Toxic relationships come with the emotional damage you don’t even realize while you’re in them. Sometimes a victim of a toxic relationship will continue the cycle of pining after other toxic people as if winning over their love and affection will heal the emotional damage others might have caused in their past.
So when this person comes across a healthy relationship, their immediate reaction is to push this person away and not believe that there are people with good intentions out there. They’ve seen a series of really bad relationships that have hurt them and as much as they want the cycle of abuse to end, sadly it’s what they are used to.
You begin with anticipating the worst.
You expect this person to turn out to be just like your exes. You expect this act in the beginning to end. You expect there suddenly to be a shift. What throws you off is, this person continually shows you the best. This person continues to treat you well. And in return, you doubt them. You question their motives. You test them over and over and they keep passing. Your guard is so high and you have so many trust issues even with yourself, because you were the one to choose those people. You don’t trust yourself and so you tiptoe around this person just wondering when the other shoe might drop.
Your doubt they meet with confidence.
You’ve never known someone who was sure of you. With toxic relationships, they kept you pining after them. Trying too hard. Treating you badly and making you constantly question yourself when you weren’t doing something to appease them.
But with this person, they realize how fragile you are. They don’t look at you as weak, but rather someone who needs to be handled delicately because others didn’t do what they had to, which was what you deserved.
They aren’t knocking you down to build you back up, they are just building you up from where you are and trying to make you better.
Your anxiety doesn’t bother them.
When you’re in a toxic relationship, you become so careful with the things you do and say. Because at any moment, the toxic person will pick and choose anything they can to be upset with you.
In doing so, it made you really paranoid. It made you second guess yourself. Toxic relationships give you anxiety because you never actually know what version of your partner will show up that day.
But this new relationship understands why you worry. And instead of these mind games people played with you in the past, this person is straightforward and honest. This person tells you things exactly as they are. There aren’t games and messing with your head this makes you feel safe. They want to understand what’s on your mind or what’s worrying you and what they can do to fix it. At the end of the day, they just want you happy and not too many people have put you first in the past.
You push them away and they don’t leave.
When you come out of toxic relationships everything is like a test you pass or fail. Or the grey area of confusion in between that you spent a lot of time wondering how someone felt or if your presence in their life was to boost their ego. Toxic relationships have a way of always trying to test you, only no matter what you do right or wrong, you’re going to fail. So you try harder to appease them, only it doesn’t work. This teaches you to test everyone else in your life. You’re scared to get close to someone. You’re scared to let someone in. Your response comes down to one of two things, fight or flight. And since this relationship isn’t one you’re fighting in, you take off out of fear.
You’re used to pushing people away and everyone else has let you go. But this new relationship doesn’t make it that easy. They challenge you by being this person you need and you secretly want, but have always been too afraid to find.
You almost fear something going right.
Sometimes people cling to unhealthy relationships not because they lack confidence or have bad taste. When you meet the right person, suddenly you have something to lose. When you pine after people who are toxic and emotionally unavailable, you can’t lose someone who wasn’t yours to begin with. So it’s easier in a way to get into these relationships than taking a bet on something that could be real.
Because when you get love right, it’s everything it’s cracked up to be and I think people who choose toxic partners know that at a level deeper than anyone.
You begin to trust them as well as yourself.
Suddenly this thing is the real deal and it’s terrifying. Half of you is still expecting something to go wrong while the other half of you has walls completely crumbling down. And as much as you resist it, they are getting through to you.
You then fear losing this person.
Suddenly you go from fear of having someone, to fear of losing them. So you overcompensate. You try too hard. You apologize too often. The after effects of toxic relationships are just that. You start clinging to this relationship. But unlike the other relationships you’ve had, this person is just as invested in you as you are them. So it doesn’t feel like you are losing yourself to this relationship. When someone becomes what you want and need and it’s mutual, you simply balance each other out and make each other better.
Just as you fear losing them, they fear losing you and you’ve never known a relationship where someone met you halfway.
You don’t fear those three words anymore.
In the past you’ve given your heart away to people who didn’t deserve it, appreciate it and couldn’t be what you needed. Convinced you could change how someone felt or the outcome you both knew was enviable of an ending. You used to say “I love you” to these people, thinking love would make someone stay. Thinking love was trying too hard for someone. Giving love away to others like it wasn’t something to value. And loving everyone the way you should have loved yourself.
You said those three words over and over never to hear them and you began to fear it. Rejecting love like that was the problem rather than the people you were choosing to give it too.
But this person says it first, and says it confidently. And what you feel for this person is the real deal and you suddenly compare this person to everyone in the past and they blow them away.
When you meet the right person, it’s no longer a competition because this person came out of nowhere and made you realize this is what you actually deserve and everyone else is irrelevant.