I’ve Stopped Dating Toxic Guys & I Feel So Much Better

In the same way that we restrict unhealthy foods that can be harmful to us, we should cut toxic guys out of our “dating diet.” That’s what I did and I highly recommend it.

  1. I used to indulge in bad boys. I know it sounds silly, but I really enjoyed getting to know the bad guys. I found them interesting and mysterious and that was so sexy to me. The problem, of course, is that it’s not attractive after date number four when the guy’s going AWOL or playing me by seeing someone else. Then the bad guy becomes the guy who’s just nasty.
  2. I knew I had to make a change. After getting my hopes up and then smashed into pieces time and time again, I realized that I was like someone who always ate unhealthy food but constantly complained that they felt sick all the time. I was always moaning to my BFFs about what the latest toxic guy I was dating was doing to hurt me, yet I went back to them. It was ridiculous (and really infuriating my friends, I’m sure)! I knew I had to break the pattern.
  3. Around this time, I was becoming food savvy. It was around this time that I started to become really interested in healthy eating. I chose organic foods and I was becoming more informed about what was in the foods I was buying at the supermarket. Suddenly, I started to see a link between my dating life and my eating habits. It was a serious lightbulb moment.
  4. I had to detox my dating life! I was detoxing my food by avoiding chemicals and processed ingredients, but what about all the toxins I was bringing into my life thanks to the terrible guys I was dating? I’m not being a drama queen here, I’m serious. Toxic guys are bad for your health.
  5. I was really suffering because of my bad guy choices. I had sleeplessness and anxiety from always feeling like I had to walk on eggshells around my toxic boyfriend. I had high stress levels and my blood pressure was through the roof. I lacked self-confidence thanks to a toxic guy who always kept putting me down until I believed his horrible words. Should I go on? By now it’s clear that toxic men can really be toxic, not just to your emotions but your physical health.
  6. I started a “no toxic guys” diet. I wrote up all the qualities that toxic guys had that were bad for me, almost as if they were carcinogens or hidden sugars in food. These were the things I had to avoid in guys in the future. Some of the traits included disloyalty, selfishness, dishonesty, and too much mystery (which, let’s face it, is really a nice way of saying a guy’s totally lying).
  7. It wasn’t easy at first. It’s crazy but true—it was actually hard for me to stick to this rule in the beginning. This blew my mind, but perhaps we’d take better care of our hearts if we could see them, right? Anyway, I stuck with it. I treated my no toxic guy diet like a new religion. I wasn’t going to go back—it was about being a healthier me.
  8. It got easier when I saw the benefits. As with any diet, my new dating diet had me worried and stressed out for a few days, like when I wouldn’t reply to a toxic guy’s messages. I was so used to being at his beck and call, so this was new. Then, after a few days, I started to feel fantastic! I had more energy and less stress. I was even sleeping better.
  9. There’s no way I would go back. Just like with a diet and/or exercise plan, it’s tough at first but then it becomes a healthy habit. Once that happens, you’re less likely to toss it aside because it feels so good. That’s exactly what happened with my “no toxic guy” diet. I was feeling fantastic and it was a habit within a few weeks. The thought of going back to the toxic men out there filled me with so much dread. It wasn’t going to happen.
  10. I didn’t have the healthier male options (yet), though. It would be great to say that choosing better men was as easy as choosing healthy food options at the supermarket. But all the “good guy” shelves were empty at times in my love department. That didn’t matter, though. I realized I would rather be alone and less stressed than stuck with a toxic guy who brought me down.
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.