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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCNJ chapter.

In my 19 years of living, I have seen, heard, and experienced a toxic relationship. For a while, I did not understand or want to understand what that was. Now that I know, I can spot one from a mile away. To me, toxic relationships are something that drains you of anything and everything good you have in yourself. Although it might feel like you can never get that spark back into your eyes that you once had, you can. Toxic relationships are a lesson, not an end to your story.

The love story usually starts sweet, and innocent, you are on top of the world because someone cares about you so much. They might say things like: “I don’t want you around that friend, they are not good for you. I have your best interest in mind,” or “I get upset when you spend time with other people because I just want to spend every second with you,” even “I don’t know if you should wear that, it wouldn’t be safe.” These are just a few of the first RED FLAGS. These phrases that show he or she cares turn into: “You cannot be friends with them,” “If you don’t hang out with me I will be angry,” and “If you wear that I know you are doing it for another person’s attention and that is cheating.” 

A key aspect to knowing you are in a toxic relationship is noticing how your friends feel about your significant other. If you consider yourself to have a best friend(s), odds are that they are always looking out for you. From my experience, I am lucky enough to have friends who stayed with me even when I wasn’t a good friend to them. I listened to all of the fake, horrible things my toxic partner would say about them, and never knew what to believe. Do. Not. Be. This. Person. Your partner is manipulating you. A manipulative, toxic person can sniff out a good friend, and know how to get rid of them. They’ll hate on them, tear them apart, and make you feel like the bad guy for discussing personal problems with anyone but them because “you don’t need anybody else.” News Flash: you do, or you’ll be caught in this revolving door forever. Take your friend’s advice, and dump him. 

As soon as you feel like you have the power to break it off with them, this is when they start to act right. Do not let this fool you though, it only lasts a maximum of two weeks. They’ll cry, beg, tell you they cannot possibly live without you, and they will be better… they’ll “change.” Spoiler Alert: They never do. Toxic people like, enjoy, and ravish the control they have over their significant other. If this means they have to be better and treat you nicely for just a mere week, they will, because this puts into their mind that you will always come back. Furthermore, they just have to wait a tiny bit longer to go back to their abusive ways. 

Have you ever laid next to your partner while they were sleeping and cried over their treatment of you just to wake up the next day and pretend it never happened? You are in a toxic relationship. Were you ever scared to express your feelings to your partner because of their reaction? You are in a toxic relationship. Have you ever changed your appearance because you were afraid of your partner not liking it, or telling you you look like a “slut” or a “whore”? You are in a toxic relationship. Have you lost good friends or family members because your partner just simply did not like them with no valid reasoning behind it at all? You are in a toxic relationship. Do you spend more time with your partner rather than taking care of yourself? You are in a toxic relationship.

There are millions of ways to identify if you are in a relationship like this. I am in no way saying that it is easy to break something like this off or even catch details like this at first, but it is important to know what some of the signs are. The moral of the story is, that love does not make you upset every day, love does not call you names, love does not make you lose friends, and love does not make you rethink all of the wonderful, amazing traits you have about yourself. Love should make you fall more in love with yourself than you are with them. If you feel your relationship is heading into this abusive, manipulative, and toxic cycle: break up, block, delete. I promise you will be okay, they will not die without you, and you will thrive without them.

Hi everyone! I am Lucia, I am a Sophomore Communications major and the Treasurer of Her Campus!