Are you in a toxic relationship?

If you had to put yourself on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being you at your most lethargic, depressed and irritable, and 10 being at your most chirpy, outgoing and fun – where would you be?

Where were you on that scale during your last relationship, or before the relationship you’re in now? Where you happier/more depressed? Did you have low energy or where you more energetic and ambitious? What was your routine like, your habits? What are they like in comparison now?

In a healthy relationship couples will generally rate themselves as a 6 or 7 before the relationship started, and a 9 or 10 now they’re in it. This is because relationships thrive when two happy, motivated people come together and are able to lean on each other and provide support and happiness for each other equally.

In a dependant relationship, generally there will be big differences. One partner may put they were a 7/8 before the relationship and now find themselves functioning around a 5/6 but they’re not sure why.. The other (the dependant) will say they were a 2/3 before the relationship and where very low, but now they are a 9/10 because their partner came and ‘saved them’ – this, as wonderful and as innocent/’fairytale-istic’ as it sounds – is the way dependants unconsciously guilt trip their partners into staying with them, and the other partner who is now functioning slightly lower but ‘isn’t sure why’ – is actually being drained of their energy by having their partner fully dependant on them.

In an abusive relationship; the victim would typically mark themselves as quite low during the relationship (as long as their abuser can’t see their answers) whereas the perpetrator would put themselves as high, being the one with all the power.

Toxic relationships happen when the relationship itself just simply isn’t meant to happen, and no, it won’t become less toxic just because you ‘try harder’ or take more pictures for your joint Facebook account.

Look at your partner, do you enjoy the same things? Laugh at the same stuff? Does he make you giggle more than he makes you cringe? Does she make you proud more than she makes you frustrated? Do you trust him? Do you care about her? And quite simply, if you weren’t here, with that person right now – even if you were on your own – would you be happier? Could you be happier?

The way the world is at the moment, especially with the shit all over TV; it’s such a big and terrible influence on our poor, fragile and susceptible minds and it has been since we popped up on the planet 20 odd years ago. We often mistake toxic relationships for relationships that are ‘ok’ or ‘tolerable’ because that’s what we’ve seen in Eastenders or Hollyoaks, and if it’s on TV it’s ok, right?

We act as if in a trance, following poor examples blindly, ignoring and forgetting what we truly want and deserve. We get to a point of comfortability and we don’t think we need to aim any higher, or we believe we don’t deserve any better. We loose hope things can get better and and we stop trying, so we settle. Even a seemingly ‘fine’ relationship can be toxic for the individuals, they loose their motivation and spunk (Word of the day please) and settle for the easy option; a simple partner who probably won’t leave because they don’t have the energy either, an easy job and a life of TV soaps, takeaways and a quick, cheap wedding just to make it look like they’re actually going somewhere…

Don’t be one of those people.

“To thine own self be true.”

Be with someone who makes you truly happy. The person you get excited to see and hear from, the person you run back to give one more kiss too. Be with the person who gives more than two shits about you, who cares more about spending their time with you enjoying each other’s company than they do making you feel bad about petty shit. Be with someone who embraces and cherishes you unconditionally. Who inspires your soul and makes your spirit want to grow and develop and explore.

And if you haven’t found that person yet; Don't be in a relationship!

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Photo credit: Matt Jacobs @Narcosispictures