On-again/off-again relationships, AKA toxic relationships, are really rough. I’ve watched enough friends go through them to know how much they can suck you of any positive self-esteem, feelings of being worthy and even just general happiness. In case you’re confused on what kind of relationship I’m talking about, let me explain: it’s the one where the couple is constantly breaking up, maybe seeing other people, getting back together, breaking up again, being dramatic and making everyone around them kind of miserable.
We all know someone (or maybe we are that someone) who has been in that kind of toxic relationship. Unfortunately, it’s relatively easy to get stuck in this ugly pattern. We start to feel like maybe we need this person, like we can’t imagine what our lives will be like without them. We almost start to crave the drama that comes with that person, as weird as that sounds.
A few of my friends are going through this right now and it’s so hard to watch. I wish they would just end their on and off relationships for good, but it’s a lot easier said than done. If you’re in this kind of relationship and you’re ready to break up with the person for good, read on. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it to have this out of your life. Here are 10 tips on how to end an on and off toxic relationship. Good luck!
Realize That You're In A Toxic RelationshipNo more denial. You need to admit to yourself that you’re stuck in this horrible on and off pattern with this person. These signs will help you come to that conclusion. Once you’re there, don’t push the thought away. Admitting it to yourself is the first, very important step. Source: ShutterStock
Make a Sort Of Pro/Con ListIf you feel ready to end things, but you also feel scared that you’re not making the right decision, try making a sort of pro/con list about your relationship. Over the course of a few days, write down every single time your BF or GF made you feel sad, hurt, angry or betrayed. You can also write down the good times. If you’re in a toxic relationship and you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll most likely see that the bad outweighs the good. A lot of people find that lists like these help them make better decisions. Be honest with yourself about this stuff and give yourself time to remember everything. Source: ShutterStock
Once You End It, Beware Of Old PatternsIf you’re in an on and off relationship, you’ve probably been through the whole breakup thing before. One of my friends breaks up with her BF every few months, swears she’s 100 percent done, then gets back together with him a few weeks later. Everything is happy and great when they get back together, but then things inevitably go back to being crappy, like they were before they broke up. You need to remind yourself of this! You also need to be wary of old patterns that have caused you two to reunite in the past. My friend and her BF always get back together because they keep hanging out with mutual friends and they try to be friends themselves. Whatever you did in the past, DON’T DO IT AGAIN. It obviously doesn’t work. Source: ShutterStock
Cut Him Off Completely For A Little WhileI always advise anyone going through a breakup to cut off their ex for a little while, but this goes double for people ending toxic relationships. You cannot continue to talk to your ex like everything is fine because everything isn’t fine. I know it’s hard to cut him or her off, but it’s the only way to move on and get over that person! You can't move on if you're continuing to talk to or see that person, especially if you guys have already gone through patterns like this. It's just not going to work, as much as you may want it to. Don't look at his social media pages, don't text him, don't call him, don't hang out with him or with mutual friends and don't be in places where he might be. Source: ShutterStock
Say No To Being Friends... Possibly EverIt's nice to be friends with an ex, but right after a relationship is not the time to try - especially with someone toxic. My one friend does this all the time and her and her BF ALWAYS end up getting back together. It's way too easy to fall back into old patterns. And, honestly, with relationships like these, you might not ever be able to be friends. That doesn't mean you can't be cordial, but it does mean you shouldn't try hanging up or having a close relationship - it's too risky. Source: ShutterStock
Keep Yourself BusyThe best thing to do when going through a breakup like this is to distract yourself as much as possible. If you sit at home crying all day, you're never going to move on and you're probably going to try to get that person back. Instead, do things that make you happy. Or keep yourself busy with work or school. A few years ago, I was going through a breakup that left me devastated. I found that the only time I felt better was when I was at work. I started working like crazy and it really helped me take my mind off things, feel more productive and feel happy. Do whatever works for you as long as it makes you feel good. Source; ShutterStock
Surround Yourself With People Who Love YouDon't force yourself to handle this all on your own. You're sad and it's okay to need someone! Instead of turning to your ex, like you're used to, turn to someone else who cares about you, whether it's a close friend or a family member. Rely on these people and don't be afraid to call whenever you're upset, hang out with them a lot or cry to them. Source: ShutterStock
Remind Yourself Of The Bad Times, Not The GoodWhen you miss someone, it's easy to put on the rose-colored glasses and remember all of the happy, good times. We all do it. When you get to that point, or when you really feel like you miss your ex, force yourself to think about the bad times - that time he lied to you and broke your trust. That time you caught him flirting with someone else or that time he didn't answer your texts for a few days. That will remind you that you did the right thing. Source: ShutterStock
Get Help From SomeoneDon't be afraid to ask friends for help. When I was going through that difficult breakup, I asked my friend to talk me out of calling the guy every time I wanted to - it was tough, but she did it. And talk to your friends! Lean on them. If you feel REALLY miserable, consider seeing a therapist or psychologist. There is nothing wrong with that! It might make you feel a lot better and open your eyes to a lot of things. Source; ShutterStock
Constantly Remind Yourself You Deserve BetterWhen you're feeling really down, do whatever you can to remind yourself that you deserve better than what that person was giving you. You deserve a relationship that isn't on and off, you deserve someone who is honest and treats you well. Seriously! Repeat this to yourself as an affirmation. It WILL make you feel better. Source: ShutterStock
Are you in an on-again/off-again toxic relationship? Are you ready to end it? Do you know anyone who is in one? Tell us in the comments.