by Gina B.
There are problems with staying in a bad relationship.
What is a bad relationship? One that drains you, reduces your self esteem and causes you to act out of character. It's one that doesn't have the promise to provide for you, emotionally. In fact, it might be one that's abusive or causes emotional damage -- whether it's because your partner doesn't reciprocate your feelings, or fails to treat you with respect. You might be filled with jealousy or rage. A bad relationship is one that makes you constantly question yourself, and one that changes the way you regard relationships.
There are a few key reasons to abandon a bad relationship.
The first is obvious – why would you want to stay?? I don’t know about any of you, but I would be far happier sitting on the couch snuggled up alone, than if I were with a person that I’d grown to dislike so much that the sound of his breathing is contemptible.
The second reason should be obvious, but often escapes us. Some people think that staying in a bad relationship is better than having no relationship, which couldn't be further from the truth. Bad relationships have the opposite effect of good relationships. When you're in a positive relationship, you're happy, trusting, stable and encouraged to be the best possible version of yourself. You’re optimistic about the future.
A bad relationship will make you feel like you’ve been beaten with a club. You might be dour, pessimistic, uneasy, concerned that you’ll never get what you want, tired, and mistrustful. Remaining in a bad relationship can cause serious dating burnout, and putting up with bad situations for too long can create a deficit in your self esteem and ultimately prevent you from finding or being able to sustain a good relationship.
Any time you hear someone say that she is “taking a break from dating,” or “all men are full of shit,” she has probably been burned out from a bad relationship and has a long road of healing ahead of her. Bad relationships create emotional baggage.
Seriously? If you’re in a toxic relationship? Bail!
The trick is in the timing. You don’t want to be the person who goes through a minor rough patch and gives up. You also don’t want to look up one day and realize that you haven’t been happy in . . . wow! You can’t even remember the last time you were happy!
On one end of the spectrum, there's Miss Itchy Trigger Finger, who will break up with a guy for the most trivial reasons which range from his hair (it’s either too short, too long, or there’s not enough of it), to his style of dress (he’s either too corporate, too trendy, or has no style whatsoever), to his job (he spends too much time at work or doesn’t spend enough time at work), and his car (she can’t possibly date a man who drives a rusted-out hoopty -- or a car that's over two years old).
Miss Itchy doesn’t burn out, largely because she moves on before the relationship even becomes a relationship.
On the opposite end, we have Miss Patience. She puts up with some of the most dastardly behavior. If she likes the guy, she’ll makes excuses for him and find reasons to hang in there “to save the relationship,” or because she doesn’t want to be alone. He damn near has to drive a truck over her leg to make her realize that she’s in a toxic relationship.
After she finally realizes that he’s wrong for her, she’s so burned out and depressed that she needs a lot of recovery time. Perhaps in a rehabilitation center. She’s been known to go years without dating, because she’s hopeless about her future in a relationship. She puts up with bad behavior for so long that her spirit has been broken and she can’t remember what it feels like when it’s good.
Then there's Miss Just Right, the happy medium. She excels at detecting the moment when a relationship is going irreversibly in the wrong direction. Miss Just Right knows the warning signs, and knows herself well enough to determine the exact moment that she will become embittered, and doesn’t wait until it gets worse to “see what happens.” She doesn’t burn out – she gets out before it happens.
The thing to remember is that a bad relationship is parasitic, and will drain you of your good qualities. You can’t let the wrong person ruin you for the right one.