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Toxic lovers are everywhere.
We’ve seen them, dated them, and talked about them. Almost every single person we know has had a toxic lover at some point in their lives.
As much as it’s challenging to be with them, it’s easy to spot them. Relationships with them are always complicated, and they never end well.
With them, we feel a range of emotions that are never consistent. Sometimes, we feel like we’re floating on cloud nine; other times, we feel like we can’t even stand to see their faces.
Mainly, it’s because the toxic lover themselves isn’t consistent or sure. Their instability greatly affects ours, leaving us wretched, indecisive, and confused.
Whether it’s a fling or a relationship, it’s clear that being involved with a toxic lover only keeps us stuck in agony and struggle.
I’ve been there so many times before, so I know how challenging it is to unhook from toxicity. It takes more than a mere decision or removing them from Facebook. It takes effort, time, energy, wisdom, awareness, and most importantly, perseverance.
If you’re stuck with a toxic lover and feel imprisoned, taking these steps can help you break free:
Don’t fall into their “dicksand.”
There’s a scene in “How to be Single” when Robin says to Alice, “I’m sick of you meeting guys and falling into their dicksand.” Confused, Alice asks her what’s a dicksand. Robin replies, “It’s like every time a guy looks at you, you forget who you are and get sucked into their world.”
Toxic lovers are so good at pulling us into their “dicksand,” especially after they’ve disappeared on us. Their reappearance is always magnetic enough to sweep us off our feet and make us forget all the pain they’ve put us through.
Beware the dicksand and the “hot and cold” dating game. Plan ahead of time how to respond and react to them when they get in touch. Your awareness is your savior.
Get in touch with your past self before meeting them.
When we get stuck with a toxic lover, we also get stuck in a negative self-image about ourselves. We might feel unworthy of love, hideous, or undeserving of respect.
Go back to the time when you were the best version of yourself. Revisit old albums, old journals, and old memories when you were enough. Remember how that felt like and take the necessary steps to bring that old version of you back to life again.
Don’t put them on a pedestal.
Thinking well of others is such a compassionate and beautiful thing to do. But when it comes to toxic lovers, we should consider their negative traits as well. Not because they’re bad people, but idealizing their positive traits only keeps us hooked.
Think of the pain they might have inflicted on us, how they treat us, or how they’re inconsistent with us. Ask yourself if this is what you deserve or wish to receive from a lover.
Really, listen to yourself.
When I first watched “The Perks of Being a Sunflower,” I heard a quote that changed my life forever.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ~ Stephen Chbosky
Apparently, I chose the lovers who I thought I deserved (including narcissists, emotionally unavailable people, schizophrenics, cheaters, alcoholics, and sociopaths). When I changed my mindset, pinned down my values, and decided my worth, I started meeting different people who matched my own values and path.
Wanting a healthy relationship is the most important value we could ever think of. Work toward that and ask yourself what is it that you really think you deserve? The least that we all deserve is someone who really cares about us, is steady with us, and shows up for us.
Use that moment.
With toxic lovers, we have plenty of “I had enough” moments. We sob, we get angry, and we swear to never return their messages. One hour later and a few sweet messages from them, et voilà, we’re fine again.
If we really wish to move on and break free from a toxic partner, we need to benefit from angry moments for our own sake. Stay with the feeling that “I had enough” brings into your being. Transform your rage and anger into a decision that you stick with. Using one of those moments can get you out for once and for all.
You could go out so far that you might even meet the love of your life there. “I had enough” is not temporary. It’s not a fleeting moment, and it’s not “I’m only overreacting.” When you have enough, it means you’ve really had enough. It’s an alert from your soul that tells you to get the f*ck out before you sink even more.
The way to the exit is arduous, but the exit itself is promising. Think of your situation as a loop that you need to escape. Once you do, you’ll wonder what got you in there in the first place.