No matter how much you would want to be in a relationship with someone, there are always a few toxic types that you should avoid. WHATEVER YOU WANT.
We all want very different things from our relationships, and that’s okay. Some of us want partners to hold our hands on great adventures, and some of us are looking for something simple. Whatever you are looking for, the way you view relationships as a whole will go a long way in defining your closest and most intimate partnerships.
The secret is knowing what you want and cultivating the behaviours and traits you want to see in an ideal partner.
Our partners don’t save us and they don’t change us. We are the only people who can do this for ourselves. For this reason, it is important that we come into our partnerships openly, balanced and fully – but that requires us to face our emotional baggage and deal with the uncertainties of our past.
If we want to build better relationships, we have to be better partners. This is a transformation, but it can only come from within, and it can only come as a result of hard work and a commitment to change the way you view your partner and partnerships.
Shape our relationship perceptions
The relationships that make up our inner circles can make a huge difference when it comes to how we view ourselves and the world around us. Friends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, and partners offer us everything from emotional support to camaraderie, but it is possible that we may find ourselves giving small bits away until we are compromised beyond the point of return.
Avoiding this means building better relationship awareness, and that is a journey that starts inside.
Our romantic relationships are complex and dynamic. We fall in love quickly and we can part just as quickly. When we love, we love deeply, and that can often lead us to overlook critical warning signs that are best perceived directly and in the moment.
Part of forming happy and lasting relationships is learning how to confront problems in those relationships when they happen, something that takes both time and understanding to carefully manage.
While we often claim that our good love went wrong, most of the time there are a number of critical moments that we ignore along the way. When our partners aren’t right for us, they have a fun way of showing us this truth, but it takes a dose of radical honesty to see these warnings for what they are.
To see these red flags for what they are and to accept them, we need to start loving ourselves and setting boundaries, both internally and externally. Only when we learn to love ourselves can we truly begin to love others and get the love we deserve.
The toxic relationship types we should always avoid
Not all relationships are created equal. While the right relationships can bring joy, tranquillity, and even a sense of security to our lives, the wrong ones will destroy it in several ways.
From controlling relationships to outright abuse, these are the most toxic types of partnerships that should be avoided at all costs.
1. Unilateral control
One-sided relationships are toxic and leave little room for either party to create transformative or meaningful experiences within their partnership. When one partner takes full control, it robs the other party’s independence and worth.
While we all want the best for our partners, we must also respect their right to be who they are and to express themselves in ways that are natural to them.
Have you ever had one of those relationships that would set you on fire from the first moment? Most of the time, crazy, over-the-top, and passionate relationships burn hard and fast, but they can quickly lead to something toxic that will burn the rest of our lives down.
If we lean too much into these types of relationships, we can find ourselves obsessed with ourselves and quickly losing sight of our own strengths and individuality.
3. Endless bullying
Bullying in relationships is not natural, nor normal, nor healthy. If your partner humiliates, belittles, or otherwise pushes you around, you are dealing with an abusive relationship, not a passionate one.
Even if a tyrant tries to hide his tactics under the guise of “caring,” his main priority is staying in power and he will use whatever tactics he needs to achieve that goal. Bullying is a preferred tactic by abusers and narcissists alike.
4. Constant critic
Critical relationships are uncomfortable and cause us to doubt ourselves and the way we view partnerships in general. A partner who is constantly criticizing you will try to lower your self-esteem and increase your dependence on him and his opinion.
In order to build healthy relationships on an equal footing, we need to respect one another and only criticize that is necessary, desired, friendly and justified.
5. Drama Queens
Dramatic relationships filled with explosive arguments and constant blasts are a waste of time and distract from the journey we are currently on. When we engage in relationships that are all about drama, we face severe emotional turmoil and constant failures that can lead to self-doubt and doubts about our partners and relationships.
Drama doesn’t indicate true love – it indicates true dysfunction.
Want to know more about the toxic relationship types to avoid? Check out this video below!
6. Immediate Obsession
Did you find yourself obsessed with someone you’ve only known for a short time? As tempting as it may be to think this is the real deal, obsession is not love and should be avoided at all costs. Obsession is unhealthy and can force us to become absorbed in our relationship in a way that completely destroys our sense of purpose and self.
Without orientation, we stagger when we are separated from our partner and fail completely when we are faced with challenges alone.
7. Enablers abound
The facilitator relationship is a particularly toxic relationship that can quickly turn into too much addiction. Enablers encourage toxic behavior in their partners or ensure that they continue in patterns that chain them to the same place in life.
This may be due to their own insecurities, but it can also come from an insidious need to control you or otherwise be weakened, vulnerable, or dependent.
8. Punitive upbringing
Punitive parenting occurs when one partner takes on the role of the “parent” in the relationship, seizing control and issuing punishments when their demands are not met.
