If you’ve broken free from a damaging relationship at any point in your life, you should be proud of yourself. You did what was best for you in the long-run, but the downside is most likely that type of person never gave you the closure you needed since they were crappy in the first place and not likely to want to right their wrongs to you. To fully heal, you must see the situation for what it really was and give yourself the perspective you may not have gotten. Here are 7 points of consideration to provide clarity about a toxic relationship and help you fully move on.
- Reflect on what the relationship was really like. We all want to portray having it all together on the outside, but behind closed doors, what was actually going down? I get that you might’ve felt strongly attracted to that person, but were you connected or attached? Do you really want to have your feelings ignored, walk on eggshells, and ride an emotional rollercoaster with someone forever? I have a friend whose husband fills up her gas tank for the workweek every Sunday and my ex bought himself a present on my birthday. Those two men are not the same.
- It doesn’t get better, trust me. You’d think these guys would mature and settle down their ways with age, but from my observations over time, it looks like most of my toxic exes have just gotten older and lamer. Instead of growing up and adding wisdom and accomplishments to their life repertoire, they just acquired mug shots, children they don’t financially support or even see half the time, and more women to use and play games with. I see how they’re living today and feel relief knowing I dodged a bullet and don’t need to look back.
- It’s not about you. Toxic people are toxic because that’s who they are. It’s taken many years of having their habits enabled, not being held accountable for their actions, and not stepping up to responsibilities to make them into who they are today. You weren’t treated poorly because there’s something inherently wrong with you; you’re just another person allowing these behaviors from them. Let that person roll with the wind like tumbleweed and barrel through others but know that not all people are like this. Your standards bar dropped low for a minute and we all make mistakes, so raise it back up and try again.
- Someone like that shouldn’t make you feel bad. Seriously though, who raised some these guys? The games they play shouldn’t make you feel bad for yourself- you should be sad for them! Did they never learn basic respect or communication from anyone? Ghosting, gaslighting, cheating, manipulation, and lying are not cool. All you have to do is be clear on your intentions, let someone know if they’re not what you were looking for, and end a relationship you can’t properly commit to anyone. It’s not that hard to be a decent human being.
- Women should be pursued. Long gone are the days of chivalry and courtship. There was once a time when women didn’t look for guys at all. Men asked for permission to date them and there was a logical order of steps to take to get closer to a romantic interest. Everything is flipped upside down and backward now. Guys with next to nothing going for themselves sit back and force women to call first, lead the conversation, initiate a date, and even pay. These same dudes expect to sleep with you first, then decide afterward if you’re worth getting to know. The whole setup of the current dating culture is a gross deviation of how it should be. Don’t fall into its trap and hold off for someone who still cares to do things right.
- He should be a partner, not a problem. Life, specifically adulting, is not easy. We’re still paying back student loans, have bills, jobs, busy schedules, and are hit with stressors and blind-sighted left and right by unexpected events. All of this is inevitable and largely unavoidable. So why be with someone who doesn’t bring peace and some kind of stability and grounding to your life? Real things are going on around you and you don’t need to be preoccupied with someone who sucks all your energy and keeps you in constant chaos. You need someone to build an empire with, not someone you need therapy sessions because of.
- If no one else knows how great you are, you should. You’ve been with yourself your whole life. You know your talents, skills, interests, and where you’re headed in life. You should be with someone who wants to know these things about you- not someone who covers it all up by stressing you or glosses over it because they don’t care. Knowing your worth is not cliché, it’s the truth and cannot be said enough.