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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Toronto chapter.

Edited by: Tanmaya Ramprasad

At some point in our lives, we get caught up in relationships that seem amazing and totally freeing; only to realize that was just the surface level. Toxic relationships aren’t easy to acknowledge but shouldn’t keep you from finding your potential.

For me, I’d describe myself as a big-hearted gal that sees the good in everyone, but this can be so dangerous. Realizing when it’s time to move on in different types of relationships, such as friendships or romantic ones is a tough conversation and realization moment to discover within yourself. You think: “how will I be after this person is no longer in my life”, pondering over the various outcomes in your mind. The only answer is that you’ll be just fine or probably better than ever.

Realizing when it’s time to let go is the first step to building a better you. You’re finally able to focus on yourself, your goals, dreams and discover passions or re-discover them. A common mistake is the denial of the relationship and forcing yourself to stay in toxic situations, but you have to re-group and decide that you need better in order to grow as an individual.

Don’t get me wrong, toxic behaviours aren’t easy to spot sometimes. If something happens that’s like a red flag, I keep it noted but often forget and just reminisce on all the good times instead. A lesson I’ve recently learned is that confrontation isn’t scary, like, at all. Confrontation is basically being totally open and honest, laying it all on the table to deal with the matter; it’s so beneficial to that friendship or relationship in more ways than you know. Dealing with the issues first-hand can save so much stress and time but also can clear the air and determine if these are issues that can be changed in the long run. 

Guilt is often a feeling that can be hard to overcome also when trying to walk away. You might feel like you’re leaving that person in need and want to help but can’t. I’ve been there many times and it’s not easy whatsoever. I like to make sure people I care about are doing well but had to realize it’s only going to be a constant circle that you’ll never escape from.

When you finally free yourself from these relationships, it definitely will hurt but also feel like a breath of fresh air. You were great before this person and you’ll be great after them no longer around you. Self-growth and exploration are so ideal and needed especially at our young adulthood stages of life. Try connecting with friends and family who value you and want the best for you as they’ll help you realize the type of people you need around you. Remember this is your life and you are the main character.

Eboni is in her final year of studying journalism and minoring in media and film studies at the University of Toronto. With a love for all things music, fashion and wellness; Eboni is excited to share her passion for writing by unleashing her creativity and expressing herself to others. In her everyday life she focuses on fitness, indulging in a good book, taking photos and exploring new city spots (food related of course!)