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How Can a Bad Relationship Affect You

by Danielle Wright

Have you ever been in one of those relationships where the moment it ended you wanted to delete yourself?

Well, I have. When you’ve been in a bad relationship, you can almost feel your personality shift from pleasant to sad to indifferent, and sometimes that indifference can also be towards yourself. You no longer enjoy your hobbies or have any energy to do anything outside of bed rotting.

One of the main reasons "She’s Single" was created was to help other women learn that they are not alone when dealing with a painful breakup or a hard relationship. Sometimes when things go south, we can find ourselves with no one to lean on and no one to listen to us as we sulk or discuss the events that led up to the breakup. Friends become exhausted, and family cannot relate, so you’re often left on your own. Well, there’s someone here for you. With that being said, a bad relationship can lead to having unpleasant thoughts and even indulging in unpleasant behaviors.


One of the first things you’ll notice post-breakup is an uptick in your alcohol intake and a decrease in appetite. The overconsumption of alcohol is a personal choice that oftentimes happens due to depression and the mishandling of a traumatic experience. I remember when my last relationship ended and he physically abused me, I could not share that with family and friends because I felt too ashamed to do so.

Instead, I drowned myself in alcohol, wine to be exact, and before I knew it, I was hiding that from my family. It was a lot of emotions and secrets that led me down a dark path. You don’t want that for yourself because in some cases, that habit can become hard to break. Even when you find yourself climbing out of that sadness, you may revert back to alcohol to numb any negative emotions you experience just out of familiarity.


It’s not uncommon for people to hear something like, “You have to heal before you can get into a new relationship.” But when we have to heal after a relationship has ended, it simply means that something about that relationship left us wounded. There is something in psychology known as the flight or fight response. This is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived to be stressful or frightening.

This threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that prepares the body to fight or flee. Once something happens in your relationship that requires you to question your safety or sanity, then it’s safe to say that it is unhealthy and you need not be there. There are plenty of resources available to you for you to leave a relationship or situation that is no longer serving you. When you enter this point in your relationship and choose to fight (aka stay), you are opening yourself up to more pain and the risk of deeper trauma.

The longer you wait to heal or recover from a wound, the more detrimental it can be to your body. As this relates to relationships, you want to escape at the first sign of trouble. The long-term effects of choosing to fight instead of fleeing an unhealthy relationship will lead you to enter other relationships where things feel familiar. This only infects prior wounds that were left untreated and now you’ve compounded the trauma. Always remember, you only have to heal when you’ve been wounded; escape the first time around to avoid bringing yourself more pain.


Women who have endured bad relationships in the past are triggered in their new relationships. This leads the new partner to compartmentalize you and mistreat you. You will probably accept the mistreatment and argue or express your disdain to the point where you think it’s effective, but men are not wired like us. When we argue, they use this as an excuse to retreat, and many will do so when the issues are unresolved. Unresolved or unfinished business keeps us stuck.

For women, it’s harder to move on from a relationship when we hope and pray that the person will return with an apology or flowers or energy to make us feel validated. The truth is, it won’t happen. When we choose the wrong partner back-to-back, it’s no coincidence—each bad relationship only leads to more bad relationships. The only solution is to stop ending up with bad people and start choosing differently. One can argue that there isn’t better to choose from, but that’s not the case.

Most men are not bad men; most men are influenced by their environment to behave a particular way because toxicity is what many women respond to. Women add value to men who are elusive and unkind, while devaluing the men who are attentive and respectful. Women then complain that as a “nice” girl, men don’t treat her well, but it’s safe to say that as a “nice” guy, women don’t choose him. How do we fix this? It is an endless cycle of pointing the finger rather than taking accountability and simply just being ourselves. If the person you are does not attract the person you want, simply move on.


Misery loves company, and the more guarded you are because of a bad relationship, the less likely you will find or meet a better person. Never go back to what hurt you thinking that they can heal you and stop seeking love from a carbon copy of the person who hurt you. You need to think outside of the box and escape the trap that you’ve set for yourself.

Men respond to women who are kind, charismatic, nurturing, and feminine. You do not have anything to prove to anyone. If any person interested in you is not willing to go above and beyond to impress you, then it’s safe to say that they do not value you. When you overcompensate for the opposite sex, you open yourself up to a host of disappointment—he will never reciprocate your kindness when he’s done nothing to warrant it in the first place. This leads to bad relationships and all of the aforementioned issues.

As you can see, there are a number of ways that a bad relationship can affect you, which is why it is crucial for you to, above all else, prioritize yourself (physical and mental health). Do not allow anyone to knock you off your throne because the journey to getting back there can be grueling.


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