I have been in a really amazing, healthy relationship with my boyfriend for over 2 years now which I feel really lucky about. I haven’t always been that lucky though and I know a lot other people haven’t either.
I did a poll on Instagram, asking whether my followers had ever been in a toxic relationship or not. 79% voted yes, while 21% voted no. These people were all in their 20s, and a couple slightly older. The reality is these days, most people have had toxic relationships and if you haven’t, you probably know someone who has.
Toxic relationships can often be scarring and a lot of the time, you don’t even realise you were in a toxic relationship until months after it has ended. However, from having a few toxic relationships myself, I can say I have learnt a lot from those experiences.
How do you know if you’re in a toxic relationship?
I have been unfortunate enough to have more than one toxic relationship. The first was when I was in school, and it was very toxic and often abusive. I knew that one was toxic while I was in it but I was so young and honestly was scared to do anything about it so I just endured it, as I sadly thought that’s what relationships were like.
The second toxic relationship I had, I didn’t actually realise it was toxic until long after. I think this was because the relationship was so much better than the first one I had, I just thought it was a good relationship. It wasn’t until long after that I realised I deserved more.
Based on my experiences, here are the signs of a toxic relationship:
- Manipulation – this can be them trying to get you to do things you want to do.
- Blackmail – this comes under manipulation. They might use something against you to get you to do something or not do something.
- Extreme jealousy – A lot of relationships can have a little bit of jealousy. But if your partner is overly jealous to the point where they start acting strange then you should start questioning why they are acting that way. In the same way, if you find yourself feeling really jealous, you should ask yourself if you really trust that person?
- Cheating – I think this is an obvious one but it is definitely toxic.
- Putting you down – if they are making you feel bad about yourself or insulting you then this could be a sign of a toxic person. There’s a joke and then there’s actually being upset about something your partner has said to you.
- Feeling worried or anxious about telling them something or doing something wrong.
I’m sure there are lots more signs than this, but these are just ones I have experienced from past relationships.
What should I tolerate?
Everyone makes mistakes. There will probably be times in a relationship where you get annoyed at your partner or them getting annoyed with you. I’d say the main thing to think about if your partner has done something to upset you is are they sorry? If they keep doing something over and over again that you have said upsets you then they are not sorry.
Love yourself first
From observing toxic relationships, I can say that the toxic person almost always feels insecure which is why they may be overly jealous, or put you down. That is not how you should act towards anyone, especially someone you are supposed to have a deep connection with.
Similarly, feeling insecure in yourself may be the reason why you are putting up with toxic behaviour. I knew my first relationship was toxic while I was in it but I was so insecure I thought I’d never find another boyfriend. Sometimes toxic people will make you feel like they are the only one that cares about you so once you are with them and they make you feel like that, it can be hard to get out.
I always say, the way someone acts in a breakup says a lot about them. If you have been with someone for a while and have been really close to them, you should still have respect for them, unless they have done something really disrespectful to you of course.
Sometimes you won’t know your relationship is toxic at the time, but oftentimes a breakup will show you someone’s true colours.
What have I learnt?
Those relationships definitely knocked my confidence for a while and I am still affected by them now but overall I am a much more resilient person.
I have learnt that I do not need to be in a relationship to be happy and I have a lot of friends and family who care about me. I am so happy in my relationship now and I believe that is because I was able to love myself first and enjoy being by myself.
I have also learnt that not all relationships are horrible and they can be really nice if you are with the right person and both have respect for each other.
I haven’t done a lot of thought blogs like this before so I hope you enjoyed it, and I’m glad I was able to have it published on Tia’s blog. If you have read this and are struggling with a toxic relationship or have had one in the past, my DMs are always open.