How to let go of your toxic romance
The road to recovery can be bumpy if the relationship was a toxic one. Finding self-love can be the key to get over the traumatic memories.
We have all heard stories of it, read books about it, seen it in movies, but when it comes to spotting and ending a toxic relationship in real life, it’s no cakewalk. Dr Lillian Glass, a California-based communication and psychology expert, defines a toxic relationship in her 1995 book Toxic People as “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.”.
For a relationship to be classified as being “toxic”, it needs to make a person feel unloved, unsupported, feel trapped, controlled, misunderstood, subject of constant ridicule or made to feel small. Doubting yourself, making yourself believe that you deserve the trauma and blaming yourself for letting it happen are all signs of being in a toxic relationship. Don’t fret, you are not the only one. Believing that a romantic relationship was going to work out and couldn’t notice the red flags in the beginning, has happened to most of us.
And while it’s difficult to get out of abusive relationships, it’s important to learn to heal from it to move on. And if you have already crossed that bridge, now is the time to invest energies in healing. “When it comes to dealing with your emotions after ending a toxic relationship, remember one thing, every ending is a new beginning. Be very proud of yourself for having the courage to recognize the issues and then let go of the toxic relationship. It will take time to heal from your traumatic experience, but you will certainly get through this,” says Devina Kaur, a motivational author and speaker.
Tips to aid you when dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship:
Emotions are sacred, pay attention to them, and feel your emotions, let it all out with trusted professionals. Emotions are neither right nor wrong, they simply exist. Spend time in stillness and silence and get to know the new you. Self-knowledge also means knowing the parts that make you uncomfortable.
Practice good self-care and take some extra time out for yourself and your emotions. The more you know yourself and practice radical self-acceptance—including the dark emotions that show up, the more love you will have for yourself.
Be socially active with supportive friends and family members
Stop blaming yourself for the relationship not working out. Stop living in guilt.
Learn to forgive yourself. Be kind to yourself and respect yourself. Learn to let go and free yourself from your past.
Don’t be in a rush to jump into another relationship. Take your time. The loneliness you may be feeling is better than being in another toxic relationship. Besides, you may need to work on yourself and deal with the trauma before starting a fresh relationship.
Healing from heartbreak takes time and a strong, supportive community to help you shed all those layers of shame, self-doubt and feelings of perhaps not being good enough.
(Inputs by Devina Kaur and Dr Vihan Sanyal, Psychotherapist)