A year ago, an old friend of mine got back with an ex-boyfriend and decided to give him another chance. It wasn't like she was giving him a second chance, it was more like a hundredth chance, but there was a voice in her head that said, "things will change." And because of that voice, she moved in with him, and not too long after, it was shown that things would never change. The relationship she had ended previously had come back around the corner again and she was trapped. She felt as if she couldn't leave him and needed to do nothing other than help him.
One day she got the guts to pack everything up and move out; she finally realized that this was only hurting her more in the long run. A few days ago I was rummaging through social media and watching everybody's stories from the holidays, and as sad as it is to say, I saw that she was giving him yet another chance. Thoughts raced through my head, and I had to ask myself once again, how many times does it take someone to realize that they are in a toxic relationship?
Because of this, I asked people what their definition of a "toxic relationship" was. Here are those definitions:
"I haven't been in one but my best friend has. It's someone who won't let you grow as a person or in your own career. He wouldn't let her talk to anyone else if she wasn't around him. We were on a cruise and obviously, we were all in our bathing suits. And he would call her a slut and a whore for wearing a two piece or fat and ugly to get her to cover up. He had her change her major 3 times because there was a possibility of making more money than him in the future. Or that she would be studying a lot instead of being with him."
"I think a toxic relationship is a relationship that completely drains someone of their well-being. Toxic relationships can be one-sided and two-sided for example the giver-taker would be one-sided or another is two individuals that aren't right for each other but still try to make it work regardless of what is actually good for each individual person that would be toxic for both parties."
"A toxic relationship is one that people lose themselves in, who feel held back by one another and who don't care about the other's well-being, not just in a health sense, but regards for their future, dreams and goals. It's negligence towards the other's emotions and feeling the need to walk on eggshells out of fear or fighting or feeling like they are doing something wrong. It's one that someone can't recognize who they once were or who they want to be."
"Where the person continuously puts you down and where you are more unhappy than happy. If the relationship brings you pain or fear or just puts bad energy in your life then you are in a toxic relationship."
"A relationship where someone makes you feel like you don't deserve to be with him/her let alone anyone else."
"In my experience, it's a relationship where you're terrified to be yourself because you know you'll get judged for something. Every little thing you do is scrutinized, made fun of, or makes the person angry. (Also, here I'm pulling from a toxic friendship, not a romantic relationship, just to be clear.)"
"In my experience, I felt pretty brainwashed. All my friends and family would tell me that I was unhappy and I knew I was, but I felt like I couldn't get out of the situation. It felt nearly impossible to leave because of my ex told me that, so I think that's pretty toxic."
Because maybe, just maybe, reading personal definitions might help someone realize that they are in one either with a significant other or just a friend and that it is anything but healthy.