Learning To Let Go Of Toxic Relationships And Why It’s So Hard To Do


We cling to things because they are comfortable.

We cling to people because they know us and we know them. And when you know someone and know the relationship, it’s easy to predict what will happen.

But sometimes the things we cling to and the people we care about are unknowingly toxic to our own growth and happiness.

So why do we stick with them? Why are we so afraid to just let go? Why do we keep making that same mistake and only after the fact we evaluate the situation and can say, ‘I probably shouldn’t have done that.’ Yet, we do it again. And again. And again. Until we’re are the ones destroyed by it.

Sometimes we are in the process of making the wrong choice and we subconsciously say to ourselves, ‘I’m going to regret this.’ ‘I shouldn’t be doing this.’ Yet we do it anyway.

We text that person we know we shouldn’t. We answer that late night call. We are typing and half of you says, ‘don’t’ yet you do it anyway.

People are the only species in the world who run towards things that hurt them. When an animal gets hurt by someone or something, they know not to do it again. A dog who has an electric collar knows not to leave the yard because they will get shocked. They don’t do it again just to see if it’ll hurt. They know it will. They stop altogether and proceed with caution and turn the other way. So why is it so hard for people to the same thing when it comes to relationships?

Why do we cling to people we know aren’t healthy?

Why do we keep doing the same things that hurt us?

We do it because it’s comfortable. Even if it’s pain we are used to if we are expecting it, it doesn’t hurt as much.

Have you ever done something to yourself, physical causing self-inflicted pain? Maybe it’s pulling a cuticle or picking a scab or popping a pimple. It doesn’t hurt as bad because we are making the choice and in making the choice we are telling our brain by doing this, we will feel pain for a moment. We so it’s coming. But if someone else were to do that exact same thing, it hurts more because it isn’t us doing it. Choosing toxic relationships work the same way. We choose the wrong person who we know is toxic and it doesn’t hurt as bad because we are expecting pain and disappointment and let down.

We do it because we know despite possibly regretting this choice we are about to make we know what the outcome will be.

There is something comforting about certainty. There is something comforting about knowing what will happen. There is something comfortable about familiarity.

And when we’ve invested time and emotion into a relationship and they really know you, you really know them, it’s hard to walk away from that. It’s hard to give up on that. Especially when we’ve gotten into the habit of saying to ourselves over and over again, ‘this is the person I want.’ ‘This is the person Iove.’ ‘This person is perfect.’

When someone knocks us down and belittles us and doesn’t treat us well and we build them up like they are something really special we are going to lose ourselves in the process of trying to keep someone who was never actually ours and never will be.

How does the word toxic and love so easily get put in the same sentence?

Because when you overvalue someone who doesn’t deserve it, you have a distorted view of them and you place less value on yourself. Swearing you will never love someone as hard. Pining after this idea of who the person can be and what the relationship could turn into. Creating this story inside your head.

While you are laying next to them in bed hearing everything you want to, you believe this relationship isn’t just casual. You believe because you are emotionally invested it’s something more. It’s a relationship you so desperately want. And when you want something or someone desperately you are going to settle.

Desperation = settling.

You’ll settle for the mistreatment and the low blows and the maybes and the what ifs. You’ll pick up their call and answer their text even though they ignored yours. You’ll be there for them because you want to prove yourself but if you really looked at the root of it, you aren’t choosing a toxic person because you are dumb.

You are choosing a toxic person because you want to be wrong about them.

Ask any person who has ever been in a toxic relationship, what they know the outcome to be and if they answered honestly, they know it wouldn’t be the ending they want.

Maybe you like a challenge. Maybe there is an emotional high there. Maybe you like the uncertainty of it.

This person treats however they want and you let them. And it continues. You wonder why you run in circles or play these games? It’s because you are allowing it.

Because you are reading signs you want to not the signs that are actually there.

Understand that disrespect will never lead to a relationship. And if by chance it does that’s the fast road to what will be an emotionally abusive relationship or cheating.

If you allow someone to treat you badly, there isn’t a level of attraction when it comes to someone who doesn’t respect themselves first.

They will never look at you as an equal but someone they can control and someone who will boost their own ego when they need to.

You wonder why they duck out, then blow up your newsfeed. They follow you just to unfollow you. They text you and it goes from delivered to read.

This continues because you allow it and you allow it because it’s comfortable. And it’s comfortable because you let it go on longer than it should have.

Toxic relationships don’t start off as toxic. They morph into it. The relationship changes when you’ve outgrown it and you stay there. Relationships become toxic when you are clinging to someone you should let go of but you are too afraid to.

Sometimes you fear letting go of a toxic relationship because you don’t want to feel guilty going back to it. So it let it linger. How many times have you sworn to your friends you won’t answer or it’s over? Then suddenly they text you or call you just after you’ve made that declaration and you fold.

People become habits very quickly. And habits are hard to break. And the only reason you think you can’t let this person go is because that’s the message you keep repeating.

And the brain doesn’t know the difference between fact and fiction if you are constantly saying the same thing to yourself, that’s what you will end up believing.

The way we speak to ourselves, reflect the relationship we have both with ourselves and others.

You think you’ll never love someone the way you do them. And if that’s what you keep saying, you’ll meet people and they will always fall short of this person you are building up in your head.

You think this person has all of these amazing qualities but you aren’t looking at the whole picture. Because the whole picture of a toxic relationship is the parts you ignore. The moments they make you feel less and worthless and sad. Those nights you are crying yourself to sleep because they’ve let you down again.

On the other end of that, they might have a few redeeming and admirable qualities but you can’t judge someone based on half of who they are and who you want them to be.

You think it’s love but love has no room for pain and confusion.

And the longer you cling to this idea of defining love this way, the more jaded you’ll become. The more guarded you’ll become. The more fearful you’ll become of other relationships.

And without realizing instead of choosing people who are good for you, you’ll continue the pattern of choosing toxic people because that’s what you are used to and that’s what you are comfortable with.

But no one should ever become comfortable with pain.

I think we choose the wrong people not because we are bad at relationships but because we fear getting a relationship right. We fear actually falling in love. So we settle for relationships that have parts that look and feel like the real thing but aren’t. Because then it won’t hurt as bad when you know the outcome might not be one in our favor.

But when you find the right love suddenly you have this relationship and this person that is so valuable it’s something you can lose.