Toxic relationships drain you. They suck all your energy and make you forget who you actually are. They play with your mind until you can’t take it anymore.
Sometimes, you end up stuck in a toxic relationship without even realizing it. You’ve been hearing stories about how you should avoid toxic people, but no one tells you how to recognize them.
How do you know that the one you fall asleep next to is toxic? How do you know that he’s a relationship vampire who’ll drain all of your energy and prove to you that love can hurt?
When you’re in a relationship with a toxic person, you’ll go through different stages. All of them combined will make this relationship one of the most complicated things you’ve ever faced in your life.
Here’s the unedited truth of what it all looks like.
1. Love-bombing at its best and constant pressure to commit
When you meet a toxic person, he usually impresses you at the very beginning. It all feels like you’ve finally found your missing piece of the puzzle.
It seems like he wants a relationship with you, and he wants it badly.
You’re going on dates almost every night, you’re always on the phone with each other, and he keeps telling you that you’re the best woman he’s ever met.
And who doesn’t want to hear that?
But the issue is that you’ve only known each other for a few weeks and it already feels that the pace you’re moving at is faster than what you’re comfortable with. He mentioned your wedding and you’re not even exclusive.
In your head, it all feels rushed, but you don’t want to miss the chance and lose a guy who seems to be genuinely interested in you.
So, you feel torn apart. You know that you’re moving too fast and that you’re not yet ready to commit. On the other hand, if you reject this loving and caring man, it’ll be your loss.
But your toxic man doesn’t want to wait any longer. If you ask him, he would move in with you right away. No second thoughts.
2. Things don’t feel right
Once you take your relationship to the next level, you’ll realize that things don’t exactly feel right. Your gut feeling is telling you that something’s slightly off.
From the outside, your relationship seems perfect. But deep down, you know that your partner has changed. You know that he’s not the same person as he presented himself to be at the very beginning.
You feel like you’re seeing red flags, but you can’t really pinpoint them as you’re not sure if you’re right. So, you’ll probably give your relationship more time to see if your gut is right or if it’s all in your head.
3. Your partner makes a complete 180
Once you let your partner in, once you reveal your secrets and fall for him, you’ll notice a sudden change in behavior.
The man who was so caring and loving at the start is now totally different. He seems cold and distant and generally, he doesn’t look anything like the guy you first met.
The game of criticizing starts. He keeps blaming you for things that actually aren’t your fault, but he makes them feel like they are. Instead of hugs, you keep receiving snide remarks about things you should change about yourself.
He starts manipulating you and makes you do everything as he likes, even though you don’t feel happy about it.
Your feelings get ignored, your flaws are highlighted, and you finally realize that the person you’re seeing right now is your partner’s real face. Everything before this was just pretending to get you to fall for him.
4. You’re confused
Once you see the real truth, it can be hard to process what’s actually going on.
Is it possible that you fell in love with this person? Is it possible that he changed himself completely? How was he even able to do that?
After that, you’ll keep looking for excuses. Maybe he was just having a bad week, maybe he’s facing some issues in his life right now.
And then, every time he gives you a crumb of love, you fall for it and tell yourself that he’s actually a good guy in trouble. You get fixated on those rare moments where he’s kind to you and you try to ignore your actual reality.
This happens because you’re unsure what’s going on. When you first met this person, everything was great.
Now, it feels like you’re in a relationship with a whole different man – one who’s cruel and cold-hearted, and who has no idea what love actually means.
It’s all so confusing and you’re afraid of what could happen next. To be honest, you feel like you’re going crazy.
Every time you confront him, he manages to convince you that it’s all in your head. He acts all nice and shows you that he’s still the man you fell for. And for a second, you actually believe him.
But the reality is different and deep down, you know that. Right now, he’s gaslighting you and convincing you that your idea or truth is wrong.
This is his attempt at making you follow his lead. And you feel horrible anytime you don’t do as he says because this man right here keeps convincing you that he still loves you and would never hurt you.
He might even give you the silent treatment if you stand up to him. He needs to get you back under control so you can follow him blindly. That’s the only way he’ll be satisfied.
I know it sounds harsh, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters to him is his own happiness.
5. You find yourself in a vicious circle
One day, he’s nice to you and makes you remember why you fell for him in the first place. Then comes a week or even a month of putting you down, gaslighting, and manipulation to get what he wants.
Then just when you’re about to throw in the towel, he again gives you a day filled with kindness and care, and you give in to him.
Even if you figure out his cruel game and decide to break up with him, he’ll most likely reach out to you before long. He’ll act all nice and admit to his mistakes, telling you that he’s learned his lessons and he’s a changed man now.
And the worst thing is that a week of pretending can get him to assure you of that.
He pulls you into his trap again, and all of a sudden, you start seeing flashbacks of how things used to be when you were together. You realize that he hasn’t changed at all, he just lured you in to get what he wants.
And just like that, you find yourself in vicious circle that’s almost impossible to escape.
But once you say goodbye to him forever, you’ll open many doors for yourself. And all of them will take you to better places.