How To Leave A Toxic Relationship When You're Still In Love

It hurts twice as bad.

How To Get Out Of A Toxic Relationship When You Still Love Them getty

If you’re in a toxic relationship, please know that you are not the only one — and you won’t be the last, unfortunately.

A relationship should make you feel secure, respected, happy and cared for. On the other hand, a toxic relationship makes you feel insecure, drained, and depleted, almost as if anything you do isn’t good enough.

No one deserves to be in a relationship where nothing seems to be good enough for the other. What makes this especially difficult is when you still love this person despite how awful they may make you feel at times.


Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to control our feelings for another? I know I would have liked to control my feelings in different relationships.

But imagine how dull life would be if you had that ability? You wouldn’t grow or experience the things that mold you into who you are today. This is why you deserve to be free of this toxic relationship you’re in. To be free and be you with someone who values and appreciates it.

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It’s important to emphasize the concept of reciprocity. If you’re the only one giving and never receiving, it’s a one-sided relationship and isn’t fair to you. It’s hard to see a toxic relationship because sometimes, love is blind.

It won’t be easy and it won’t heal overnight. You will feel pain and hurt. You may feel guilt. Do not let that consume you to the point of going back to someone who you’re fully aware is not good for you in your life. But listen, here, beautiful one, the sun will shine again soon.

If you’re ready to leave someone you love because you know it is toxic for the both of you, read on for some suggestions and guidance on how to leave a toxic relationship, especially when you're still in love with your ex. It will be hard and some days will be better than others, but the pain is temporary.

Here’s a list of suggestions and tips on how to leave someone you love that is toxic and unhealthy for you and your life:


1. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

You don’t have to justify your decision to leave to anyone. Just remember that you know it is an unhealthy and toxic relationship and will not ever be good for you.

2. Know that you deserve the best.

Remind yourself every day that you deserve better and that sometimes, love isn’t enough when you’re not getting your needs met in the relationship.


3. Accept that they won't change.

It’s been a while and your partner hasn't changed. So what makes you think they’ll change months or years down the road? Do you really want to wait and see when you’re most likely going to end up disappointed?

You’re better than that and your partner should know this by now.

4. Know and accept that it will hurt and that you’ll feel pain and sadness.

Make sure you stay fully aware of this fact. It’s a loss and you need to grieve in order to start the healing process. If you stay aware of the possibility that it may get worse before it gets better, you’ll undoubtedly have the strength to get through it.

5. Cut off all communication with the other.



You will not be able to fully grieve and heal with the toxic person a short phone call or text away. It will be hard. But realize that the pain you feel is temporary and if you stayed, the pain would more likely than not be permanent.

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6. Explore the reason this toxic person was in your life and what lessons you learned.

What did you compromise in the relationship that you refuse to in the future? What are you willing to compromise in a relationship? Find the lesson in the pain and your healing will begin.

7. Know that it is okay to still love the person from a distance.

You are able to care about them whether or not they’re in your life presently. But with that, remember why they’re not currently in your life and what led you to end the relationship.


8. Accept that you could not control your partner's actions or behaviors.

The only thing you have control over is how you act, behave and respond to others. You were never going to change your partner and they weren’t going to change if they hadn’t shown signs of improvement yet.

9. Know that it may feel as if leaving feels just as bad if you stayed.

In order to combat this feeling, make sure to live in the present and not the past. It’s easy to take a trip down memory lane and remember all the good times. But if you remain present, you’ll continue to be aware of all the reasons you didn’t stay.


You can leave the person you love because they are toxic. It doesn’t mean you are abandoning them or don’t love them.

It means you’re taking a stand for what you want and deserve in life. It means being with someone who brings out the best in you and supports your aspirations and dreams. It means you’re not willing to settle for anything but the best.

Love is blind. It distorts our perceptions of what is actually happening with what we want. We also don’t want to believe that someone could be this unhealthy and toxic for us.


The thought alone brings tears to your eyes. Again, I promise you the sun will come out again and you’ll notice it shine brighter than ever. It may not be tomorrow or the next day, but it will come out and when it does, you’ll understand that you did what you had to do to live life for you.

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Brittney Lindstrom is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.