Raise your hand if you’ve ever dated a toxic guy. I’ve done it many times in the past thinking I’d be able to change him and turn him into my own personal Prince Charming. Turns out, I don’t possess that superpower—in fact, none of us do. It took me a long time to realize that losers will always be losers and dating one thinking you can fix him is bad news bears.
He was toxic before you met. What attracted you to Jerkface? If you’re like me, you’re not into guys who are just too nice. Unfortunately, that leaves only moderately nice guys and, you guessed it, toxic dudes. You probably made allowances for his attitude when you guys first met but it’s important to remember that he’s always been like this and it has nothing to do with you.
You know it won’t work. If you’re currently dating a guy like this, you’re probably not going to believe me. I know—I’ve been there more times than I can count. “Oh, you’ll see,” I told my friends. Yeah, no. I tried and failed to be nicer to him in hopes he’d be nicer to me but it really didn’t matter what method of manipulation I tried—it didn’t work. Once a jerk, always a jerk.
It’s beyond exhausting. Being in a relationship with someone you like is hard enough. Dating someone who’s a chronic a-hole, however, is like trying to climb Everest barefoot after eating a burrito. My point is, it’s incredibly tiring to date a toxic guy day in, day out. If you’re holding on because you think it’ll get easier once he changes, stop. It ain’t gonna happen.
It isn’t rebellious or “badass.” I admit that dating a jerk can be sort of liberating… for about five seconds. Soon enough, you’ll be wishing he was kinder or maybe more compassionate and you’ll become frustrated when it doesn’t happen. You may have felt like a rule-breaker when you hooked up with this guy but it’s time to get real. Continuing to date him isn’t rebellious, it’s just stupid.
It ruins your self-esteem. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a stockpile of self-esteem to begin with. I need what little I have and I can’t be careless with it. Being in a relationship with a complete toxic mess will ruin your self-worth. You knew he was a jerk at the start and yet you’ll go on to blame yourself for his bad behavior. Remember that it’s not you, it’s him. Now run!
You deserve better. If reading the Perks of Being a Wallflower taught me anything, it’s that we accept the love we think we deserve. Why do we date losers and bad guys? Because that’s the only kind of guys we feel we’re worthy of, and it’s simply not true. You deserve so much more. You deserve so much better.
You see slivers of good that don’t really count for anything. Every once in a while, a phenomenon happens when you think your guy might actually be a decent human being. He pets a kitten or he notices your haircut or something ridiculously small and dumb and you think, “Wow, he’s really getting it together.” No, he isn’t. You’re only seeing these moments of good because you’re looking so hard for them. Say it with me now: “He’s toxic.”
Would you want him to change you? Even though he’s undoubtedly the one who needs an internal makeover, let’s pretend the roles were reversed. What if you were the jerk and he was the nice one? Would you want him to change you? I can’t imagine you would. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone that completely overhauls their personality.
He’s got baggage and it’s not your responsibility to deal with it. Everybody has baggage, that much is true. But if you’re dating a guy who consistently treats you like garbage, there’s a good chance he’s got some SERIOUS baggage that no one should have to deal with. It’s not your job to help him unpack and resolve his issues. Your guy needs to work through it on his own—what he doesn’t need is an enabler. Putting up with his rudeness by sticking it out in the relationship isn’t going to be good for either of you in the long run.
He doesn’t appreciate you. If your guy doesn’t treat you well, he doesn’t appreciate you. Even if he tells you that he does, you know better. We’re kind to the ones we love. Perhaps not all the time, but as a general rule, we look to treat our significant others with respect. If you’re not being respected, it’s time to move on.
Someone better is out there. I’m guilty of having spent too long in relationships I knew were destined to fail. You might love this a-hole you’re with, but do you really see yourself spending the rest of your life with a guy like that? Someone else is out there—someone who’s kind and will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Don’t settle for the complicated on-again off-again relationship with this jerk when you could have something phenomenal with someone much, much better.
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