10 Life-Changing Lessons You Learn After a Toxic Relationship

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Although everyone’s experience is different, there is no doubt that getting your heart broken leaves you vulnerable and alone. This heartbreak is what forced me to discover myself again. I’m still picking up the pieces of myself, but it gets easier with time. In my own struggles, I’ve learned a thing or two about relationships and love.

1. People never change, regardless of what they promise.

I’ve been cheated on, lied to, and manipulated by the same guy one too many times. Right before I left for college, my ex had gotten me a ring which served as his promise to me that we would have a clean slate.

He promised me that he was done talking to other girls and he would never cheat on me again. I believed him. However, I found out that he was telling other girls that we were broken up before we actually were. Long distance was hard enough without learning that.

2. Not everyone deserves a second chance.

The first time I gave my ex a second chance was when he lied to me about who he had gotten a house with his second year at college; it was with all girls. I should have left after I found this out because it was the beginning of a completely toxic relationship.

After I gave him his first-second chance, we were together for another year and a half. That time consisted of too many more second chances. I now know that one-second chance is enough. It might even be one chance too many.

3. Breakups are never 100% one person’s fault.

With everything that I have said, it is still not 100% his fault we broke up. I made mistakes too and I’ll admit to that.

I kept my guy friends that I knew made him uncomfortable, I didn’t communicate with him as much as I should’ve when I went off to college, I didn’t tell him that I loved him enough, I wasn’t always there when he needed me. I made mistakes too.

4. Appreciate the nights you stay in.

I often took for granted the nights that we would stay in, but now that was broken up, it’s those nights that I miss the most. I miss the nights where we would stay in, just the two of us talking late into the night.

I have learned that it is in those simple nights where you truly connect with one another. It’s that connection I found with him that I am scared I will never find again. It is this connection that kept me in the relationship for so long.

5. Texts can be misinterpreted.

There were times where I believed my ex when he said “I’m okay” when I shouldn’t have. Towards the end of our relationship, my ex said things like “It’s okay if we talk tomorrow,” when it never was.

I should have never listened to him because who knows what would have happened if I called him instead of texting him. Texts can be misinterpreted and therefore I hate texting.

6. Communication is key.

You may know that you love your partner and you may believe that everything is okay, but your partner needs to hear that too. I wish I’d done this more with my ex because now, I’m afraid that he doesn’t know how much I truly looked up to him.

My ex really did inspire me but I never told him that. Don’t keep your thoughts to yourself, communicate with your partner because you will regret not doing so later.

7. Trust your partner.

I trusted my ex until he gave me a reason not to, but I don’t think he knew that. I think the reason why he lied to me the first time was that he believed that I didn’t trust him. Trust your partner and make sure that they are aware that you trust them.

Trust is so important in a relationship. I learned this the hard way. A lack in trust will slowly break a couple apart from the inside out and I promise you that it will be painful.

8. Respect yourself.

I wish I’d had enough respect for myself a year ago to walk away from my toxic relationship. We settle for the love we think we deserve and now I know that I deserve so much more than what my ex gave me.

With this being said, the beginning of our relationship was good but neither of us deserved what we put each other through in the end. Know when to walk away.

9. Don’t put your dreams on hold.

I let my ex hold me back. It is because of him that I did not apply to a school on the east coast and it is because of him that I am just now joining the army. Don’t let your partner hold you back. Live your life for you and no one else.

10. Letting go is just as important as loving

Letting go is hard, but it’s also making me stronger. I can’t dwell on the past if I want to focus on the present and work towards the future. I am letting go of the love that I thought was right for me, and who knows maybe someday that love will be right, but for now, I am letting go.

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