Most relationships begins really well. Almost ideally. There is a good reason for this: there are a lot of lies in the beginning. But even if you're honest with each other, there's still a good chance that some lies will slip in at the beginning, or some unattractive qualities will remain hidden.
And this is understandable - in fact, it's quite natural. After all, the aim is still to conquer, to attract the other person's interest; and to do this, we obviously do our best and paint the best picture of ourselves. Then, of course, it turns out that there is more to it than that: annoying stupid habits, conflicting opinions, doubts that arise from time to time, small or even serious disappointments.
This is the moment in our lives when we truly understand that it is much more difficult to preserve something than to obtain it. This is why so many people today throw away their relationships like paper cups.
Because from the moment two people finally see each other clearly, without masks, the relationship can only remain functional with one new factor: work. Just as a garden needs tending if we want to see flowers and not weeds in it, so a relationship requires constant care. But this garden is special because one gardener is never enough, two are required.
It's easy to get a boyfriend. So is to dump one. But to keep it, you need more than just desire and superficial love - you need understanding, acceptance and a deep love that is no longer just spontaneous feelings. If these are missing, the relationship becomes toxic.
Either because in the absence of acceptance, one person tries to impose their own principles on the other (perhaps both do the same), or because in the absence of real love, the two people are simply incompatible. Then there is what someone once put it in a painfully beautiful analogy: 'You fell in love with my flowers, but not with my roots. And when autumn came, you didn't know what to do..."
Related: What are the signs that he loves me
Is my relationship toxic or is it me?
We have already seen how a relationship can become toxic because of the initial masks and later lack of care. But is your relationship really toxic? Or could it be that you simply need to learn more about each other, about life, about two people working together?
Are you poisoning each other or encouraging one another? Is it better to close it down and never look back, or is your relationship good, just needs some tending? Many people choose to walk away, throwing away an opportunity - even the opportunity of a lifetime. And many stay when they should run away, because they will poison themselves until their souls slowly die.
The brain and the heart are not always good teammates. Of course, it's bad to let reason decide in a relationship, but it's good to have in certain situations from time to time. For example, when there's something really wrong between you and neither a hug, nor a makeup sex, nor a holiday can fix it. That is when a real solution is needed, not a distraction, and the problem is not a lack of emotion, but conflicting interests.
But before we find out whether your relationship is toxic, it's worth clarifying who is poisoning whom, and how. Because it would be easy to say that the other person is doing this to you, because they are trying to impose things, habits, living conditions or principles on you that you don't need. It could easily be the case, however, it is always a good idea to take a look at yourself honestly.
You can also poison the other person by not accepting them as they are. If you only have expectations, you are both robbing yourself of the possibility of happiness and also poisoning your relationship. So it's worth using your brain rather than pointing fingers, because most of the time it turns out that it's not just one of you who is damaging the relationship, but both of you.
When to leave a toxic relationship, when to save it?
We are all human. Complex, different from each other, not perfect, and not always consistent. Mistakes slip into every relationship and life, and it's common to carry one mistake with us for years, decades, or even a lifetime. Or if not the mistake itself, then perhaps we carry the consequences with us.
Imperfect living beings (as we all are) cannot have a perfect relationship with each other, but it is always obvious whether a relationship has a future or not (even if many people close their eyes to avoid facing the reality).
I will give you two key words that can help you decide whether or not to leave the relationship if it's toxic: "change" and "together".
If you wait and don't see even the slightest sign of change in your partner - and yourself - your relationship is dying and you're only poisoning each other in this toxic relationship. Without change, there is no life. The world is constantly changing, while we humans, chasing the illusion of safe constancy, believing that the least dangerous strategy is to do everything the same way.
But we are not the same as we used to be. I'm not really talking about the lies that slip in at the beginning of a relationship, but about the profound changes that take place in all of us as we grow older, become more experienced and, in some cases, wiser. To become wiser, however, is only possible if we do not bury our heads in the sand, but are able to make changes when necessary. For example, when our relationship is in crisis.
If you see any sign that your partner is capable of changing his or her behavior, habits, or whatever is bothering you, and you also believe that you are able to change your attitude, it is worth staying. The important thing is to change, no matter how slowly. But if there is no sign of change, then this is not the relationship you want to have.
You cannot do this alone - that will only lead to more conflict or self-sacrifice. Most disagreements become toxic because both sides assume that the other person should suffer rather than themselves. Understandable. And, you know, sometimes there's even room for that - even if you're the one on the receiving end. There really are times when the other person needs more support because of their life situation, or because the argument is about a weakness in their personality.
So it is quite natural in a relationship to not always be in balance. It is not a question of who sucks more at any given moment, nor how long this will last - because most of the time we never get an answer to that - but rather how the partners reacts. To point at each other and then throw shit at each other, as most people do? Or do they hold hands and say "let's work it out together"?
And if they say that, do they then start to take action? Because forgiveness is not enough, as I'm sure you've learned that by now. If your partner only reconciles in order to cover up or cool down the conflict, but nothing changes afterwards, you are still in the same toxic relationship. The only difference is that the poison is more subtle and there is occasionally a moment of calmness, but the end result will be similar.
Reconciliation is not enough; the main point is attention. You should be paying more and more attention to each other - because you did little or none before, which is why the conflict between you has developed. That is why your relationship has come to this.
Attention and change. Together. That is all. If these are all present, there's a good chance it' s worth staying and try to save the relationship. But if you don't see any sign of it, I think you should stop drinking the poison of your toxic relationship, even if it's delicious. Because what's tasty can be deadly.
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