When you are struggling with getting over a toxic relationship, I know that it can feel like you’re trying to do the impossible. You wind up having to deal with a whole slew of complicated emotions. Breakups are hard enough as it is, but when the relationship was toxic, it can be even more challenging to turn the page and move on.
On top of that, the majority of toxic relationships don’t start out toxic, so you have to deal with the aftermath of letting go of your memories of how it felt when things were good.
Toxic relationships become so complicated because the two people involved develop a type of addiction to one another, and this is one of the hardest parts of the breakup. I’ll expand on why this happens and what exactly you need to do about it in this article.
I want to share the ins and outs of getting over a toxic relationship with you so that you can get to the other side of this painful period as soon as possible. The good news is that you are in control of more than you might realize. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Getting over a toxic relationship: Why does it feel so hard?
Many of the clients that I work with who are struggling with getting over a toxic relationship express to me that they’re slightly embarrassed that it’s so hard for them to move on.
Take Rebecca for example. She reached out to me recently, saying that she had just gotten out of a three year relationship with her toxic ex boyfriend, and she was frustrated that despite the fact that she could clearly see how toxic things had become, she still missed him with every fiber of her being.
I remember her saying, “It doesn’t really make any sense. I know it was toxic, my friends know it was toxic, anyone I talk to about it can see that it was toxic, and yet, I can’t stop thinking about how much I want to be with him again. I know I have to turn the page, though. Too much has happened. Why do I feel like this? Am I crazy?”
This really made me feel for her, because I know how difficult it is. It’s actually a very common phenomenon, and it has to do with adrenaline. When people ask me why so many stay stuck in toxic relationships, I always explain that it is because you start to develop an addiction to the highs. In toxic relationships there is often a high high that is followed by a low low.
The high is usually attained by making up after a fight or some kind of tension in the relationship, and then it becomes dangerously cyclical. Many couples will start to seek out that high by creating a low that then needs to be resolved.
As you can imagine, this is something that happens subconsciously, but is very insidious. It can make both people ache for those highs and even after the relationship ends, they can have trouble getting into the groove of a healthy relationship simply because they crave the peaks and valleys that they experienced in their previous relationship.
The key to overcoming this is to become very aware of where these feelings stem from. The moment you are able to label the emotions, the less power they have over you.
So, if you are struggling with getting over a toxic relationship, I don’t want you to be too hard on yourself. As I said in the introduction to this article, breakups are extremely difficult as it is. When the relationship was toxic, there is an added element that makes it even more challenging.
Fortunately, the fact that you have sought out this article means that you are already on the right path. You are being proactive and you are not going to just sit back and let these negative emotions overwhelm you. So, let’s take a look at how to get over this painful breakup once and for all!
How to get over a toxic relationship: The Do’s and Don’ts
When you’re going through a difficult breakup, it can be very tempting to isolate yourself. You’re not feeling very social, so the thought of hanging out with people doesn’t really appeal to you, but isolating yourself isn’t going to help you right now. If anything, it’s just going to make it easier for you to ruminate in your sadness and dwell on the past.
The key to success is novelty now. You need to introduce new things into your life! One of the absolute best things you could do for yourself right now is to get out there and experience new things with the people who make you happiest. Now is the time to be making new memories. So, think about things that you’ve always wanted to try, and use this time to set out and do them!
Go check out new places with your friends, explore new parts of your city, go to restaurants and galleries that you’ve never been to before, go rock climbing or go-karting. The more new things you can incorporate into your life, the better. It’s all too easy to dwell on the past, so it’s up to you to make new memories that feel fresh and exciting, and let your friends be a part of this. In addition to this, don’t be afraid to do things on your own! Stepping out of your comfort zone is incredibly healthy, and the more you do it, the better you will feel about yourself.
I know that your self-esteem can be pretty fragile when you’re trying to get over a toxic relationship, but keep this in mind. Self-confidence comes from a sense of accomplishment. The more you do things that you are proud of, the better you will feel about yourself. Making this a priority is one of the best ways to get over a toxic relationship, and any relationship for that matter!
Getting over a toxic relationship fast: Changing your environment
Human beings are visual creatures. That means that we are very stimulated by the things that we see. When you have gone through a breakup, chances are that everything you see makes you think of your ex. You look at a pillow on the couch and it reminds you of how your ex used to sit on that side of the couch when you watched movies, and then like clockwork, you feel miserable. So, want a quick fix?
Then it’s time to revamp your surroundings. The first step is to round up all the things that remind you of your ex, and put them in a box. Ideally, you should get rid of this box, but the most important thing is that it’s out of sight. You know, there is a lot of truth behind the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Next, it’s time to think about how you can freshen up your surroundings. I encourage you to switch up the placement of your furniture. You can also think about getting yourself some new bedsheets or painting the wall a new color. The goal here is to give you new visual stimuli that helps you feel like things are new and fresh, while removing the things that make you think of your ex.
When it comes to getting over a toxic relationship, we need to focus on looking towards the future, and not dwelling on the past.
Getting over a toxic ex: Setting new goals
In the spirit of looking towards the future, there is another very important tool that I want to share with you. This is something that I share in a lot of my one on one coaching sessions with clients to who come to me for help with getting over heartbreak. If you would like to work with me or a member of my team, I encourage you to click here! By working together, I can ask you targeted questions specific to your situation and create a custom game-plan.
So, this tools is all about setting goals for yourself. Whether it is personal or professional, I want you to set a goal. Where would you like to see yourself 2 years from now? Really take the time to think about this and visualize what it looks like. For example, let’s say that it’s a certain position within your company.
In order to reach this goal, where would you need to be 1 year from now? It is helpful to write all of this down so that you start to create an action plan. So, in order to reach this goal 1 year from now, where do you need to be 6 months from now? And 1 month from now?
Starting today, you can begin working toward your goal for 1 month from now, one day at a time. You will start to make progress and your accomplishments are going to give you a sense of wellbeing and energy. It’s important to fight through the urge to mope around and feel sorry for yourself. Yes, this is very hard, but by taking action, you are taking back your power over the situation.
You CAN get over a toxic relationship!
As this article comes to a close, I want you to remember one very important thing. As difficult as things may feel right now, this period is temporary. Sometimes we need to go through incredibly challenging periods to meet the people we are meant to become. If you are proactive during this period, which you are, you will see that this is a transformative time and you are going to come out of this stronger, and happier than ever before.
Life has a funny way of doing this, but I am very excited for all the good things to come for you.
So remember, now is the time to bring a sense of freshness into your life through your activities and your surroundings, and set yourself up for longterm happiness and success by focusing on your goals. If you’re like more in-depth tools that will help you to bounce back after a bad breakup, I encourage you to read this article.
I sincerely wish you all the very best in life and love,
Your coach for getting over a toxic relationship