No, He Isn’t Misunderstood, He’s Toxic


It happens like this.

You’re in love. Or maybe even just really, really like him. He’s imperfect, of course, but you remind yourself everyone is. He fluctuates between warm affection and disinterest. He takes, but rarely gives. You cut him slack. You decide it’s better to pick your battles, to not rock the boat too much.

You tell yourself you care about him. That means you’re willing to look past glaring flaws. Give him time. He’s only being like this because he had a bad day or just doesn’t know how to be loved properly.

You think this makes you noble, the way you see his potential. You give him second chances. And thirds. And fourths. Friends will question his behavior and you’re always the first to defend him. They just don’t get it, you think. They don’t get him.

See, this is what happens when we become invested in someone while ignoring very serious realities. It’s heartbreaking and can feel impossible to prevent. You can’t help who you fall in love with, right?

Maybe. But you can break cycles. You can choose to walk away. You can remove your rose-colored glasses and see what’s actually happening in front of you.

There’s no easy way to do it. There’s only this: the knowing that something isn’t right.

People rarely change. In small bits, sure. And when they want to change, to evolve and be better, they might have a better shot at it. But you cannot change someone. Only they can do that.

And waiting for something to click, to magically fix itself, is wishing on a shooting star. It could happen. But it’s mostly a fantasy. It’s an 11:11 wish. It’s the sinking in your stomach that you’ve been pretending not to feel.

He isn’t going to change. It’s an uncomfortable pill to swallow, knowing your kindness and huge heart are wasted on him. But he’s zapping your energy. He’s sucking you dry.

Loving someone won’t suddenly make them healthy. Or good for you.

It’ll hurt. It’ll take time. You mean the best and want him to be okay. But remember, that’s your goodness. And your goodness needs to be reciprocated. You deserve that much.

Give yourself permission to be loved back. And loved back by someone who knows how to.