The punishing partner does not care about the other person’s needs and does not even communicate – effectively – about their own needs. It is only a matter of time before resentments build up between both partners and lead to the inevitable implosion.
9. Much too comfortable
While we should feel safe in our relationships, we shouldn’t feel comfortable enough to give up on ourselves, our dreams, or our values. Relationships that feel like your favorite sweatpants feel nice at first, but afterwards you realize that they hold you tight and prevent you from reaching better opportunities for yourself.
Convenience is not the same as happiness and vice versa. Being too comfortable can keep us from real love.
10. Lies about lies about lies
Truth and authenticity are the cornerstones of any solid relationship, and without them – cracks are guaranteed to show up. It is impossible to work and grow together as a healthy couple when one (or both) partners are obscuring reality through omissions or downright delusions.
If we lie to each other, we cannot recognize problems and close the channels of communication. Without trust, no one can develop in good faith.
Why we fall into toxic relationship traps
We learn our attachment behaviors when we are young, and we continue to test and refine these patterns over time. The things we take on in childhood can be with us throughout our lives, but there are also a number of other places where we learn the toxic relationship patterns that keep us stuck, scared, and in eternal night after a scrap of happiness search.
1. Fear of being alone
We live in a society that constantly tells us that our worth is directly related to our relationship status. From commercials to movies, romantic relationships are made the backbone of happiness. Holding on to these beliefs can put you in some unfortunate situations. Clinging to relationships because you are too afraid to be alone is no justification.
It is natural to want a partner, but it doesn’t define our happiness. Making your happiness dependent on another person will always lead to failure. But learning how to make yourself happy? That lasts forever.
2. Low self-esteem
When you can’t respect yourself, it’s hard to find other people who will respect you too. Feeling good about yourself is important, loving ourselves is even more important. Low self-esteem is one of the many reasons people get trapped in relationships that don’t suit them, but even that self-esteem comes from different sources.
We may suffer from poor self-esteem from past relationship experiences, or we may suffer from low self-esteem from traumatic childhood experiences. Whatever the reason, it is important that you identify and correct it in order to thrive and rid yourself of your toxic passions.
3. Failure to recognize patterns
As humans, we are creatures of habit, but these habits can quickly become corrosive or self-destructive. The real problem, however, is that, even in this case, we often don’t get out. And why? Because the familiar is more convenient than the unknown; a known bad is perceived as safer than an unknown potential good.
Our patterns and routines play an important role in our lives. But just because we do something doesn’t mean it should be done that way; and it certainly doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better way of doing things in the future.
The Best Ways to Build Healthy Relationship Awareness
You can avoid these toxic relationship traps by learning how to transform the way you see and understand relationships. When we come into our partnerships as better partners, we let go of the need to control and be controlled, and we also lose our need to be defined by someone else.
To find the perfect partner, we need to transform into that partner first, but that means digging deep.
1. Create the perfect partner.
When it comes to our relationships, we spend a lot of time imagining the other person, but we rarely spend a lot of time seeing ourselves as partners within those imaginations. If we want the “perfect” partner for us, we need to spend more time working on ourselves so that we can match the quality of the partner we want to bring into our lives.
We attract what we send out into the world around us. Wanting the perfect partner is okay, but you have to be that person in order to bring that person into your life.
Before looking for meaning in another person, get to know yourself first. Be honest about who you are in a relationship and be honest about what you ideally want from a relationship. Make a commitment to become the kind of partner that will attract loyal, honest, ambitious, and open people. Cultivate behaviors that allow you to fill your social circles with the good, the heartfelt, and the real.
Everything in this life is about energy and action. In order to attract good people (and therefore good relationships) into our lives, it is necessary to have good energy and to use that energy to inspire good and positive actions. The more you put these good deeds into the world around you, the more they will attract the attention of other good people who are looking for partners with these qualities.
Good, honest, and hard-working people don’t just fall from the sky. You are around other good, honest, hardworking people. So be the partner you want to attract and start living in harmony with your true purpose.
2. Let go of your emotional baggage.
Our emotional baggage undermines our overall happiness and wellbeing, but it can cause really serious problems when it comes to our relationships. We must dissolve our emotional baggage or risk finding ourselves in partnerships that are compulsive, short-lived, or otherwise fueled by the insecurities and imperfections on which we focus within ourselves.
Don’t rush into a relationship and expect it to ease the pain you are fleeing from in your past. If you’re still clinging to an ex, a new partner won’t erase that – they’ll just distract you from it for a while. Likewise, emotional and mental disorders cannot be cured by “love”. However, they can be managed by us and used in a way that makes us better partners.
Let go of your emotional baggage before connecting your life with someone else’s. Our partnerships require that we become closely intertwined with people who are also struggling with their own adversities in life. It is unfair to put the expectation of our own emotional healing on someone else.
Don’t make your pain someone else’s burden. Heal yourself and through this healing find emotional balance and better ways to connect.
