For years, time and time again, I found myself trapped in toxic and unhealthy relationship patterns. Through all of my heartbreak, I learned valuable lessons about love, romance, and my own relationship with myself. The most profound insight I gained is that love is blind. When we are enamored with our partner, we may ignore the red flags that tell us that they aren't right for us. We downplay or make excuses for their mistakes. We rationalize the way they mistreat us. We assure ourselves of their potential. We hone in on all of their positive traits instead of being honest with ourselves. We reminisce about the amazing memories we shared in the beginning of the relationship to escape the harsh reality of the present moment. We want so badly for them to be "The One" that we lose ourselves amidst all of the signs that tell us otherwise.
"There are lots of obvious reasons that people stay in relationships when it’s going well," Raeeka Yaghmai, the founder of Dating With Confidence, tells Bustle. "When the communication is good, you feel appreciated, and there is mutual respect, there are lots of reasons to feel comfortable about where the relationship is going. But what about when things aren’t going so well? Oftentimes the things that would cause a breakup slowly enter the relationship, and at other times, it should be obvious but your own beliefs and rationalizations can get in the way."
And these beliefs may sound familiar. "When people have limiting beliefs (such as I’m too old to find love, I’m not lucky enough, Dating is too hard to deal with) or come from a place of scarcity (I won’t be able to find something better,I’m not loveable), it can be easy to get trapped in a relationship," she says.
In fact, these rationalizations can even lead you to be in fantasy relationship without realizing it. "These can also cause one to be in a “pseudo” relationship — in these situations, there really isn’t a partnership. People create a fantasy of what their relationships are, choosing to call the sheer comfort of someone being there a relationship," Yaghmai says. "This can also be caused by a fear of loneliness or a resistance to adopting the mindset that needs to be in place in order to find love in the dating process."
So how do you get out of your head and listen to your intuition when you're in a relationship that's not right for you? Here's how 13 Millennials knew their partner wasn't right for them.