How to Get Over a Toxic Relationship & Avoid Unhealthy Relationships

By Jennifer Karami

When it comes to toxic, unhealthy, or even abusive relationships, Ginger Dean (@lovingmeafterwe on Instagram) tells it like it is. Her comments are filled with people lamenting “I feel called out,” “You didn’t have to do me like that!” and even more “I needed this.” Ginger ruthlessly breaks down the societal conditioning that promotes Disney-type fast-moving romances as the ideal healthy relationships (spoiler alert – they’re not).

With nearly 100k followers, Ginger’s words clearly resonate with many women. Among a multitude of therapist accounts, hers stands out because of how brutally honest she is, like a sister or friend giving you tough-love advice. For instance:

“Your need for early chemistry keeps you in a cycle of toxic relationships because you’re mistaking shared trauma for compatibility.”

Yowch. Idk who needs to hear this, but in order to understand why you keep repeating the pattern of chasing unavailable people, you must understand your role in perpetuating the cycle, and how your wounded inner child is pleading for help.

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Here are some of Ginger’s posts on how to get over a toxic relationship, avoid unhealthy relationships in the future, and heal relationship trauma.

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How to get over a toxic relationship in 6 Steps

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“Healing after a toxic relationship requires serious commitment and intention. The journey is never linear, can at times be painful, and you’ll want to quit. You’ll want to quit because your expectation is that it’ll be fast and linear. But it doesn’t work that way. 

If you want to get over a toxic relationship, you’ll need to commit to the process. Just as you may want a committed relationship that weathers the storm of life, you must first learn to commit to yourself in the same way.

But how exactly does one move on from a toxic relationship? There’s so much information out there, it’s hard to decide where to start. While everyone’s journey will be different, these 6 stages cover all practical bases on your journey to recovering from a toxic relationship:

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  1. Shift from a victim to a “vixen” mindset. Commit to the journey, declare your intention, and decide to heal.
  2. Take a break from relationships to heal and create safety within yourself, your relationships, and your body.
  3. Deepen your awareness of past relationship trauma, explore parts of you that still need attention, and discover how old wounds show up today.
  4. Heal old wounds by doing inner child work, setting boundaries, and learning your triggers. As long as your unconscious pain points exist, toxic choices will persist.
  5. The rebirth: Develop self-care rituals, increase self-confidence, declutter straggler relationships, and birth the best version of yourself
  6. Get support: Mentorship facilitates transformation and accountability while navigating blind spots.

This means taking a break from dating and relationships for a little while as you focus on yourself. During this time, you’ll focus on learning the lessons you may have missed in previous relationships, heal old wounds, and rebirth the best version of yourself. From experience, I can tell you that the beautifully self-assured woman you meet on the other side is everything you’ve always wanted to be.”

6 Ways to Avoid UnHealthy Relationships Going Forward

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“Our dance with toxic relationships is largely unconscious. But after so many of them, there comes a point where you make a subconscious declaration: “This can’t be life. There has to be a better way.” Then you find that all those messy relationships start falling apart. It’s because of that small declaration you made. Your subconscious goes to work in order to show you a better way.

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At this point, we start our journey back to ourselves: back to self-love and into the realm of understanding and embodying conscious love. In order to understand how to avoid unhealthy relationships, we have to wade through the messy recesses of our past and truly start becoming aware of where we need to heal our patterns, behaviors, boundaries, and self-love. No one is coming to save you.  This WORK is all about how you choose to get started.

You can continue the path you’ve been on and keep getting your heart and inner child dragged within an inch of their life, or you can set out on a new path of self-discovery and exploration. It isn’t easy.  But the rediscovery of self is one of the most beautiful journeys you’ll ever take in life.

From a practical perspective, this is how you get started learning and practicing how to avoid unhealthy relationships:

  1. See your partner for who they are through the lens of self-love and high self-worth, not through the lens of fantasies, projections, unmet needs, and old emotional wounds.
  2. Heal the inner little girl that engages in fantasizing, romanticizing, obsessions, and projections.
  3. Pay attention to patterns (on both sides) in previous relationships that continue to show up today.
  4. Acknowledge all red flags as facts
  5. Create new boundaries and set new standards
  6. Know your worth and add taxes. Stop giving discounts to people who can’t and won’t pay full price.”
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We live in a society that tells women the solution is to get their ex back or find someone else to get under in order to "move on". "Meet someone new" they said. "Get out there and have fun" they shouted. . . Never, "take the time to heal". Because we think loneliness is of the devil and no one wants to feel alone.  When we are alone, that's when we're confronted with the old feelings we've been avoiding and using others as shields to hide from them. . . Unbeknownst to us we subconsciously choose people and situations to help us learn, grow and love ourselves again so we might as well settle into the process because we can't escape it. We all have baggage. Our goal is to find a safe person with which we can unpack, be vulnerable again within the corrective emotional experience of a conscious relationship. . . We MUST heal …. and know that this is an ongoing process just as learning and keeping our bodies healthy doesn’t end. The work continues. . . . Our MIND Becoming aware of our thoughts, how they impact our feelings which govern the actions we take and then the results we have.  These thoughts give birth to new habits, help us formulate new boundaries while keeping us aware of what we need when faced with difficult situations. . . Our BODY This is where we store the feelings we forget.  The Body Keeps Score is a great book which deals with how the body remembers what the mind forgets.  This is where we feel triggered as well as emotional distress.  These physiological reactions hijack our ability to think clearly for example when working to leave a toxic relationship.  Our . . FEELINGS take over because we experience them in our body and this affects our ability to make healthy decisions. . . Sure we can read all the books and do all the things but we need to feel safe due to the inevitable feelings of dread, hopelessness, anxiety and panic. . . Our HEART This is our inner little girl (or boy). She runs our emotional show and the work needed to reparent our inner little one lies in our hearts. . . If you're ready to heal your heart and jump off the cycle of toxic relationships the new Inner Circle masterclass addresses this exact topic. Link in bio!

A post shared by Ginger Dean | Psychotherapist (@lovingmeafterwe) on

Books on How to Get Over a Toxic Relationship

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Of course, Psychotherapy can be extraordinarily beneficial to our healing, but it’s often expensive and inaccessible. That’s why we’re grateful for therapists like Ginger who create content, post online, share wisdom, and create communities to help people stop getting trapped in the toxic relationship cycle. As she likes to say, we’re not doing that anymore!

Ginger Dean lovingmeafterwe Psychotherapist

Ginger hosts The Inner Circle, an online platform for women ready to end the cycle of rejection, abandonment, and heartbreak so they can heal and build confidence.

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