While the moments leading to any form of powerful romantic tryst can feel like the most ‘correct’ thing in the world to experience, not all relationships are eternally healthy. In fact, few are. However, there’s disagreeing once in a while and having to compromise on behalf of the other (and they for you) and there’s being involved in a toxic relationship.
To this end, it can be hard to know where to end things, and doing so might even lead you to feel unsafe. It’s quite a shame just how many people have horror stories from relationships to share, and how it can affect their safety and comfort for some time afterward. However, of course, sometimes, you need to take a stand. If you can see yourself going down this path, or if you have already cut things off, learning how to help yourself is certainly something you should be trying.
Do Not Play ‘Emotional Tennis’
There’s a habit that many who are involved in a difficult relationship breakup start to form. It’s contacting each other, falsely coming together under pretenses that are less-than-ideal, only to argue again. This is the on-again, off-again relationship that might seem quite romantic in a Brontë novel (at least before deaths start happening,) but barely translate well to real life. A text here, a night spent there, before long it becomes sticky and strange. And once a precedent is set that this person can come back into your life, they will. Time and time again. And it will be harder for you to stop it unless another big blowout happens.
This might seem crazy to think of on the surface, but many of us have experienced, or have been tempted to experience, something like this before. Do not do it. Do not play ‘emotional tennis,’ no matter if you miss them, if you feel as though you need closure, or perhaps you didn’t get ‘the last word in.’ The best thing you can do is cut them off completely after the abuse or last example of refutation was experienced.
A Clean Break
It sounds so harsh, breaking from someone cleanly. We might think that this can cause us emotional damage if we conduct it because it’s a pretty unnatural means of saying goodbye. But sometimes, that is what it takes to be rid of someone who you truly need to distance yourself from. Blocking their social media profiles, changing your phone number or blocking theirs, informing your mutual friends politely, and using a professional locksmith to change your locks can help you feel much more secure in your living situation.
If they persist, go to the police or the courts to gain a restraining order, should they not get the hint. Stay with a friend who can be with you, or spend more time with them. Sometimes, a clean break is essential and can give you much more time to heal than you might have had. On top of that, you are ending a toxic relationship ‘on your terms,’ and this can help you feel as though you have taken back control.
See A Therapist Or Healthcare Professional
It’s not uncommon to think that when the person is out of our lives, we are finally rid of them, and there is no need to worry about that anymore. But in reality, even short relationships can leave their mark. You might have many small beliefs about yourself that have grown over time, or perhaps you feel less confident than you might have before.
Perhaps you dislike who you have become, and now need to spend time picking up the pieces to get back to yourself. Perhaps you feel less comfortable being alone. Sometimes, you might even have physical or emotional trauma due to an abusive relationship left untested for so long.
See a therapist or healthcare professional – preferably both. They can help you process these worrying emotions and also get you the help you need. If you fail to address this, it might be that you take these learned personality directions to your next relationship, to your interpersonal connections, or to those you truly love. It’s not uncommon for people to feel dysfunctional after a bad relationship ends, and so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Learn To Be You
Relationships can be insidious because often we would rather stay in a dysfunctional one than be alone for any stretch of time. But why? What’s so bad about being with ourselves? Is there a fear of the unknown here? An unwillingness to give ourselves credit where it’s due and open ourselves up to a new possibility? Do we simply think we could not possibly handle the loneliness? These thoughts can often be a sign that you have plenty of work to do simply resting in yourself.
We all know people who seem to move from relationship to relationship as if they’re a moth heading from a flame to flame. Perhaps we’ve been that person in the past. However, even the most extroverted person truly cannot capably and willingly love another should they struggle to love themselves. This can be one of the most important things to consider when it comes to stepping out of a relationship on your own two feet.
Solitude, or at least spending more time on your own in healthy amounts (provided you do lean on your social group,) can help you become more accustomed to who you are.
What do you like? What have you been missing? How might you once again adapt to yourself? All of this can prove to be truly worthwhile if you give yourself the space to enjoy those elements of any comfortable life. To this end, you might find yourself enjoying a better, fresher, and healthier perspective after the end of your toxic relationship.