Many people regularly find themselves struggling with relationships – it is almost as if they keep moving from one terrible one to another. Truth be told, it is not anyone’s fault that relationships turn sour – life sometimes happens to the best of us, but if you always find yourself in a toxic relationship, perhaps you need to pause and have a discussion with yourself. Letting go of and avoiding toxic relationships is not impossible, as a matter of fact, it is not difficult if you know what to do and are willing to do it.
Here are 5 simple steps to help you avoid toxic relationships:
Identify toxic patterns
Your past relationships and situationships are great reference points to show you not only what you did wrong, but also what you did right. Work on areas in your past relationships where you see a pattern of bad habits you have carried with all your partners. If possible, ask friends and family members and those closest to you if they have noticed these traits and when they have noticed these traits the most in you. Then work on improving yourself. This doesn’t mean you will become perfect, it only means you have acknowledged your weak points and are willing to do better. This will allow you to start having healthy conversations with your partner which will, in turn, make it easier for you both to connect and understand one another and then build a healthier relationship.
Stop rebounding into relationships
If you just ended a relationship that didn’t turn out well, you need to take time to feel the hurt and heal. Allow yourself to go through the full process of grieving the end of the relationship: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Go through each and every one and don’t step into a relationship to run away from this process. You may find yourself making the same mistakes all over again if you do not pause and think things through before starting a new relationship. Rebounds are a recipe for disaster. Even if your new partner is all cool and great, it’s still important to allow yourself to fully process the fact that you are no longer with your ex, this way, you don’t become triggered by the mistakes your next partner is bound to make. Allowing yourself to feel the hurt and heal is also a gift. You are giving yourself the space to learn how to identify your triggers so you don’t put your partner through unnecessary pain.
Learn to be single
Take a break from dating. This does not mean you won’t date a guy/girl if they come along and happen to meet your desires but when you step into the space of embracing your singleness, you will date in a totally different way. During this break, date yourself. What do you want to work on? Where do you want to invest more time? What skills do you want to learn? Where do you want to develop relationships? Use your singleness to grow yourself and increase your value not only for others but mostly for you. Learn not to be intimidated into relationships. Drop the ex. Drop the man/woman you aren’t really into. Just be by yourself for a bit, you’ll learn a ton. This will also allow you to date from a space of wholeness instead of loneliness.
Become the partner you desire
If you want a man that’s fit, are you fit? If you don’t step into the qualities you desire in a partner, you’re going to find it difficult to identify when those qualities are present. You won’t also know early enough when they are absent. This is one of the mistakes that tend to happen in toxic relationships. A whole lot of guesswork goes on – does he like me? Is she what I desire? Can I manage his/her spending habits? If you don’t learn to be single and identify what exactly you have to offer in a relationship, you won’t be able to value your partner in a way that will strengthen the relationship. So become the partner you desire; process your own habits, self-examine yourself, figure out what you have to offer, and also don’t forget to gift, spoil, and validate yourself so you don’t go searching for it elsewhere. This will change who you’re attracted to and who you attract.
It’s not how many dates you go on, it’s about the quality of dates you go for. This may seem like a subtle shift but it’s a very powerful one. You have to date from the perspective of knowing what you desire and ensuring you get what you want. This means you may be single for a long time since you’re not willing to settle, but you will be single for the right reasons. Don’t settle.