'Going Under' - Toxic Relationships Pt. 1 (The Root)


The doubt. The insecurity. The constant fighting. The unanswered tears. The anxiety. The sadness. The overwhelming feeling of discontent. What do these feelings mean? Are they purely situational? Should you stay? Should you call it quits? 

Not all toxic relationships present themselves obviously. Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships where the abuse may not necessarily be intentional or physical. However, that doesn't negate the fact that the relationship may be unhealthy and may have run its course. 

But how do you know if your relationship is unhealthy? And when is it safe to leave, if you should even leave at all? How do you know when to stay and fight, or when to take flight?

The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. Every relationship is unique, and thus requires its own special case-by-case assessment. I will say this though, before we arrive at this crossroad, we should dissect the factors that brought us into the relationship in the first place.

I do believe that, a lot of times, we ignore the red flags that present themselves in the early stages of us getting to know someone who we like and are interested in. We are often initially clouded by lust and hope, and bypass important negative markers that may otherwise dissuade us from pursuing a committed relationship with that person if we take more time to get to know them.

Before agreeing to pursue a committed relationship, it is a healthy practice to really try and get to know the person in question as best as you can. It is difficult to be completely objective when you're interested in someone, but try. The initial time spent with this person is crucial in perhaps saving you a lot of future heartbreak.

Ask yourself early on, do they have similar interests as you? Do they absolutely hate the idea of children while you can't wait? Do they like to constantly be in your space while you find time spent alone to be very important? How do they react to negative scenarios? Are there indications of deep aggression? What are they like with their friends? What are they like around your friends? Do they constantly agree with you, or do they enjoy a healthy challenging conversation? How do they view religion? 

These are just a few questions you should keep in mind while getting to know a person. A lot of the answers to these questions will manifest themselves over time in a friendship without you having to ask them outright. And I don't know what your negative markers are, but I do know mine, and will remind you that your intuition is a strong tool that should not go ignored. That gut feeling of yours is something that you should assess as either being a negative, positive, or needs-more-research. 

I'll also say this: you shouldn't feel pressured to begin a relationship with anyone, and I strongly believe that you should take as much time as you feel you need to determine if you want to. Taking time to get to know someone can possibly save you from a toxic relationship later on.