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Toxic Relationships

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” Probably the most overused phrase since “Perks of Being A Wallflower” aired. However, this is not without good reason. Why do we stay with him after he cheats on us? Why do we give him the power to decide for us? Why do we give up everything for him when he doesn’t do that in return? The best question of all: how did we let it get to this point?

When you stay in a relationship that is toxic, it doesn’t prove how much you love him — just how little you love yourself. Throughout high school, I continuously dated guys who treated me wrong because I felt like a good relationship was boring. Like, if he treated me well, I would lose interest quickly. It was a game for me; I wanted someone I shouldn’t have because I loved the thrill.

After doing the same thing relationship after relationship, I kept finding myself feeling even smaller, going for guys who treated me even worse. Sadly, my bad habits rubbed off on my best friend and she got into a relationship where “toxic” doesn’t even do justice. She cut off her friends, family, decided her future based solely on what he wanted, and turned into a completely different person. Our group of friends questioned their relationship because of the extensive amount of time they spent together and how much she had changed.

One night, all of our greatest fears were confirmed when he laid his hands on her. Of course, she didn’t see how detrimental it was because he did it out of “love.” My friend had given up almost everything for him, when finally the relationship blew up and he left her broken-hearted. Now, six months later, she can finally see the truth.

After seeing someone close to me going through something like this, I realized what I had been putting myself through for so long. My relationships were nowhere near as bad as hers, but it was still an eye opener. So many girls continuously find themselves in toxic relationships when it’s too late and they’ve already given up everything for a guy who probably doesn’t care about them. It’s almost like a guy brainwashes us and we mistake it for love. The guy’s need for power is the detriment of the relationship and makes us vulnerable to the point where we almost become his property.

Toxic relationships are so common and overlooked in our world. Although we don’t have the control to change guys like this, we can use our knowledge to prevent this situation from happening. To love someone else, you must learn to love yourself. Don’t find yourself in an unhealthy relationship; accept the love you know you deserve.

If you or someone you know is involved in an unhealthy relationship, please refer to these resources:

UNC Campus Health Counseling

Domestic Violence Hotline

Sophomore at UNC
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