I Ignored My Boyfriend’s Toxic Behavior Because Everyone Loved Him — Big Mistake

I always thought my boyfriend was great because everyone else did. He had so many friends and acquaintances who thought he was amazing and even people in my own group thought he was awesome. I ended up staying with him for way too long because of it and nearly got lost in his toxicity along the way.

  1. He had some yellow flags early on. He didn’t have blinding red flags, but he did have some yellow flags that were making me a bit hesitant about getting serious with him. I called them yellow flags because I filed them away, not sure if they were deal breakers. For example, he sometimes used to text his female friend a lot but he’d said they were platonic and I wasn’t sure if I could trust him.
  2. I introduced him to my friends. After a few weeks of dating, my friends and I were at a party and I decided to invite the guy I was seeing so he could meet them. I saw some more yellow flags in him when he hung out with us. He was super charming and trying to make everyone love him. He practically spent all night being nice to my friends as though he was in competition with me.
  3. Sadly, it worked on them. My friends loved being around him so much, they told me afterward that they wanted him to hang out with us all the time. It was a little creepy that they totally bought his perfect act. They didn’t even seem to care that I wasn’t all that keen on him.
  4. I told them what I was feeling but they didn’t take me seriously. It was so weird, but they told me I was just overreacting. One said that my previous relationship experiences were affecting me negatively and making me judge this guy and that he was just perfect for me. Um… really?
  5. I started to believe them. They were my friends and I knew they only had my best interests at heart. I also knew that I was sometimes a little too hard on people. So, I tried to follow their lead and give this guy a chance.
  6. I couldn’t shake the feeling. He didn’t do anything majorly toxic, like sleep with his friend or abuse me, but there was just this underlying feeling that he wasn’t as perfect as he was claiming to be. I tried to ignore the feeling, though, because everyone adored him. I wish I hadn’t. I should’ve trusted myself more!
  7. He was a great friend, but… He soon became a member of my social circle. My friends kept saying he was such a nice guy and I realized something: he was a great friend to them but he just wasn’t a great boyfriend for me. This light-bulb moment made me see that I had to stop feeling guilty for not wanting to date him.
  8. I feared that he’d find someone else. A weird thing had started to happen to me when I considered leaving this guy. I found myself worrying that he was charming and perfect on paper but also in real life, but I just wasn’t valuing his traits. What if someone else saw those traits and he became perfect for them? What if I had therefore missed out on having a wonderful guy in my life? I was totally getting sidetracked.
  9. I was replacing my opinions for others’. The saddest thing about this whole experience was that I didn’t make my opinions about the guy a priority. I was easily swept away by what my friends thought of him, but that totally led me astray. It didn’t matter if other women adored him and he became a fantastic boyfriend and husband to some other woman. He wasn’t right for me. That’s what I had to focus on, and I hadn’t been doing that enough.
  10. I had the most important say in this. It wasn’t up to my friends to decide who I should date. While worrying so much about whether or not he mattered, I was totally ignoring the fact that I mattered!
  11. I wasted time, and for what? I wasted a few months dating this guy, even though I hadn’t even really wanted him. What was the point of that? It was unfair to the guy I’d been dating and it was unfair on me and what I deserved in a relationship. Never again!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.