Do you need to find peace and self-love after a toxic relationship?
In the wake of a toxic relationship, it can be hard to see past the pain and mistrust. It’s common to struggle with trust issues and self-love after being hurt by someone you cared about.
Yes, I understand that you are feeling confused, and angry and that life seems so unfair. And I often hear the phrase ‘but how could they just move on so quickly….. like I didn’t exist.’
But there is a silver lining to even the darkest cloud— in this case, it’s the opportunity for personal growth and transformation and ultimately to find peace and self-love.
In response to pain, we have the opportunity to change our beliefs in ourselves, values, and behaviors in order to move forward in a healthier direction. And yes, you can and will do the same, even if you can’t imagine it right now.
Toxic relationships are catalysts for personal growth if we respond appropriately.
There is no perfect way to recover from a toxic relationship. Every person processes things differently and has unique needs at different points in their life.
But with a positive mindset, you will find peace and self-love again and you will be able to rebuild your life, one step at a time.
It’s possible to find peace and self-love after a toxic relationship by working on the following:
- practicing self-care and forgiveness
- rebuilding your self-confidence
- cultivating trust in yourself and others
- committing to boundaries
- developing new dating habits
- maintaining strong friendships with people you love and trust
Find peace and self-love by practicing self-care and forgiveness.
When we’re still reeling from the aftermath of a toxic relationship, it can be hard to see the next steps to take. It’s common to feel disorientated and alienated from our normal rhythm of life. So it’s helpful to focus on self-care to begin moving forward in life and finding a new rhythm.
Taking care of yourself after a toxic relationship is essential for finding peace and self-love again. You might be tempted to push yourself through the pain, but this will actually prolong your recovery.
Take the time to heal, and rediscover yourself so that you are able to make the necessary changes that will result in you finding peace and self-love.
Self-care can be as simple as giving yourself the time to heal and practice self-compassion.
Just breathe and find acceptance in your past and how you were treated. You are probably feeling very anxious and exhausted and need to rest. Nothing complicated or costly is required.
If you have been betrayed or hurt by someone you cared about, forgiveness might play a big part in your journey toward healing so that you can find peace and self-love.
The ability to forgive is one of the most transformative experiences we can have.
Forgiveness means letting go of resentment and anger towards the person who hurt you so that you can find peace and self-love within the framework of your new life.
It does NOT mean forgiveness by condoning what you went through within your toxic relationship.
Allowing the resentment and anger to fester will keep you stuck in your current situation and will sap you of all the energy needed to rebuild your life.
Forgiveness just means letting it all go and focusing on you and your future so that you can find peace, self-love, and the silver lining.
Rebuilding your self-confidence.
It can be easy to lose faith in your own abilities in the wake of a toxic relationship. It’s easy to begin questioning your choices, especially if the relationship was full of manipulation and gaslighting.
Self-confidence is essential to healthy relationships in life, so it’s important to repair any damage done to your sense of self so that you can find peace and self-love.
For many people, taking a break from dating is helpful so you can focus on yourself and your healing journey. It may also be helpful to work with a therapist or coach to process your experience and come back to dating with renewed faith in your own ability to make good choices.
If you don’t like the idea of therapists or coaches, learning more about toxic relationships, what they can do to you, and why you tolerated being involved in one for so long can give you in-depth knowledge of these relationships and a better understanding of yourself.
Alternatively, reading self-help books on self-confidence can be very helpful in boosting your self-confidence.
Cultivate trust in yourself and others.
After a toxic relationship, you will need to build trust in yourself and others.
Being in a toxic relationship often means that your boundaries have been violated by someone that you cared for. These same boundaries have also been violated by you in an attempt to make someone else happy at the cost of yourself.
Going forward you will need to redefine your boundaries. You will need to take time to work out what you find acceptable and what you will no longer tolerate in life. Redefining your boundaries will be the framework that you use to build trust in yourself and others.
It means being honest with yourself about what you need and deserve in life and all relationships. Rediscovering yourself is a process, have faith in that process and take your time.
