Why Toxic Positivity Is Ruining Your Dating Life

Are you the person in a relationship that is always looking on the bright side? Think of every time you fought back for an ex or made up after a big fight, all in hopes that things would get better and solve themselves. Are you always assuming it’ll all work out like a fairy tale?

The hope that something toxic would ultimately turn out positive is in itself toxic. That’s just not realistic, and can ultimately end up doing more harm than good.

What Is Toxic Positivity?

woman smiling and showing the peace sign with glasses
Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash

Toxic positivity is the belief that no matter how difficult a situation is, people should still maintain a positive mindset.

It’s not just applicable to dating — it can refer to a more broad obsession with positive thinking. Some people believe that they need to give positive spins to all experiences, even the tragic ones.

It’s A Self Defense Mechanism

woman hiding her face with her hair braided
Photo Credit: Sharon Mccutcheon / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Sharon Mccutcheon / Unsplash

It’s natural for the human mind to look for hope — that light at the end of the tunnel when everything will be okay again.

While we wait, we try to trick our minds into believing that things are already not that bad so that they don’t feel too overwhelming.

It’s A Way Of Deflecting

woman applying lipstick in handheld mirror
Photo Credit: Septian Simon / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Septian Simon / Unsplash

The issue with toxic positivity is that it allows us to live in denial. Rather than confront what is actually bothering us and try to solve it, we brush it aside altogether.

What often happens instead is that we bottle it up until we burst.

It Denies Essential Grief

close of up tears on woman
Photo Credit: Luis Galvez / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Luis Galvez / Unsplash

One of the first steps to moving on from toxic situations is to accept them. That is the only way we can take the necessary time to grieve.

Only then we can actually move on. If we just pretend it’s all sunshine and rainbows, we never make it to that grieving stage and never actually move on.

Communication Is Key

man and woman talk at coffeeshop
Photo Credit: Christin Hume / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Christin Hume / Unsplash

If you and your partner keep on pretending that your relationship is without issues, you’ll either grow to resent each other, or the relationship will inevitably fail.

You need to voice your concerns so that your needs can be met. Neither one of you is a mind reader.

It’s A Disservice To Your Partner

Man and woman stand back to back in front of white wall
Photo Credit: Henri Pham / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Henri Pham / Unsplash

Think of it like this. You can’t be authentic and pretend that rough times don’t exist. While your partner might need words of encouragement, they are also entitled to their feelings.

It can be harmful to your relationship to negate rough times and not give proper support during them.

Too Much Positivity Is Alienating

Woman looking out the window through the blinds
Photo Credit: Joshua Rawson Harris / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Joshua Rawson Harris / Unsplash

While your partner appreciates the energy of a positive person, inspirational quotes can only go so far. It can be alienating to feel like you can’t share or feel any negative emotion because it will simply get brushed off with a positive outlook.

People need to feel heard and understood. It’s the only way to heal.

Your Partner Will Avoid You

Man and woman sit on bonfire by water
Photo Credit: Manuel Meurisse / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Manuel Meurisse / Unsplash

If you’ve been feeling confused as to why your partner has seemed closed off to you, it’s likely because they don’t see the point of coming to you anymore.

They already can predict how you’ll respond and it’s not going to make them magically feel better.

It Doesn’t Actually Solve Anything

woman thinking and looking up
Photo Credit: Tachina Lee / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Tachina Lee / Unsplash

By rejecting tough situations, you don’t take any accountability or action to try and change anything. It doesn’t go away just because you stop thinking about it.

What ends up happening is that issue persists and comes back to haunt you until you actually try to solve it.

It Causes Guilt

woman hiding her face with her hands
Photo Credit: Dev Asangbam / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Dev Asangbam / Unsplash

Your partner may end up silently suffering. With toxic positivity, you send the message that the real problem is that they’re unable to find a way to be positive.

It makes them feel like they’re doing something wrong, which then emphasizes their initial negative feelings.

It Rushes The Process

woman running on a cliff with the sunrise
Photo Credit: Cameron Venti / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Cameron Venti / Unsplash

There’s no reason to rush processing emotions just to feel better quickly. It’s actually recommended that we sit with our emotions to understand their root.

Otherwise, we carry them as baggage and project them unto our partners. This often creates toxic relationships.

It Prevents Growth

woman meditating in the forest
Photo Credit: Omid Armin / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Omid Armin / Unsplash

It might be easier to avoid any painful feelings, but it’s by overcoming them that we grow. If we always look to the bright side, we never actually take the time to learn the lessons that hardships bring.

This might get you stuck in a toxic cycle with your partner as neither one of you is learning how to prevent it.

Other People’s Feelings Shouldn’t Make You Uncomfortable

man and woman sit to talk on bridge
Photo Credit: Yolanda Sun / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Yolanda Sun / Unsplash

A big sign of toxic positivity is feeling uncomfortable whenever any hard topics are brought up.

This is because you have prevented your mind from being able to exercise proper coping mechanisms. It doesn’t even know how to process anything that could shake up its positive vibes.

You’re The Real Toxic Person

woman gives the hand to man on the pier
Photo Credit: Toa Heftiba / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Toa Heftiba / Unsplash

Denying someone their feelings and flipping the tables on them by asking them to “just get over it” is a form of gaslighting, which is quite toxic. It minimizes and degrades others.

Be careful not to be the toxic party in the relationship even if your intention is simply to cheer them up and get them to see the bright side.

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

sad man sits on bridge edge in the city
Photo Credit: Whoislimos / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Whoislimos / Unsplash

The biggest lesson to learn about toxic positivity is that it’s okay not to be okay. We’re human and we’re not supposed to always have it figured out. We shouldn’t feel the need to hide behind forced smiles and never allow ourselves to feel pain.

Don’t do it to yourself and especially don’t do it to your partners.