TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS: WHY AND HOW YOU SHOULD AVOID THEM | BY DAVIDA ROACH
You know what I hate? When someone knows they are in the wrong, but refuses to apologize, or apologizes, and it’s not sincere because they do it again.
I’ve had my fair share of toxic relationships, in fact, I think I’ve had way too many! But this is why I am here to share with you my take on what toxic relationships are and how to avoid them. Before diving in this topic, let’s look up the word toxic. Toxic is an adjective referring to something that contains or is poisonous material especially when capable of causing DEATH or serious debilitation (debilitation means to make someone weak).
Since it is October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I want you to clearly understand me and know that toxic relationships can lead to death. When you are in a toxic relationship, you become weak and make poor judgments. You end up losing love and respect for yourself because you expect someone else to do it for you. When they know you have given them this responsibility, they dictate how you live, and sometimes how you die.
I still remember the circumstances I faced while I was in a toxic relationship, and telling my friends how my boyfriend at the time would disrespect me, and they would say things like “and why are you still with him? Don’t you know any better?” and because the relationships were so toxic, I became weak, and did not know any better. I thought I did, but I was too vulnerable to leave. I allowed the poison from my toxic relationships to affect me and I became poisonous. I was jealous of my friends who were happy, emotionally disturbed when things did not go right, depressed when my ex cheated me, and overall weak.
But from my counseling, book reading, soul searching, self-empowerment, and other things, I learned to love myself and not take the bullsh*t anymore.
Story time: This summer this guy I was dating (for only three weeks) flew me to Vegas for the Sigma convention (my first time as a Zeta dating a Sigma). Before we went, I was skeptical but I was like “what the heck, it’s summer, I might as well go” so I went. This was a huge mistake! Although he paid for everything, I had to deal with certain things like him looking at other women when we were together, random mood swings, etc. But the deal-breaker was when we went to the ball on our last night together. At the end of each ball, the Sigmas do a ritual and at the end, they give their Zeta lady a lei. So minutes before he came to me, this old man (old enough to be my granddad) handed me a lei and said “hey, you can have my lei” I said “sure why not” and I held it in my hand. When my guy came to me, he snatched the lei out of my hand and said “who tf gave you that” I said it was an old man and for him to calm down.
He got upset and basically told me I disrespected him. I told him I didn’t mean to upset him, and it was not that serious, but he still had an attitude. After silence, he gave me the lei and I told him I was ready to leave (mind you we were supposed to go to this all white party right after). So on our way out, I heard Beyonce-Before I Let Go. I said “wait, can we stop really quick? I love this song!” This dude had the nerve to yell at me “No! You can dance at the f*cking party we are going to next!” and that was the end of the “relationship”. I chose not to say anything to cause a scene, but I did let him know how wrong he was when we got back and I eventually cut him off. I can’t imagine how things would be if I stayed with him, even after he offered to invest in my business and take me on another trip. I would rather spend time investing in myself, than allowing someone to invest their money into me who’s not vested in me.
One thing about toxic relationships is that you waste a lot of time and last time I checked, you can’t get time back. Can you imagine calling God and filing a dispute or starting a claim for your time back (or even your body count)? No, because it’s not possible! This is why God loves us enough to show us the signs of a toxic relationship, and he definitely showed me signs when I was in Vegas.
To avoid wasting your time, here is a list of things to look out for in your relationship or potential relationship:
1. Poor communication-if they suck at communicating with you, especially if they are going to be late for a date you both have set up, then that means he does not respect your time and not even you. Poor communication creates opportunity for lies.
2. Financial dependence-If a man has to ask you for help on things like a car payment, rent money, cell phone bill money, groceries, etc., and if you give it to him, what do you think will happen when you stop all of a sudden? You think he will treat you the same? Negative-my beloved sister Deanndra gave her ex-boyfriend money all the time and took him shopping. She often allowed him to use her card for certain things. This was until she stopped and got in a relationship with someone else. He grew so jealous, and greedy that he murdered her. He knew she had $700 in her account and that’s what he wanted. Minutes after he killed her, he went to the ATM machine to clean out her accounts (which he was unsuccessful, so he ordered a Michael Kors watch and tossed her debit cards). He even killed her while wearing a pair of shoes she bought for him! Needless to say, stop giving men your money, act like your life depends on it!
3. Lying about small things-If he lies about things like his smoking habits, whether or not he lives with his mom, where he works, etc., then he will continue to lie to you just as long as you believe him.
4. Ghost a man who is truly interested in you will never ghost you. Not even a day, because he knows that there are billions of other men in the world, and he wants to make sure you are not considering anyone else, so he’ll make himself known.
5. Blaming you for things out of your control-if he blames you because he’s late for work because of an argument, or blames you because he’s broke from spending money on you, this is not a good sign.
6. Extreme PDA-if a man grabs or smacks your butt in public, especially in the presence of other men, he doesn’t respect you, he’s just claiming his territory.
7. Wandering eyes-If he looks at other women while you are out together, he obviously does not respect you, and he’s most likely a cheater. If you want to test this out, introduce him to one of your female friends and watch his eyes.
8. Eye contact-people who lie, do not give the best eye contact. Also, he’s not that into you if he does not give you eye contact when you guys are talking to each other.
9. Mood swings-if he can go from 0-100 real quick for something minor, its time to run. Men with mood swings can be very violent (I’ve seen it as a detention officer).
10. Tone in his voice-Watch how he carries his tone when you guys don’t agree on something. If he yells and uses vulgar language, he’s violent with his words and more than likely, he will be violent with his hands.
If you notice any of these signs, please do yourself a favor and leave that person. The moving on process will be far greater than staying in. I understand if you met someone who has good money, good sex, has a nice house, drives a nice car, and willing to take you around the world, but it means nothing if he is toxic. Embrace your singleness and love yourself, or no one else will.
Lose the insecurity and secure yourself.