Love is intoxicating, even exhilarating but can also be detrimental to our health when falling for the wrong person. As women, we sometimes romanticize situations and become martyrs in relationships. It’s important to recognize that some loves are destructive, shoddy or plain rotten. We can usually sense when things are not on the up-and-up, however untangling reality has an emotional and mental cost that we aren’t always prepared to pay.
Have you ever experienced bad love? There are people that don’t serve us well, to the contrary, drag us down. These relationships need to be flagged and building the awareness it takes to avoid getting caught up in messy predicaments is essential. Unfortunately, it’s hard to do the right thing all the time, which may lead to a firestorm.
Human beings are wired for connection, we want to be loved. Sometimes, the insatiable desire to capture this emotion can push us in directions that are not always in our best interest. Bad love is deceiving, you may experience a love-like feeling but it’s toxic. You have the intensity without getting anything positive, to the contrary it will tear you up inside. This so-called rush has the ability to make you believe you’re knee-deep in adoration. Those pangs of love can be harmful, consuming, even dangerous, so should it be called love?
Personal history helped me understand that individuals who have everything to gain from this type of passion are those that do not bring anything substantial to the table. A low self-esteem or desperate search for love makes us more susceptible to fall into poor relationships. Inadvertently, at times, we compromise ourselves by accepting less than we deserve.
It took time to realize the love I was looking for was already with me. Understanding, I was enough became a life-altering realization. Once, I stopped settling for just anyone, improved options opened up. The choices that began to present themselves started to look different, so did my life afterwards. Ultimately, it was clear that standing by my worth was the one thing that would help lead me to the healthiest love match.
There are several types of this second-class love, some will sound familiar.
Unrequited Love can result in feelings of embarrassment or anguish. When the object of affection does not reciprocate your romantic feelings, it’s gut wrenching. In some cases, you are an admirer, keeping your love a secret. Other times, it’s a case of one person having strong emotions that are not returned. One-sided love will never thrive, it holds you back from other romantic possibilities. In order for love to take place and flourish, both parties need to be receptive to it.
Forbidden Love has the potential to do significant damage to the people involved, as well as, those around them. Wanting someone you cannot have is not a good way to start to any relationship. If it’s taboo, there are laws against it or society frowns upon it, this kind of love is almost certainly doomed. Maybe, ask yourself is it worth it? Is the price you are going to pay enough to compensate for what you are giving up? Are you tarnishing your dignity, ethics, reputation or worse, self-respect?
Toxic Love is more common than we may think. These relationships often involve a lot of insecurity, anxiety and distress. People are complicated and this type of love feeds off of negativity which makes it all so cruel. Pain and fear can sometimes serve as a foundation for these unions. Couples can be forced to stay together out of convenience, manipulation, threats of abuse or habit. The connection survives on the shoulders of one partner’s weakened spiritual state. Toxicity consumes a partner or both, depleting joy piece by piece. A high volume of stressful arguments, disagreements and confrontations may be followed by a gentle pause that allows for reconcile then a vicious cycle starts all over again.
Love is not perfect but it should fill your heart with overall goodness. It is a place of peace and comfort that makes you feel safe. Your intuition will give off a signal when something is “off” or does not feel right. Good love should complement your life, not yank you into an abyss of misery.
It has taken years of constant soul searching to interpret and embrace my truths. Accepting bad love into my life was less about others, more about denying self-worth. Although, these were unconscious decisions, I have learned to own each one. Cutting ties with painful situations and building the awareness to avoid toxicity has been an integral part of the work to better myself.
It is a huge undertaking to expect that you will get it right each time. Mistakes happen, in order for us to learn the lessons. It’s important to keep in mind, if you are forced to sacrifice self-love and self-respect in a manner that bargains who you are in any way then it’s not good for you.
Remember, “Standing alone is better than standing with people who hurt you. – Anonymous.
Have you experienced any of these types of love?
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