Nobody sets out to be in an unhealthy relationship. That is never the goal. You may not even realise that the relationship was bad until it ends, and a lot of reflection takes place.
“A toxic relationship is one that adversely impacts a person’s health and well-being. Because we spend so much of our time and energy on a romantic partner, these relationships are especially influential on our well-being. When they are going well, we are usually doing well. But when they are not going well, our health and happiness will likely be negatively affected,” Dr Kelly Campbell told “MyDomaine”. Dr Campbell is an associate professor of psychology and human development at California State University, San Bernardino.
Bad experiences in past relationships are draining and can take a lot out of a person, so it’s important to focus on yourself and take time to heal when it’s finally over. It’s completely normal to have a grieving process even if the relationship wasn’t necessarily good for you. The feelings were still there at some stage and they don’t go away that easily.
“I surrounded myself with family and friends who taught me how to be an individual after my relationship. Aside from that, I had to acknowledge exactly what I experienced – good and bad. It wasn’t easy. I was so consumed by the relationship that I lost my own personality, so it was important for me to rediscover who I was by myself,” said 21-year-old Nathan Dunne.
“My current relationship was difficult at first because I was so used to being on edge about everything, so I had to work on myself a lot and realise that healthy relationships aren’t like that,” he added.
Exes can sometimes become friends, but it’s important to realise whether the person really needs to be in your life or not. The bad experiences will stay with you, and you will learn from them, but is it such a good idea to keep that person around? Ask yourself if you’ll be able to move on and create better, healthier relationships if this person is still present in your life.
The answer is probably no. As much as it can hurt, the best thing to do is to cut off all contact, cold turkey. It will be better for both of you in the long run.
“Toxic relationships are devastating when they are actually occurring, at the moment, and especially after, I think. The recovery is very difficult. I remember things that I did too, and it just hurts,” said Karina, a DCU student, when talking about how bad relationships can bring out the worst in you too.
There are multiple things that can be done to get over bad experiences with relationships. Talking to someone, writing a con list about the person, therapy, a holiday. The point is, it’s easy to look for quick distractions. Starting fresh is exciting once you get over the initial hurt.
However, a lot of work needs to be done mentally in order to overcome bad experiences and be able to form new, healthy relationships. The bright side is that you will hopefully know what red flags to look out for in the future.