Over a year ago I finally got out of a toxic relationship that had lasted over three years. Since that time, I have reflected a lot on the relationship we had as well as on myself, and also about what I want out of my next relationship. I realized that for the majority of our time together, I settled for “mediocre love.” My partner and I loved each other but at the end of the day, we weren’t right together and it created a toxic, hostile environment. I knew after a year together that this was not the person I wanted to spend my life with but I was too scared to leave, so I stayed in a relationship that made me miserable.
Your partner is supposed to bring out the best in you and unfortunately, mine brought out the worst. I hated the person I became when I was with him and it wasn’t until I finally gained the courage to leave that I came to this realization. So why did I stay for so long? Because staying was easier than leaving. Being with him was comfortable. We had been through so much together and at the end of the day, he was my rock. Today I wish him all the best and I hope his future relationships are much healthier than the one we had together. Leaving that relationship was the best choice I ever made and I am grateful for everything I learned from that experience because it has made me a happier and healthier person.
One of the most important things my relationship taught me is that I never want to put up with mediocre love again. My friends will always comment and tell me I’m too picky when it comes to dating but honestly, it’s only because I refuse to ever be in a relationship that makes me anything less than happy. That doesn’t mean that all the guys I’ve been on dates with have been jerks. It just means they haven’t been right for me. I don’t want to go into a relationship knowing there are certain qualities about that individual that I don’t like because that is when people start to change each other and it’s not fair for my future partner. If it’s not right, then it’s not right. There’s no point in committing to something because you’re lonely or feel like you need to be in a relationship.
I have made a vow to myself that the next person I date will make me truly happy. That’s not to say we won’t experience our ups and downs, but at the end of the day I want the person I’m with to make me better and allow me to grow as an individual, instead of constraining me and making me feel small and insecure.
I deserve nothing but the best and so do you. This past year has been the best year of my life and I owe it all to putting myself and my needs first. So, if you have ever put up with a love that is less than you deserve or are currently in a toxic relationship, whether it’s with a friend, romantic partner, or even workplace, gather up the courage to leave and put yourself first for once because at the end of the day your happiness depends solely on you. If you don’t make yourself a priority, then how do you expect anybody else to?
Leaving isn’t easy. It’s going to be the scariest thing you’ve ever done. But I promise once the hard part is over, it will all be worth it.