When you are in a toxic relationship you don’t realize how much the emotional abuse impacts you. Not while you’re in it at least. When you’re in a toxic relationship, everything about it is kind of addicting. It’s the knowing and not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s the hope that’ll it’ll change but there’s also comfort in things that are the same. There’s a comfort in someone knowing you so deeply.
And it takes everything in you to not walk away. And even when you walk away, you find yourself going back so many times because you miss him. You miss the adrenaline rush of high intense emotions. From love to screaming to making up.
But then you meet a good guy. And when that happens that’s when you realize how negatively this past relationship has affected you. And sometimes you even push people away because of it.
You aren’t used to being treated so well, you almost reject it.
1. At first, you expect the worst.
After a toxic relationship, you don’t trust anyone. Even yourself. You wonder how you tolerated such a relationship for so long. And you enter every relationship expecting the worst of someone. For a while, you don’t believe good guys do exist. Because for so long you looked for the wrong qualities and you accepted a lot of these people who didn’t deserve you.
2. And overthink everything.
You think everyone has motives or doesn’t mean what they say. When you’ve caught someone in lies so often it makes you paranoid as fuck. You don’t believe people can be honest or mean what they say. You make crazy assumptions and doubt really good people just because of one person.
Next thing you know you’re explaining to this guy how you got to this conclusion in your head and he’s baffled. Not because you’ve questioned him but that someone has made you this way and all he wants to do is reverse this.
3. You’ll think he’s too good to be true.
Someone treating you this well has got to be too good to be true. You’re expecting the other shoe to drop. You’re expecting him to lose it one day. You’re expecting some abrupt ending without closure. But every day he just proves to you he’s the same person he’s been from the start. He’s given you no reason to question him but it isn’t him you don’t trust it’s everyone in the past.
4. After you push him away.
Someone in the past has led you to believe you don’t deserve the best. So when you get it you reject it. You fear something good because you don’t want to lose it. You don’t want to get hurt again so you try and ruin it first. But what you’ll realize that’s different about this guy is when you run he’ll chase you. When you push him he’ll grab you close and not let you leave.
5. You’re going to expect fights.
You keep waiting for a fight. But instead, everything gets talked out and explained. And there’s this wave of comfort afterward and you realize normal people don’t leave the second something goes wrong.
6. Then you’ll apologize too often.
He’s going to wonder why you apologize so often or what it is you’re saying sorry for. He’ll see the pain in your eyes from someone in the past whose made you question yourself. He’ll see the pain in your heart trying so hard to love again when you’ve only known heartbreak. And he’s going to constantly reassure you everything is okay.
When a good guy loves someone who is broken who has only known toxic relationships, what he does is teach her she didn’t deserve anything she got. He redefines these horrible standards she has and he chooses to be the exception.
7. And question if they are better off without you.
You think they are better off without you but the truth is just as they have made your life better it goes both ways. And I know you’re scared to love again. I know you’re afraid to let anyone that close. But your sensitivity. Your compassion. Your strength and understanding and lack of judgment in everyone is what makes you beautiful.
In the past, you were able to love someone who was completely unlovable and intolerable. You found the good in them. You took a chance on them. You never gave up on them. And it’s your turn to have that reciprocated.
This new relationship isn’t what you are used to but it’s exactly what you deserve.
8. You overcompensate.
And when you finally get comfortable and accept this relationship you are going to love this person with everything you have in you. But don’t try too hard. Don’t think you have to. In the past, you were taught your best isn’t good enough. So you had to try too hard. You had to compete. You had to prove yourself.
What you should have learned was your best was good enough and it was him that didn’t deserve it.
9. Then you trust him.
There’s going to be a moment where you tell this guy everything that’s happened. A moment you trust him to let him that close. And when you tell him about the past and the people who have hurt you what you’ll find isn’t that’s he’s going to take off. It’s just given him a reason to stay.
I know someone in your past taught you about tough love. They taught you vulnerability is a weakness. You’ve had to be strong for so long and you’ve had to endure a lot of things you didn’t deserve. But all of it has made you more beautiful than you know. And all of it will make the right person appreciate you for overcoming all of it.
And with tears in your eyes even you will be grateful for a toxic relationship that didn’t destroy you but rather made you the strong person you are today.
10. Finally you learn what love really is.
You begin to realize that relationship that used to define your standard of love was so far from the real thing. You learn that love isn’t supposed to hurt you or be demeaning. Love isn’t supposed to break your heart just to build you back up. Love is not anything that comes in the form of jealousy. Whether it’s making you jealous or being jealous of you. The right type of love does not play games with your heart or want to see you in pain.
You realize all of that wasn’t love but control.
You build yourself back up and fearlessly love again, only this time you do it right. Because finally, you’re with the right guy.
The right type of love heals you and that’s exactly what this guy has done.
By Kirsten Corley for ThoughtCatalog