Last week, I began my creative endeavours by leading a group discussion on identifying toxic signs in relationships.

You may wonder how someone who has always avoided commitment could have insight into relationships.

I have had enough varied experiences to speak with confidence on this matter.

I have gained wisdom, healing, and personal growth despite only dipping one foot in.

Some say that love is blind, and I couldn’t agree more, especially if your understanding of love is superficial.

‘In the fairy-tale of love, you meet a person that captivates you with their charm and attractive looks, which ignites a desire to be with them for a lifetime.’

It is often said that one should not judge a book by its cover.

Still, when looking for a committed relationship, it is crucial to trust your intuition, especially in a world where deceitful individuals abound.

Appearances can be deceiving, as not everyone is as they claim to be.

Some people resort to dishonesty to manipulate situations to their advantage.

‘After the initial bliss of the honeymoon phase fades, the true colours of their personality and character begin to emerge.’

In the initial stages of a relationship, I would have already determined if this person is meant to be in my life for a short period, a specific purpose, or a lifetime.

My theory is founded on observing their actions rather than relying solely on their words.

Respect is the foundational building block of character, setting the tone for all other levels.

The amount of respect they show towards you, themselves, and others is a true reflection of their character.

Respect plays a crucial role in fostering strong bonds and connections in friendships and relationships, spanning various aspects of interaction and communication.

In healthy communication, respect is shown by acknowledging and valuing each person’s viewpoints, creating a safe space where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves honestly without fear of judgment.

It is crucial not to allow anyone to pressure you into making significant life choices without thoroughly researching and considering all options.

It’s simple to lose focus and do something you’ll later wish you hadn’t. This can lead to resentment as you realise you are in a highly uncomfortable position.

Finding the perfect balance in a relationship can be challenging, especially when faced with tasks that contradict one’s beliefs or identity.

Occasionally, individuals may make sacrifices, but it is important not to betray your principles or beliefs to please someone else, especially if it makes you uncomfortable.

It is crucial to set clear boundaries and have the bravery and resilience to say no to things that will not bring you joy.

True love is not about controlling or manipulating someone into being someone they are not. If someone truly loves you, they will accept you for who you are and support you in being your authentic self.

In my studies, I have delved into the risks associated with obsessive behaviours in relationships, many of which are rooted in feelings of insecurity and trust issues.

I always emphasise the importance of taking a break after a failed relationship to focus on self-care and self-discovery.

The conclusion of a relationship is akin to finishing a book. You can either continue the series or start a completely new book.

Once you have gone through self-discovery, healing, and personal growth, you will have evolved beyond the person you once were.

Once you have undergone a personal transformation, there is no turning back. The only direction to go is forward.

If a marriage ends, reconciliation is only possible if both partners actively participate in the transformation process.

Without mutual effort, there is little chance of salvaging the relationship.

One of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve ever been given is to address issues early on and “nip them in the bud.”

Individuals will only behave within their set limits at the start of a relationship.

If someone is unwilling to honour your boundaries, it may be necessary to terminate the relationship.

The real-life situations where individuals have experienced various forms of abuse, including verbal and physical, have unfortunately come to accept it as a regular part of their relationships.

They have endured this behaviour for so long that they have convinced themselves that they couldn’t possibly find anyone better and have no desire to face life on their own.

From a young age, my grandmother instilled in me the belief that if anyone ever laid a hand on me, I should walk away.

This advice and how others communicate with me have always been my guiding principle.

We all have our limits, and while some may not be affected by the profanity of someone’s language during an argument, I view this as a sign of disrespect.

Nobody should treat you as if you are inferior, regardless of how you view yourself.

When respect is absent in a relationship, it is a clear sign that toxicity has taken hold.

People who struggle with insecurities such as low self-esteem and worth may convince themselves that they are unworthy of kindness and respect, and they will tolerate mistreatment from their partner.

Physical, verbal, and emotional abuse is used as a means of exerting control over them.

No one should ever be subjected to such treatment, as every individual deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This behaviour is a warning sign that should be addressed immediately before escalating.

Typically, in the later phases of a toxic relationship, mainly when children are part of the equation, the victim has reached a point of resignation and embraced acceptance.

In the past, women trapped in abusive relationships had limited support systems beyond the walls of their homes. While reaching out to the police for help, they hesitated to file official reports, knowing they would never truly escape the cycle of violence.

Obtaining a restraining order against an abusive partner felt like nothing more than a flimsy document.

Rules seemed to exist solely to be disregarded.

A case must be extremely solid before any action can be taken against the wrongdoers, putting the victim in danger of further harm, potentially even death.

Obsessive behaviour is a red flag in a relationship, as it can quickly spiral into a harmful dynamic.

Encountering a new person should always be an exhilarating experience, notably when it marks the beginning of a significant relationship.

Not every person you encounter will be deceitful, dishonest, or display toxic traits.

Awareness of harmful behaviours and establishing boundaries early on can significantly influence the result.

I understand that, at times, we must endure difficult experiences to develop and evolve.

Regrettably, not everyone will grasp the lesson and may find themselves in repeated cycles of similar relationships.

There is always an opportunity to learn, evolve, and mend. Allowing yourself a pause will enableyou to contemplate where things veered off course.

I once knew someone who believed that only dominant and controlling individuals were drawn to him.

He was often taken advantage of because he was too accommodating and allowed others to mistreat him.

He spent most of his time venting about his relationships. All I could do was suggest he seek self-help through therapy.

Years later, when I saw him again, it was no shock to me. He had found someone who truly complimented him. It was one of those heartwarming stories I cherished and shared among many others.

This demonstrates that by succumbing to these behaviours, you will only stay stuck and deeply dissatisfied.

By having confidence in yourself and investing time in self-discovery through therapy or other methods, you can develop a positive mindset that will naturally attract the right people into your life.

In everything, there must be a balance.

Natalie M Bleau

Scripture of Balance

Scripture of Balance Author & Founder

We need to take back control of our lives, when you find the power within you the battle is almost won!! Live in UK Bipolar Survivor NATALIE M BLEAU