There is nothing quite like the stark slow realisation that what you thought was 'love,' was in fact, the opposite. Sometimes we wake up to this quickly and other times, it takes us a while to see past the 'mask'. Sometimes, we can become addicted to the drama and it can be extremely difficult to break free.
Slowly the reality of a relationship becomes evident.
Here are the signs to watch out for :
Is this relationship an equal give and take? Or does one person "do" or "give" more that the other on an all too regular basis?
Is it safe for you to say "no" without repercussions?
How does your partner react if you suddenly change plans?
Do you feel like you are being checked up on?
Do you have the freedom to truly be yourself?
Do you feel as though you have to walk on eggshells around him/her?
Is there a fun exchange taking place or are things always serious?
Are you feeling nurtured and loved for just being you?
Do you feel like your 'put upon' and nothing you do is ever enough?
Are you constantly criticised? Do you feel confused?
Do you second guess yourself? Are you undermined?
Nobody is perfect, we all lose our temper from time to time, but always be mindful at the end of the day, it's your human right to feel safe. Completely, unequivocally. Being in a toxic relationship will eventually leave you feeling thoroughly depleted and exhausted on every level. Believe me, it isn't a place that you want to visit often and you will need to muster all your inner strength to get out and move on.
Questions to ask yourself:
What am I wanting from this relationship?
Would I willingly enter into this relationship if I had another chance?
If this is a toxic relationship, what's keeping me there?
Am I putting up with someone less than what I truly deserve?
Am I staying because I'm afraid of being alone?
Am I living in a state of fear and if so, why?
Life is an increasing self awareness journey that teaches us largely about ourselves through being in relationship with other's. Before we can truly enter into a loving union we need to be pretty clear about who we are, what we want, and what we're prepared to give. Sometimes we stay in relationships out of a duty of obligation, staying long after the love has died. Serious soul searching is required to see why we settle for this.
If you do leave a destructive relationship you will need to spend a period of time learning to re-evaluate yourself.
Some questions you may need to ask are:
Do I love myself?
Would I want to spend time with someone like me?
How do I come across when I am upset?
Am I needy? Insecure? Jealous?
Am I or have I ever been, a happy single?
What do I need to change within myself in order to attract a loving relationship, something that honours me?
Why did I settle for less?
Eventually, when we do make the changes necessary to invite love back into our lives, usually, it happens when we least expect it.
Be prepared to take your time. Don't rush into things. See how that person responds in certain situations. Find out what your common interests are and see where you connect.
Go on a few walks together. People tend to relax and open up when they are walking.
It takes time to earn a person's trust. Trust is an integral quality in a loving relationship as is honesty, reliability and loyalty.
Listen to your gut feeling. No matter how perfect a person may seem or how many boxes they tick, listen always to your intuition. You can save yourself a lot of heartache if you heed your intuitive voice.