3. Make peace with your past.
The past is an important starting point if we are to improve our relationships. Our past contains the experiences that make up our “baseline,” or the general level of understanding and acceptance we have about life.
If you have a past filled with tumultuous childhood memories or partnerships that have broken up more than once, then chances are you see relationships as a battlefield rather than a mutual celebration of love, camaraderie, and commitment.
If you’re struggling with relationships that keep falling apart, or you find yourself unable to trust your partners (no matter what), then that could be a sign that you should take a look at your past. Start at the beginning and look at any little things that might have led you to see relationships as challenges rather than advantages.
Things like divorce, abuse, and even neglect by our parents can have a huge impact on how we see not only ourselves, but our partners as well.
Work backwards and find a way to untangle all of the heartache’s knots that are telling you that it is not safe to trust or love. If you are someone who has walls miles high, dig your way down to the very foundations of those walls and break the events that told you (and your subconscious) that relationships are dangerous, rather than safe, really.
Sometimes the help of a psychiatrist can be very helpful in safely untangling these knots, but meditation and mindful journaling are also good places to start.
4. Understand that your life is your responsibility.
Many of us mistakenly dive into relationships believing that they will offer some sort of salvation from the things that plague us. The problem with this, however, is that it leads to an inevitable disappointment. This is because there is no one who can save us but ourselves, and there is no one who can understand our problems as well as we can.
Our lives are our responsibility and we have to accept that in order to attract good partners.
Stop looking for a fairytale champion to show up and save you. If you feel like life is overwhelming or dragging you down, find out what is going wrong and then find your own way back to shore.
No matter how much we love someone – and no matter how much they love us back – they cannot give us confidence, they cannot give us ambition, and they cannot give us our abilities or our worth. These are things that are completely up to us, and we alone.
We are the masters of our own lives and we are in control of how happy or sad we are in this life. Partners don’t make us happy, but they can add to a greater sense of joy that we get from the overall experience of joy.
5. Find happiness within.
Much like salvation, happiness is another factor in this life that we mistakenly attribute to the partner alone. Relationships (alone) cannot make us happy. If partnerships alone were all you need to be happy, there wouldn’t be that many people in therapy.
Our romantic relationships are complex and while they can certainly add to our overall experience, they cannot define us and they cannot fill that nagging hole inside.
If you are sad outside of your relationship, then you will be sad in your relationship as well. Think about your ideal partner. Are you happy? Sad? Complete misery near him? If we want happy, balanced partners, we have to be happy, balanced partners. Transferring the expectation of your happiness to someone else is not only unfair – it is selfish too.
Find your inner happiness and stop expecting the outside world to give it to you. Every day we make the conscious choice to see this world the way we want to see it. We can take in the misery around us and let it absorb us, or we can make the decision to be happy and find our way to build a life that is wholly our own (and fulfilling).
Before setting out to find a partner who will give you the joy you are looking for, try to cultivate it for yourself.
6. Know (absolutely) what you want.
Perhaps the biggest mistake we make before we stumble into a relationship is not spending enough time thinking about who we are and what we want. Most of the time, we find ourselves in toxic and toxic relationships because we stumbled into them as we stumbled through life.
Stumbling and stumbling happens when we don’t have a clear plan and we don’t have a plan. If you get lost, you will meet other lost ones along the way. Without knowing where you are going, you find yourself in places neither of them wanted to go.
Spend some time getting to know yourself and sometimes becoming familiar with what you really and truly want in your life – and any relationships that might exist in it. Don’t be afraid of your truths or allow other people’s opinions and pressures to push you in a direction you don’t want to go.
Only when you are brutally honest with yourself can you attract the right partners who want the same thing. If you want flowers and picket fences and 2.5 kids – be honest about it and don’t hide this in an attempt to match the wrong person.
Be who you are and through this authenticity find those who really suit you and your path. Relationships that stand the test of time are not forged by personal similarities or sheer will alone. They arise from the union of two people who are looking for the same thing in their lives.
Put it all together …
Finding the perfect partner is hard and it doesn’t get any easier when trying to cope with the daily challenges of modern life. We want a relationship that adds stability and joy to what we’re trying to build, but that often requires a lot more inner work than we realize.
If we want the perfect partner, we have to be the perfect partner, and for that, we have to be clear about what is holding us back.
Attract the perfect partner by becoming the perfect partner. Work on yourself from within and identify the things within you that you want from your future partners. Let go of your emotional baggage and make peace with your past so that you come to the table clean and have the ability to connect honestly and seriously with someone without your insecurities and problems getting in your way.
Stop expecting your partners to make you happy and create that happiness in yourself. After all, we have to be what we want to attract into our lives. Happy, confident people attract other happy, confident people. Spend some time falling in love with yourself and some time figuring out what you want from your partner and your relationships (inside and out)