Do you find yourself wondering if you’re in a toxic relationship?
Maybe you’ve been there. Or maybe you know someone who has.
Maybe you find yourself in a dating relationship in which things aren’t the way you had hoped.
Maybe the disappointment has just started settling in — or maybe you’ve been struggling for years.
Maybe you’ve even spent your energy trying to block out the voice telling you something just isn’t right. And now, here it is again.
Whether a newbie to toxic relationships, or a veteran….you’re here because there’s a relationship in your life that’s just not the way it should be. Something is wrong.
Maybe it’s that guy, who doesn’t seem to be as interested in you as you are in him.
Maybe it’s the girl who never seems to take initiative in your relationship.
Maybe it’s that person who keeps saying “I’m going to change” and then never does.
Maybe it’s the nasty argument you had last night that keeps happening again, and again, and again, like a bad song on repeat.
Maybe it’s those lies and secrets that you keep trying to pretend don’t exist.
Maybe it’s the fact that you’re not, and never have been, on the same page spiritually.
Maybe it’s because you find yourself always having to be someone you’re not.
Maybe it’s that on again, off again, emotional roller coaster ride that you’ve been dealing with for God only knows how long.
Or maybe it’s even more severe. Maybe it’s abuse, addiction or betrayal.
A toxic relationship can come in many forms. No matter what it is for you, crappy relationships exist when there’s a pattern of unhealthy behaviors, feelings or interactions in a dating relationship. Unhealthy patterns that keep coming up, time and time again.
Sometimes, you can be in a relationship for so long you stop seeing how unhealthy it really is until someone points it out. And even then, you try to make excuses. You try to ignore it. You try to pretend it’s all okay. But deep down you find yourself struggling with that sinking feeling: How did I end up here?
I wish I could answer that question for you. I wish I could sit down with you and hear your entire story from start to finish, and help you work through that important question.
But what I will tell you is this: The more you love yourself, the faster you’ll notice when something in a relationship just isn’t right.
The more you love yourself, the easier it will be to recognize a relationship in which you’re not really loved.
Because LOVE isn’t a feeling. Love is a decision.
Love is not just something we feel, love is something we see. It’s an action played out day in and day out that portrays patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. It doesn’t display envy, it’s not rude and it’s not arrogant.
Love is a choice someone makes to treat you the way you deserve to be treated.
And maybe you know that. But maybe you just needed to hear it again. Because the truth is, relationships don’t just magically change when you get married. What you see in dating, you will ALWAYS see in marriage…multiplied by a factor of one hundred. Because marriage is like a pressure cooker, and everything you put in there is magnified. So if there’s something in a relationship that’s not changing…maybe it’s time to let it go.
My prayer for you is that this coming year you learn to see yourself for what you are TRULY WORTH. Loved, valued and worthy…because of a God who made you in His very image. That same God looks at you and longs for you to seek out a relationships that reflects the deep and ferocious love HE feels for you. Because love like this is all part of His plan.
Whoever you are, whatever you’re going through and whatever you’ve done…may 2019 be your year of new beginnings. May this be the year you finally LET GO of crappy relationships once and for all, and open your heart to something greater.
If you find yourself struggling to let go of a bad relationship, or constantly involved in unhealthy ones, I challenge you to pick up a copy of True Love Dates and read through it before the New Year. It’s time to make some changes in your life and there’s no better time to start than RIGHT NOW.
This piece was originally published on True Love Dates. Used with permission.
Debra Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates. She's also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or book a session with her today!