Relationships are increasingly becoming hard to handle. This is not only as far as romance is concerned, but even more than that, poor relationships at work, the family, and humanity in general. Everyone seems skewed towards self and not cognizant of others anymore. Once self has been satisfied, anyone else doesn’t matter. Even further, most people are ignorant of what it means to be in a toxic relationship. Like the lost coin, they are lost but unaware that they are lost.
To disconnect from toxic relationships, we must first understand what a toxic relationship is. My simple definition would be A relationship that does not contribute to the realisation of the goals of the relationship. We relate because we need a shoulder to lean on or because we need to provide a shoulder to have someone else lean on. We have realised that we cannot do it alone, we cannot enjoy it alone, so we need to share the bounties of life with someone else or help co-lift the burdens of life. If a relationship makes it less easy for you to achieve the need to relate, then it is toxic. Just as the word goes, it has some toxins which need to be deaminated from the union, or severed completely.
The following should worry you in your relationship:
- A relationship that makes you betray your ideals.
Human beings have their ideals which they regard so highly. It is what makes them who they are. We may disagree with them based on what they consider ideal, but that does not make any difference. It has made them the people we admire and want to be in a relationship with. These ideals connect them with humanity and make them worthwhile. We judge character and moral dependency based on these ideals. At the point in time when you identify someone as a dependable mate, and they resonate back, you have your well-developed ideas that attract them. You must also possess something in your package that means something to them.
Getting into a relationship brings two different people who have grown up differently and trained differently. Through the growth process, they have each learned many things and assumed different tastes and preferences. Each has a different set of ideals. Upbringing and culture make some of us see liquor as a problem, whereas the others see it as life. Some see religion as an opium of the poor, some see it as a rational way of meeting their spiritual needs. To put it succinctly, everyone has their unique worldview, and we cannot deny it.
Such apparent differences make it necessary to adjust a little when you allow someone in your life. When you are alone, you can eat whatever you want; you can sleep whenever you want, dress the way you want, and even set your own standards of holiness. However, when someone comes into your life, you need a reasonable latitude of adjustment to accommodate them. This is settling for a win-win situation. This adjustment is not a complete overhaul but a reasonable adjustment to accommodate another party.
However, you should be concerned if a relationship makes you throw to the grounds the ideals that have made you who you are. If you must demolish the walls that have dyked you up against the turbulence of life, then it may be a matter of concern. If you must drink, smoke, or give up on Spirituality, then just know you are losing it in the name of a relationship. You may pretend to be happy, but you are only fooling yourself. You should be afraid of someone willing to sacrifice their ideals to be with you. They cannot be faithful to themselves; what makes you stupid enough to fall into their cheap trap? They cannot be trusted!
- A relationship that makes you disregard friends and family
Family and friends are the most important people in our lives. They are the last to leave us when everyone turns against us. Family is a source of support in a way that is non-negotiable. Our Close friends also do not wait for achievement to applaud us. As disappointing as we may be, they have proved to be with us with nothing to be admired. While your boyfriend or girlfriend may be choosing you because of the growth and the packaging you now portray, the family didn’t have otherwise but have you because you are one of their own. With a flat chest and nothing to swing, you were daddy’s girl. With a smooth chin, questionable muscles, and indistinguishable voice, you were mummy’s boy. The family appreciated you while you were the raw material, but your partner is enjoying a finished product 🤠.
Therefore, a good relationship will be that in which chivalrous gratitude is shown to your family and friends who have contributed. If your parents and friends are not recognised anymore because of love, you should be concerned. If your friends feel out of place because you have found love, you should worry about your sanity. I don’t mean that your friends and relatives should be promoted to a cartel that runs your relationship; instead, they should still mean something to you to be treated well within their due scalar chain. The first energy level should not have anyone except you twain, but please don’t take parents to the outer court.
- A relationship that makes you abscond duty and usefulness
Have you seen people who stop attending to their duties because they are in love? You were a student when love came knocking your way, but you don’t even know the academic timetable nowadays. If you are asked the question, “What are you doing on campus?” and if you are honest enough, your answer should be, “I am in love”. Because of relationships, you cannot be trusted with duties. You can set up meetings with the group you’re leading but must be the last to arrive because you had to pass by your girlfriend’s! You are generally depreciating and becoming more unsuitable for responsibilities because you are in the dating field…
I don’t want to demystify the fact that we must have some time set up for relationships. Those who are not ready to work and get involved should not even think of dating because some time and effort must be invested. However, one must be aware that dating is another unit altogether. If you are studying seven units in a semester, and love comes in, you must realise you are doing eight units henceforth. You must not clash lessons. You must be ready to give a little more than an average student. If you are a church leader, you must not set your relationship targets during scheduled duties or meetings. In short, just appreciate that a relationship must just be an additional responsibility, and it must be handled within its legal scope.
A good relationship must respect your ideals, appreciate the role of your friends and relatives in your life, and ensure you even become more useful in your duties and responsibilities. If you are embattled in these three aspects, just find somewhere else. You better flee a toxic relationship than break it later when reality has knocked you cold.