto The Beginning
The thing is that toxic people don’t always start off toxic: in fact, the beginning of a toxic relationship tends to be really fun. However, when things start to go south, you can’t hold onto the early days where things were good. You need to keep your head in the present.
Things Tend To Get Worse, Not Better
If your partner is treating you in a cruel way, there is a much higher chance that things will only get worse than the chance of them becoming a good partner again.
I Am Not Asking For Too Much
It’s easy to feel that the things you ask for from partners—boundaries, communication, support—are too much, especially when they treat you like you’re a burden or too demanding. Almost every time, you are not asking for too much.
I Know When I’m Unhappy
It can be hard to admit that you’re unhappy in a relationship after investing so much time and effort into it, but deep down you always know when you’re not happy anymore and you need to trust that feeling.
I Should Not Be His “Exception”
We’re programmed from a young age to like the “bad boy” who makes the exception of being good to us alone. However, someone who treats you as an exception might not always continue to treat you that way. You should look for someone who is consistently kind.
It’s Not My Job To Fix Someone
If your partner has emotional baggage or other issues that affect how they act in a relationship, it’s not your job to fix their problems and help them become a functional person. You can support someone, but you shouldn’t have to manage their happiness.
If Things Change Drastically And They Deny It, Leave
Naturally, the dynamic between two people in a relationship differs throughout a relationship, but if a partner actively denies that they’re treating you worse than before when you bring it up, they are trying to gaslight you and you should get out.
There Will Be Other Chances At Love
It can be hard when you’ve invested so much time into a person or had such trouble dating the first time around to believe that, if you leave a bad relationship, that you’ll find love again. Trust me: you will find a better love.
Trust Your Gut… Literally
When a relationship makes you feel consistently unhappy or anxious, you often will feel physical effects such as stomach sickness. When things start to hurt (emotionally or physically) you need to cut ties.
People Don’t Get To Excuse Their Toxic Behavior
Toxic people will blame their toxic behaviors on external factors: mental health problems, stress at work, problems with their family, etc. However, there is no excuse for regularly mistreating a partner.
Some Guys Just Won’t Understand Me
One of the problems I have faced in dating is that some men I have seen (and this goes for both genders) will not really try to see me as a fully formed person. They can be dismissive of the parts of you they don’t particularly like—however, a good partner will put in the effort to really know you.
Love Shouldn’t Be Dramatic And Hurtful
Movies, novels, and music often make it seem like the only good relationships have tumultuous turns and lots of drama; however, a good relationship should be much more stable and supportive. Things should be consistent.
I Deserve So Much More
No one deserves to be in a toxic relationship: it’s dehumanizing, exhausting, and a damaging experience. You shouldn’t settle for or stay in a toxic situation that only makes you feel worse.