Home Article Recognizing a Toxic Relationship

Recognizing a Toxic Relationship

Written by Mumuni Zainab.

I remember back then in Mushin, Lagos. I was still in secondary school and I had this enchanting heartthrob, Kazeem. He was basically the dream of every girl in the college and trust me, he was the definition of perfection (at least to the 14-year-old me). I remember quite well the days I’d sit at a corner and stare at him for hours, wishing someday he’d push away all the girls hovering around him and just look at me … even for a minute. Well, that day came and it was the most memorable moment of my life. In a nutshell, I became his girl. It was a secret thing though. After some weeks of awkward jolly-lovey-dovey moment, it dawned on me that I really put myself in some dumb mess. I couldn’t live a normal life anymore. I had to regularly stress the life out of myself trying to impress him and out shine every other girl in school. Sometimes, he’d talk me down and make me feel like a burden. At a point, I started losing my confidence and with time, I guess the whole love thing just faded out. It took me a lot of time to get over it, like I graduated from secondary school before I started forgetting the whole experience.

          There is no perfect relationship. They all have their issues no matter how minor. However, it is important to note that a good relationship makes you feel safe, secure, happy and free to be yourself. Flip the coin and you have a toxic relationship. It makes you feel drained, dejected and sometimes, even distraught. Countless times and on many occasions, people have remained in relationships blinded by the veil of affection, not knowing whether to stay and hope their partner changes over a period of time, not having the courage to leave.

 Sometimes, people stay in obviously toxic relationships because they always convince themselves that their partner is only acting out of love and protectiveness. These things need not be sugar coated or refurnished to make it sound acceptable. If it is love, it should make you a better, optimistic person rather than a depleted robot. If you want a balanced life filled with growth and positivity, the last thing you should be in is a toxic relationship.

So how do I know if I’m in one?

Well, here are the signs with which you would recognize a toxic relationship.

  • Lack of trust
  • Hostile atmosphere
  • Lowers your high standards
  • Packed with uncertainty
  • Filled with criticism
  • Diminishes self-worth
  • Loaded with negative energy
  • Occupied with imbalance
  • Lack of communication
  • Makes you unhappy
  • Laced with dishonesty
  • Continuous disrespect
  • All take, no give
  • Mutual avoidance
  • Brings out the worst in you
  • Feels uncomfortable
  • Persistent self-betrayal (when you have to continuously fake your personality or go against your principles to fit into your partner’s taste)

Trying to fix a toxic relationship is usually futile so in most situations, people are advised to use the closest exit. It definitely might be a hard thing to do but remember that if it costs you your happiness and peace of mind, you can’t afford it.

Catch more interesting topics on the love life of teenagers and young adults here, every Tuesday. Feel free to ask questions and share your story in the comments section below.

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