It’s that time of the year again – Valentines day! I hope everyone is enjoying it, whether they are single, coupled, or not physically in the same place (aka long distance like myself). But rather than focusing on enjoying singledom or enjoying coupling today, I wanted to approach the topic of toxic relationships, why we stay in them, and why we should sometimes make the break – even if the one who hurts the most might be yourself. Because on this day we are celebrating love, we should also remember that someone we often forget to treat well is ourselves.
Unhealthy. It’s a word we most often associate with food and less with people, but why? In my experience, it seems we are more likely to call someone “emotionally manipulative” than labeling a relationship “unhealthy,” not so unlike our reluctance to name a friend or lover “abusive” emotionally. Why is that when it’s so clear to a third-party? “Emotionally manipulative” makes it sound like it’s the other person’s problem. He or she is in the wrong. However, openly acknowledging a relationship in your life (lover, friend, family) is unhealthy brings into question your own role. Just like that third piece of pizza you consume, you are making a choice while knowing, deep down, this might not be the right thing. Because you see, it takes two to tango. It’s just like the word “abusive.” Once it’s spoken aloud, it’s hard to go back because you have openly admitted that you care about someone who is toxic for you. This is why, I assume, it’s so hard for us to say someone we for whatever reason have feelings for is an unhealthy relationship.