The toxic relationship you were able to escape might have completely reshaped your opinion on love. You’re hurt and broken, but your pieces are falling back into place. Through time, they’ll shape into a new understanding of love that’s entirely different than what you were used to.
When you leave a toxic relationship, you start to think that jealousy is cute. You were trapped for so long that it led you to believe that him going through your phone was alright. He told you that he had the right to do it because you were his girlfriend.
The next time you meet someone and they show their jealousy, you’re going to believe that it’s adorable. You’ll think that he cares about you because he doesn’t want you talking to other men.
When he starts telling you that having male friends is taboo, you’ll think that he’s just creating boundaries in order to keep you safe.
But how many times did you have to fear for your own life when you were in your toxic relationship? How many times did you have to stop him from physically fighting another man just because the guy talked to you?
You’ll think that it was your fault for indulging him. Your toxic relationship has taught you that it’s always your fault, so you stop dressing the way you want to or acting the way you used to.
You think that all of this is part of loving someone. That’s what he taught you, so it must be true. Right?
You get suspicious when there are more good days than bad. In your previous relationship, good days were a rarity and probably just a way to cover up something bad that happened.
Your ex would buy you flowers, smile at you sweetly, and then you’d find out about the awful things he did. He would say that he got you the flowers so you didn’t have the right to get mad.
Bad days were normal. Fighting with him became the norm. You couldn’t just let him take care of you because things were always too suspicious.
If someone new comes into your life one day, he’ll have to learn that your paranoia will act out at the slightest sign of love.
Your ex showed you that you had to work hard for those good days, but it also meant that they would eventually end. You’d fight and the brief moment of happiness would be ruined.
When you’re stuck in a toxic relationship for too long, your standards drop and you ignore your own deal-breakers. When you met him, you thought you could change the things about him that were deal breakers for you before.
At one point, you might have even thought that he was a good guy, he just had to learn how to treat you the way you wanted to be treated. You believed he was changing for the better every time he’d show you a crumb of kindness.
When you’re ready to start something new, you just want the bare minimum. You settle for things that seem like an improvement from your previous relationship. But when you look closely, you can just see that it’s nowhere near the standards you had before your toxic relationship.
You don’t have any boundaries anymore. The ones you once set are now non-existent. You feel like you can’t speak up about them because your toxic relationship made you believe that you don’t have the right to them.
Your toxic ex made you believe that you were nothing more than his own little plaything. Some toy that he could use whenever he pleased, only to discard you when he grew bored or saw he couldn’t control you anymore.
You probably can’t even pinpoint the time it started. It came on so gradually and became so consistent that it became your entire reality.
Your toxic relationship changed your view on love completely. Now you fear trusting people because you believe they’ll hurt you regardless of what you do or don’t do.
You believe that there’s no way someone can love you unless you give them everything they desire and more.
And when they communicate with you with an understanding tone, you burst into tears. When someone lowers their voice and doesn’t just become violent, you feel like they’re manipulating you.
The worst thing about it is that this mindset won’t go away overnight. He made you believe that cheating, screaming, and lying are things to be expected. That people don’t deserve empathy because you weren’t given any in return.
You’re broken and not everyone will know how to handle that fact. The aftermath of your toxic relationship is just too great.
You believe that love can’t get any better than that. You’ll keep believing this until someone makes a conscious effort to help you through this.
You won’t know how beautiful love can actually be – not until someone shows you just how valuable you truly are.