Once you have redefined your boundaries you will need to commit to sticking to these boundaries.
Expressing these new boundaries to the people around you and the world at large can be done gently and with kindness thus avoiding any conflict that you may be concerned about.
If someone is unhappy about your gently communicated boundaries this should be a red flag for you. It is not an indication of you and your behavior but rather that of the other person’s intentions.
Trust yourself and your choices based on your clearly defined boundaries. The boundaries are there to help you build that trust in yourself and others.
If you are intuitive, listen to your ‘gut feeling’, it’s trying to communicate with you and help you. If you are feeling unsure about your intuition, give it a chance while you learn to trust it and yourself.
Commit to boundaries.
A toxic relationship can show you what you want to avoid in the future.
You can use your experience with a toxic relationship to identify red flags in future relationships. If you notice a specific behavior or pattern, you need to be aware of this and avoid people who display these specific toxic behaviors.
By being present in the moment and being aware of toxic behavioral patterns, you won’t need to be concerned about attracting another toxic relationship.
By being aware of toxic behavioral patterns and being committed to your boundaries, you can actively work to prevent this type of relationship from happening again in the future.
Boundaries are set in place and directly relate to your values, your sense of self-worth, and your confidence.
These need to be thought through and endorsed by yourself so that when you meet new people that may impress you and may make you feel excited about life you don’t allow these boundaries to become blurred trying to make them happy and allow yourself to slip back into a potentially toxic environment.
Having a clear understanding of your own boundaries and having the confidence in yourself to stand by those boundaries will allow you to find peace and self-love after a toxic relationship.
Develop new habits in dating and romance.
A toxic relationship might have been filled with unhealthy expectations and a lot of drama. It may have been filled with intense emotions and exaggerated feelings.
After a toxic relationship, you may want to take time to find yourself and heal. It is healthier for you to adjust to being on your own and rediscovering yourself and what is important to you rather than rushing into another relationship because you are afraid of being alone.
You have spent so much time trying to make someone else happy and fitting into their expectations of you that your sense of self may have become blurred.
Take your time, there is no rush.
One thing that I have learned is that it is better to be single and happy than to be trapped in an unhappy relationship with blurred boundaries, lies, abuse, infidelity….. and yes, the list can just go on and on.
When you do decide to enter into a new relationship, take things very slowly and remember your gentle boundaries. Your new life is on your terms. Do not morph yourself again because you’re afraid of losing someone or something.
Maintain strong friendships.
After a toxic relationship, it can be easy to withdraw from friendships as you feel wounded and the world feels like a foreign place.
It’s important to build and maintain strong friendships with people you trust and love. Friends can help you stay grounded, give you a different perspective and offer you much-needed support.
Friends can also help you process your experience with a toxic relationship so you don’t get stuck in pain, confusion, and anger. With the support of friends and family, you will be able to focus on new positive horizons.
If you’ve been through a toxic relationship, you might :
- have a lot of emotions you need to process
- have thoughts or questions about what happened to you and why
- you may feel confused or ashamed about what happened to you
- you might feel like you don’t deserve love and friendship
- you may be feeling vulnerable
It’s common to feel like you need to process the experience alone. This may be because you’re feeling ashamed, or concerned that people won’t believe you, or it may simply be that your normal was so abnormal that people appear shocked by your story.
Either way don’t allow yourself to be isolated by your own thoughts. It is good to share your feelings and emotions with your friends and people that love you.
If you’re not sure where to begin, you can start with a few simple questions.
- What happened in my relationship?
- What are my feelings about what happened?
- What are my thoughts about what happened?
- What are my wishes for myself and my future?
- What do I want to change in my future?
- What do I want to keep the same in my future?
Reflect on these questions and process these feelings so that you can move on and find peace and self-love.
No matter where you are in your journey, it is never too late to learn from your experiences and find a path to peace and self-love again. How you respond to your experience will determine your future.
Learn from the past, and let it go. Focus on achieving a future that brings you peace, self-love, and happy moments.