Most of the time when we are in love with someone, we tend to only want to see the good side of the person and ignore the bad side of them. It is normal as a human being to have a good side and a bad side. However, in a relationship, we must be aware of whether the bad side of that special someone is too much to handle or not. We often blinded by love that we even let a toxic behavior slide for the sake of being together. These are the mistakes that I have made in the past, I hope by reading this, you will be prevented from a toxic relationship.
· Be Independent
This is an important thing, to begin with. Maintain your independence even when you are in a relationship. Think of it as a partnership where both parties have their own individuality but able to collaborate together in building a relationship. Be independent financially, so you can have your own money and not entirely depend on someone else. Even when you are married, I think it is still important to have your own source of income aside from family income.
Independent is not only limited to the financial situation, but also in terms of mindset. I was so dependent on my partner before. I would feel sad and lonely when he is not around. I was expecting him to make me happy. I don’t know how to make myself happy. Huge mistake. How can I expect someone else to make me happy? I should be responsible to create my own happiness. We cannot rely on our happiness to someone else, we might end up disappointed. But when we can create happiness within ourselves, we won’t be disappointed. Do the things you enjoy that make you, just because you are in a relationship does not mean you have to stop being yourself. You also should know how to manage your money, so you do not have to rely on others to live your life.
· Do not ignore red flags
Ignoring Red flags in a relationship refers to things that you know is wrong from a person you are interested in, but because you like them so much you pretend that nothing is wrong. For example, your boyfriend or girlfriend does not acknowledge your opinion whenever you suggest something. You know that in a relationship people need to listen to each other opinions, right? Instead, you are thinking “this is not a big deal”. Then the cycle continues, and you realize that makes you unhappy, but you always let it slide anyway. That is ignoring a red flag.
When we are attracted to somebody and having a crush, we tend to only see what we want to see. We are blinded by our feeling that we do not see red flags. You keep thinking it is only a small problem yet you continue to feel upset about it then it repeated over and over again. You should take a step back and analyze the situation and the person, is it worth it to continue sacrificing your happiness for that person, is it worth your sanity? Will you be able to spend the rest of your life with them? Would you want them to be your child’s mother or father? If it is not, stop right there. Eliminates a person early on relationship is better than later. Do not ever think that if you marry the person, they will make changes.
· People do not change
Can we change a person’s character? I heard this from a psychologist, there are 3 things that can change a person’s character; there is a shocking event in their life, they have the intention to change themselves, and someone can change but it took a seriously a long time.
Have you notice in a lot of romantic movies or drama where the male lead character is cold, arrogant and often treat the female lead harshly? Then as time goes by the male lead turn to be kind and gentle after being in a relationship with the female. Yep, the “heroes” syndrome portrays that man can be changed from being mean into a sweet guy because of the woman. It does not work like that in a real life. We do not have the responsibility to change someone else’s character. That is just who they are. If they want to change, the willpower must come within themselves, not from others.
If they change because of other people, it is more likely only temporarily. They will go back to their original self eventually. I used to have this “heroic” side of me, thinking I can change someone as time goes by and got hurt a lot along the way. “I can change this person smoking habit, he promised me he will stop smoking after a certain time”. NOPE, they did not, and they will never change. I would emphasize this, PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE. Believe them when they say who they are, without ever think “this is just for a while, later he/she will change for the better”. Do not try to be their hero by sacrificing yourself for something that in the end will fail you.
A person’s character is who they are. If they say they don’t want commitment, believe them. If they are selfish from the beginning, they will always be selfish until the end. As the physiologist said to me, that it took 20 plus years for a person to alter their character, are you willing to wait that long? Do not waste your time, walk away.
· Be brave to save yourself
Sometimes we just tend to deny reality. You know exactly that the person is not good for you, but because you love her/him so deep, you think you cannot live without them. YOU WILL SURVIVE. It takes bravery to save yourself from an unhealthy relationship. Think about how much longer you will let that person treats you horribly.
Nobody is going to save you but yourself. Cry as much as you want but remember to put your sanity above anything else. If you think you cannot stand this alone, surround yourself with people who care about you. Ask them about your situation from their perspective.
I was in that kind of situation. I was so lost and so confused after a divorce. I keep trying hard to fix things. I keep apologizing even though I know it was not my fault. I cry for months and did not have the courage to leave the marriage. I was too afraid of what will my life be like without that person. Finally, he said something I never forget. And those words give me all the power to free myself from him. Although I know the heartbreak is excruciating, I could not tolerate it anymore. I decided to leave. You know what? It was the best decision I ever made. Take a moment to think about it, remember only you can help yourself.
· Set a standard for yourself
Separation, breakup, or divorce is no the end of everything. It might be rough, but you are stronger than that. Sure, it can be the biggest mistake in your life. Nevertheless, it teaches you something valuable about yourself. What you truly deserve in life is happiness. Learn from that awful experience and pick yourself up. Thus, set a new standard for yourself in terms of relationships. Create a healthy boundary in the next relationship. Think about what kind of relationship you want and what kind of person you are compatible with. So that in the future you understand yourself more. Your own self-worth. You are precious and you deserve to be happy.