Loving A Toxic Guy Is Destroying Me But I Can’t Seem To Stop

I’m not the first person to fall for someone who wasn’t right for me, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier for me to leave this guy for good. I know that this relationship is slowly eating me alive, but every time I convince myself to dump him, he always manages to get me to stay. It seriously sucks.

  1. The logical side of me knows I need to run. My head and my heart don’t always agree and unfortunately, my heart is in control here. When I take a step back and look at my situation objectively, it’s painfully obvious that I need to remove myself from this awful relationship. It’s not a matter of me not recognizing that I need to leave, I just can’t bring myself to do it.
  2. He knows exactly how to pull me back in. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve told myself I was done with him. I’ve sworn up and down to myself and him that I couldn’t and wouldn’t deal with his BS anymore, but he’s a master manipulator and knows me almost as well as I know myself. I know his apologies and promises shouldn’t mean anything to me anymore but I still fall for them every time.
  3. I can’t figure out why I still love him. If one of my friends were dating a guy like this, I’d be shaking her by the shoulders asking her WTF she was doing. I mean, how could you love a man who constantly toyed with your feelings and made promises he never kept? I have no clue why I still feel this way when I should be disgusted every time his name comes up on my phone, but here I am anyway.
  4. I feel like I’m letting myself down. I’ve always told myself that I would never stay with a man who made me think less of myself. I was stronger than that… or so I thought. Being in this relationship reminds me of how I felt in school when I failed an easy test just because I didn’t even bother to study. I know that I can do so much better than this and it makes me feel like a failure.
  5. I know I deserve better but I still just want him. I’ve dated great people in the past and I know that I’m a great girlfriend. I could definitely find someone who would treat me the way I deserve, but the idea of moving on to someone else just doesn’t interest me. I only have eyes for him and I hate that I can’t force my heart to stop looking at him through rose-colored glasses.
  6. It wasn’t always this bad. No one intentionally dates toxic people. This guy was incredible when we first started talking. He put my interests and needs first, did everything possible to prove that he was trustworthy, and was super respectful. But over time, his true personality started creeping in. Even though I know that this is who he truly is, part of me is hooked on the idea that he’ll wake up one day and realize he wants to be good to me again.
  7. I’m embarrassed to tell my friends the truth. Everyone in our social circle thinks we’re the perfect couple. I can’t blame them — when we’re around other people, this guy is a model boyfriend. Everyone always tells me how lucky I am and I don’t have the heart to deny it. I know that telling my friends the truth could help me but I’m too ashamed to admit that I’ve been sticking around and keeping up this facade for so long.
  8. I’m constantly lowering the bar for him. I used to have high standards, but since I’ve been dating this guy, I’ve been lowering them bit by bit just to convince myself that he’s still what I want. I know for a fact that if I were to meet him now for the first time, I wouldn’t give him the time of day. But because I’ve invested so much time and energy into this, it’s easier for me to lie to myself and say that he still checks off all the boxes for my ideal partner.
  9. Loving him is preventing me from finding someone better. I’ve had other guys ask me out since I’ve been seeing him and every last one of them would probably treat me better than he does. But I always say no because I want to be faithful to him… even though I know he’d give a cute girl his number without any regard for how I’d feel about it. If I could convince myself to break away from him and be truly single again, I know I could eventually move on and be happy with someone who’d appreciate me more. I just don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do it.
  10. I’m terrified his behavior will become my new “normal.” My biggest fear is that one day I’ll get the courage to leave him, only to fall into another poisonous relationship. I’ve been putting up with this treatment for so long that it barely even registers as being abnormal, and it makes me worry that I won’t even be fazed if it happens again with someone else. Being with one toxic man is bad enough — I can’t imagine what it’ll do to me if I become accustomed to this treatment for the rest of my life.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.