I Was In A Toxic AF Relationship But Had No Idea Until I Breathed Fresher Air

I was recently in an almost-relationship where I really liked the guy and he initially seemed like a dream, but the reality turned out to be very different. Unfortunately, it was only when I was free of the situation that I realized just how toxic AF he was.

  1. He messed with my head. This guy told me how much he liked me and wanted us to progress in one breath, but then said he didn’t want a relationship right now in the next. This kind of talk always left me hanging on, waiting for the day where he’d turn around and be like, “OK, I’m ready to commit now.” It was extremely confusing and frustrating at times.
  2. He gave me mixed signals. He was very hot and cold all the time. One minute he’d be all over me like he couldn’t get enough of me and the next he ran a mile. He was not only emotionally unavailable but often physically unavailable and blamed it on the excuse that he was always “busy at work” even though he always seemed to have plenty of time to socialize with other people. I now realize that he acted this way because he was purposefully trying to keep his distance from me due to the fact that he didn’t like me as much as I liked him.
  3. His actions and his words just didn’t add up. I’m a big believer in “actions speak louder than words.” It was so weird because he’d say he didn’t want a relationship then kiss me and look into my eyes like you would if you were really into someone. Even though he was all over me in the bedroom, our almost-relationship wasn’t purely about sex. He’d take me out, he’d wine and dine me, and we acted as if we were a proper couple. At the time, I didn’t understand why we just couldn’t be together.
  4. I was making most of the effort. Even though he did take me out, I always felt like I made more effort than he did. This should have been a red flag for me but when he told me he was sorry for not texting me back for a whole week, I genuinely believed him. Naive? Maybe. But, looking back, I was blinded by my feelings for him. He could obviously tell how much I liked him and I honestly believe that he took advantage of that.
  5. I thought him paying for stuff meant that he liked me. I now realize that buying me nice dinners and treating me to gifts was a way for him to relieve the guilt he felt for stringing me along when he had no intentions of committing to me. At the time, though, I relished it all, thinking he was the best guy ever.
  6. He made out that we were exclusive. He used to say that he wasn’t interested in anyone else and make out like I was the only girl in the world he wanted to pursue things with romantically. Looking back, I’m not sure that we ever were exclusive, especially given the fact that he became Facebook official with another girl a couple of weeks after we stopped talking. Now, that was a slap in the face.
  7. He had full relationship benefits. Throughout our time together, he got all the benefits of a relationship without actually being in one. Like I said before, we were very much acting like a couple, but he never agreed to give it a shot. He’d always make out that we were heading that way, which is why I gave him everything. What a loser.
  8. He made it seem like I was a psycho. If I saw things on social media of him hanging out with other girls, sometimes one-on-one, I’d ask him about it and he’d just make out like I was a jealous psycho. I might have been slightly jealous with previous boyfriends at times until I knew the full story, but I’d never before in my life been referred to as a “psycho.” It was awful. I wasn’t a jealous psycho at all; I was just a girl who liked a guy and was being given mixed signals. I didn’t know where I stood from one day to the next and, as a result, it was such a stressful situation.
  9. He didn’t end things properly. I never fully got closure or clarity on our situation because he ended up ghosting me. That says it all really, doesn’t it. I always believe that there’s a reason why people choose to act in a certain way—and I think he knew how much I liked him when he didn’t feel the same about me, so he took the coward’s way out. It was mean AF.
  10. I’m now with someone who treats me like a queen. Hindsight truly is a beautiful thing. I don’t think you realize just how bad a previous almost-relationship was until you’re with someone else who treats you how you deserve to be treated. Sure, he might’ve not known what he wanted, but he should have been honest and upfront with me about it. He shouldn’t have just taken me along for the ride, and he certainly shouldn’t have ghosted me because he couldn’t handle cutting things off with me like a man. But he actually did me a favor in the end, because it made me available to start things up with my current boyfriend, who’s absolutely amazing.
Katie Davies is a British freelance writer who has built a career creating lifestyle content that caters to the modern woman. When she's not sipping tea, shopping, or exploring a new city, you'll probably find her blogging about her fashion and travel adventures at https://trendytourist.co.uk.