Most relationships start from a loving place with a promise of a brighter tomorrow. However, it’s challenging for both partners to love each other equally throughout the relationship. And that’s where the problem starts.
How we feel about our partners mostly governs how we treat them. A woman might take advantage of you in the relationship because she knows you value the relationship. Toxic relationships vary in nature and can range from emotional, financial, or physical exploitation.
First, it can be challenging for a person to realize that they are in a toxic relationship when they think they are in love. Your actions will be motivated by love and it’s easy to think that your partner is also motivated by the same. That’s why most people don’t realize they are in dysfunctional relationships until it’s haunting them.
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In this blog, we’ll explore how to move on from a toxic relationship. The advice you’ll find here is summaries from experts, marriage counselors, behavioral analysts, and techniques that different people used to move on from toxic relationships.
First, let’s look at how to know that you are in a toxic relationship:
- The relationship depends solely on you. You are the one that makes all the sacrifices and compromises to accommodate your partner and make the relationship work.
- There’s prolonged lingering unhappiness about the relationship. Even though you are in love, you don’t feel the satisfaction and contentment of being in a relationship.
- A negative shift in your mental and emotional stability. Toxic relationships reduce a person’s worth in a relationship. What might have started as a partnership soon becomes something that you can’t do without.
- Saying ‘no’ is offensive. Your partner always wants to get their way. When things don’t go their way, the relationship becomes chaotic.
- You get punished. Most people don’t really take it seriously but punishments in a relationship are a huge red flag for a toxic relationship. Your partner might give you the silent treatment or deny you sexual gratification because of something that happened.
- Your other social relationships become unstable. Toxic partners isolate you and sever your social relationships. You have no more friends apart from your partner that do not make you feel complete and content.
- People around you see it. Friends and family advise you to get out of the relationship. People around you notice the gradual change when you are in a toxic relationship. It serves well to consider what the majority of the people close to you are saying.
- There’s a scorecard for every wrong. Your previous mistakes are held over your head in the relationship. Your partner might use them to control or manipulate you into doing what they want.
The first step of moving on from a toxic relationship is knowing that you are in one. If your relationship is characterized by what I’ve mentioned above, then it’s time for you to find your way out of the relationship.
Let’s explore ways of how to move on from a toxic relationship that will allow you to heal and lead a happy life.
1. Identify what’s holding you back.
What is making it difficult for you to move on? You’ll find that when you list down what’s holding you back, it will be easy for you to start moving forward.
Painful experiences and feelings of betrayal that you might harbor from the relationship can be the main reason you find it difficult to move on. These feelings act as an anchor to the relationship.
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Letting go of the painful feelings caused by the toxic relationship can help you move on. You’ll not experience extreme sadness, anger, or betrayal when memories of your previous relationship crop up. That will make it easy for you to get over the relationship and its contents.
2. Get rid of the victim mindset.
One reason that people find it challenging to move on from a toxic relationship is that they hold on to what was done to them. You blame your ex for making you unhappy.
It’s true that she made you unhappy and in a way might have also distorted your perception of relationships. But holding on to what happened and blaming your ex for it will not help you move forward.
Building a superior and confident mindset helps you free yourself from the pain. After all, it has already happened and maybe your ex is in another happy toxic relationship. But for you to move on you need to reclaim your power to make yourself happy.
Focus on what you have to do now to continue living a happy and fulfilling life. Just a mental note, most of the toxic exes don’t have a problem moving to the next relationship as if no damage is left behind.
3. Forgive yourself and your ex.
I cannot insist enough on forgiveness if you want to move on from a toxic relationship. Most people from toxic relationships develop a hard attitude towards themselves for not moving on with life like others.
Looking back, you’ll see the red flags and wonder how you would have been so blind. You’ll come up with a thousand ways that you’d have handled different situations.
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The actual battle of how to move on from a toxic relationship lies within you and how you perceive yourself.
Forgiving yourself and your ex can be a big step to help you move on. Once you forgive yourself it becomes easy to let go of the past and focus on building yourself.
4. Cut all ties with your ex.
Cutting ties with your ex can reduce the influence they had on your life and give you a chance to focus on yourself. It can be hard cutting ties with someone you loved deeply and hoped for a future with.
But you have to understand why you are doing it. Understand that what you are feeling is an idea of what the relationship would have been, not what it actually was. If it was a healthy relationship, you’d be somewhere singing kumbaya and laughing together.
(If you’re ready to move on I think you should read this: How to fall back in love).
However, depending on your relationship, sometimes you can’t cut ties completely with a toxic ex. For example, you had a family together.
Reestablishing your boundaries to focus on what you only share can protect your emotional sanity and mental stability. Make it clear that your interaction revolves around what you share.
5. Take care of your physical health.
Toxic relationships can leave you drained. That can make it challenging for you to move on because you are not sure that someone will accept the current version of you.
Taking care of your physical health is crucial when you are working towards moving on from a toxic relationship. When you look good, you’ll start feeling good. You’ll boost your self-worth and confidence.
Enroll yourself in a gym and burn some negative calories that you’ve gained in the relationship. Regular physical exercise will boost your mood and energy and also facilitate better sleep.
6. Take some time off.
It’s challenging to move on past a relationship when everything around you reminds you of the relationship. Taking time off to focus on finding who you were before the relationship can help you kick start your journey to move on.
Take time off social media so that you don’t get the annoying reminders of what you did on a day like this last month with your ex. Allow yourself to silently grieve without adding salt to the injury.
During your alone quality time, pick a hobby or pursue an interest that brings you joy. Sometimes positive distractions can be healthy coping mechanisms.
7. Connect with people that give you positive vibes.
We’ve seen that toxic relationships can severely affect all the other relationships in your life. You’ll feel alone after a breakup and that can make it hard for you to move on because you still need the social connection.
Start meeting people that will treat you the way you deserve. The people you choose to associate with can help you move on past a toxic relationship fast.
(Here’s an insightful blog article if you find yourself back on the dating scene: How to Seduce a Woman).
With time you get to realize that you were being shortchanged and there are still better things for you to live for. The change in perception will guarantee you a quick healing process and allow you to move on.
8. Remember to be patient with yourself.
Clearing the venom that you’ve been ingesting in a toxic relationship for years can be a challenging road. Sometimes you’ll feel that it was a mistake to walk away, and sometimes it might seem like you’ll never find genuine love.
Forcing yourself to get over the negative feelings that you experience will make it harder for you to cope. Allow yourself to experience the undesirable feeling and make peace with them.
Understand that you had deep emotional connections that might take a little more time to get over. Being patient with yourself will help you also be kind to yourself.
You can find yourself in a vicious cycle of toxic relationships if you get into another relationship without dealing with your previous relationship. The new relationship will act as a distraction and that will prevent you from achieving the full potential of the new relationship.
Reestablish your worth and self-love first before trying to see other people.
I do hope this blog has given you some valuable insights on how to move on from a toxic relationship.
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Iain Myles is an internationally recognised dating coach and co-owner of the UK’s largest dating coaching company, Kamalifestyles. Iain is also an internet sensation thanks to the multiple viral videos posted through the YouTube channel KamaTV, which has grossed over 100 million views.
Iain has appeared in numerous newspaper columns and radio shows across the world. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio in the UK.