This is the list I never thought I could write. But, it’s also the list I told myself to never forget and, more importantly, to never let happen again.
The thing is relationships take two people; therefore, I will take ownership and assume partial fault for the part I played in my own. I allowed these people to have this kind of control over me. But, we don’t need to let people get this far.
Here are the 11 signs a relationship is toxic, based on personal experience:
1. Your aspirations are considered silly, dumb and cute.
For instance, my interest in fashion was considered self-absorbed. Apparently, taking an interest in something I considered important meant I was too into myself.
2. Having a private life means you are practically prohibited from sharing anything more than your SO’s name because additional information is considered over-sharing.
I understand everyone needs privacy, and deserves it, but there’s a fine line between privacy and feeling like someone is ashamed to say he or she is with you.
3. You have to work around his or her timetable, never vice versa.
"Compromising" consists of scheduling your time around someone who can’t do the same for you.
4. You’re constantly compared to his or her “type.”
This happens regardless of whether the type in question encompasses qualities you want to possess. The “type” of person you are is never good enough.
5. You're part of the person’s present, but your presence is constantly compared to a person from his or her past.
No one should feel like a second option.
6. The person you’re with constantly reminds you that you’re not officially committed to each other and that will never change.
You feel you need to have your guard up, downplay the relationship and remind yourself it's nothing more than casual. But, you should not have to downplay the relationships in your life if you don’t want to.
If you let someone enter your life, you should be able to allow him or her to be a part of your whole life, not just the half-assed edition.
7. You don’t have the courage to say how you feel.
You’re not a robot. You’re allowed to not only have feelings, but also be able to acknowledge them.
8. You feel like your significant other needs you too much.
Yes, you want someone who can fit into your life, but you also want to feel like that someone has a life of his or her own. Everyone deserves that.
9. You feel like you need your significant other.
There’s a difference between wanting someone in your life and needing someone. Nothing is guaranteed.
It’s okay to want someone, but you should be able to rely on yourself, first and foremost. Therefore, wanting to be with someone is healthy; needing someone, on the other hand, is absolutely not.
10. You feel like you need to prove you’re worthy.
He’s the guy every girl wants. Maybe you’re like me and you feel your interest in writing is nothing more than something cute… just like the idea of you two.
No, the person you’re with should want you for everything you are; you shouldn't feel the need to persuade him or her that you're the right choice.
11. You don’t know how to say "no."
This list does not assume relationships are simply black and white. It’s the grey area that complicates things, but it’s also the grey area that sometimes puts everything into perspective.
If you were comparing someone to the bullet points on this list while reading, then maybe you're not in the best situation, but it doesn’t have to be permanent — nothing ever is.
We can choose who we allow into our lives, just as we can choose which people exit. The people and relationships we have do not need to be toxic, unless we allow them to get to that point.