When you go through a toxic relationship, it comes without any warnings whatsoever. It hits you without signs, unexpectedly, with a sharp and undetected blow. This isn’t to say that there aren’t any signs that it’s a toxic relationships, because there are red flags that comes along with this.
However, you don’t see the red flags even as they appear in front of you. A toxic relationship, just like any relationship, makes you blinded to the truth. Love doesn’t necessarily make you completely blind, but it lets you see the good rather than the bad.
When you meet someone, it doesn’t start as a toxic relationship right away. In fact, it starts as you being fond of the relationship and thinking that nothing can go wrong.
They seem like the perfect person for you at the start, and only when you’re already invested in the relationship, you realize that you can’t just get out of a toxic relationship. In fact, it’s the hardest thing to walk away from a toxic relationship.
Even if you have every reason in the world to walk away and break up with that person, it’s frustratingly hard. When you’re with them, you can’t breathe and without them, you can’t breathe either. It’s a lost case and you feel lost in the relationship.
One of the concrete signs of a toxic relationship is that you become the worst possible version of yourself, and the same goes for them. You somehow manage to bring out the worst in each other, and not only in arguments.
Conflicts are normal in any relationship but with a toxic relationship, it’s this constant roller-coaster of emotions. One minute you feel on top of the world, and the next you’re at your lowest. Despite this, it’s an addicting kind of rush. This is why toxic relationships are so hard to walk away from.
The high and low of emotions become addicting and before you know it, you’re stuck there without any way out. You aren’t even sure which version of them you’re going to get, and that’s how mentally unstable it feels to be in a toxic relationship.
Healthy relationships are supposed to feel safe and secure, and not supposed to give you anxiety on the high of emotions you feel on a daily basis. Unlike a healthy relationship, a toxic relationship makes you feel like you’re losing your sanity. The moment you feel like it’s valid to walk away from the relationship, the blame would be shifted towards you.
Another sign of a toxic relationship is the constant unhealthy arguments. You know the kind of arguments you see in movies where the couples attack each other’s flaws and insecurities, and they go against each other? That’s what a toxic relationship is like, except it happens on a regular or weekly basis.
It’s arguments where you attack each other, instead of dealing with arguments with constructive criticism. In a toxic relationship, it’s like you hate each other the way you fight with each other.
However, when it’s all over, you act like nothing was ever wrong in the first place and you back towards being romantic with each other. The constant question you find yourself thinking is does the good still outweigh the bad, or does the bad outweigh the good?
In a toxic relationship, chances are you stay because you believe the other person to change. You stay truly because of the hope that you inspire the other person to change, and you see so much potential in them.
You see this in so much toxic relationship, and that’s why they get stuck. In the first place, it’s never your responsibility to save, fix or change someone and it’s not your burden to take on. People aren’t projects and you can’t fall in love with potential- this is what causes toxic relationships to happen. You stay and wait for them to become better, at the sacrifice of your own inner peace.
Toxic relationships may be physically, emotionally, or mentally abusive- and if you’re unlucky, it’s all of the above. Abuse doesn’t necessarily mean physical abuse.
You don’t need scars and marks to confirm that abuse was present in the relationship, because this can happen emotionally or mentally. In a toxic relationship, manipulation is present and you won’t be aware that you’re being manipulated, until you get out of the relationship. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘gaslighting’ it’s an abusive manipulation that is present in toxic relationships.
They aren’t aware that they’re manipulating you, but they also would ever admit to their own faults. This is one of the aspects that make toxic relationships absolutely traumatic and almost impossible to heal from. You constantly believe everything is your fault because the person you’re in a relationship with is so good at shifting the blame on you rather taking accountability for their mistakes.
Normally, when you tell them something that hurt you or bothered you, they’ll feel either defensive anger, or they dwell into self-pity and you end up comforting them instead. These are all things that are normal in a toxic relationship, when it should have never been tolerated in the first place.
This kind of abuse sticks with you for a long period of time, even when the relationship comes to an end. You come to believe that something is wrong with you and everything’s your fault and that you absolutely don’t deserve to be in a healthy and normal relationship.
When the relationship is over, this is when you feel the abuse and trauma inflicted upon you. Even as you meet a good person- for real this time- you’re more scared than ever to get into another relationship. After that abusive relationship, your walls are built up so high that nobody can get in.
Even as you enter another healthy relationship, you’re scared that they’re going to be just another lesson, another trauma in your life. When you enter a healthy relationship, this is when you realize that you never deserved the trauma and abuse in your past. In trying to move forward, you grieve for the person you no longer are.
You grieve for the person that you used to be, in order to heal your heart completely to be whole again- so that you can fall in love in the right way. You realize that not all relationships are filled with pain and toxicity, and that not everyone manipulates your kindness and innocence in getting what they want.
After a toxic relationship, you realize that the right person would never shift the blame on you, and would never attack you for your flaws and insecurities. Only a toxic person would shove your imperfections in your face instead of helping you to become better.
Compared to a toxic relationship, a healthy relationship isn’t filled with a roller-coaster of emotions. It makes you feel safe and secure, and it feels like coming home.
In a toxic relationship, you never feel like you’re home, but you feel on the edge of your emotions every time. Whenever you express something that bothers you, you’re met with anger and passive-aggressiveness. Instead, you should be met with encouragement, kindness and love.
At the end of the day, toxic relationships happen more often than we think and it’s because we fall in love with potential rather than the reality of people. The moment you see red flags on someone, that should be a sign to stay far away as possible and to not go through with the relationship.
However, our stubbornness can be difficult and can let us believe that we can actually change someone. The various romantic movies and media shows that if you love someone hard enough, they’ll become the person who actually deserves you and everything would be perfect afterwards. In reality, this never happens.
Most often than not, people don’t change and especially not for someone else. No matter how much you love someone, you can’t change them in becoming the version you want them to be. If you see red flags right in the beginning of a relationship, don’t take that as a challenge to try and change them.
As mentioned above, people aren’t projects to begin with and if you were to fall in love with someone, fall in love with the reality of someone. If you met someone and the person they currently are is who you are to spend the rest of your life with, would you be okay with that?
If yes, then that’s how you know you like them exactly as they are. If not, why bother changing them into someone better? Relationships are complicated but love really isn’t supposed to be hard- it’s the easiest and most beautiful thing in the world.
If you find that you went through a toxic relationship and survived, you’re stronger than you think because it takes so much strength and bravery to come out of that with dignity. If anything, that kind of abuse and trauma may not be easy, but it turns you into the strongest and most fearless version of yourself possible.