Thought Catalog

This Is What Love Feels Like When It Isn’t Toxic

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Jacob Townsend

Love doesn’t have to be so hard. It doesn’t have to be so devastating, so exhausting. And love, if it is true love, won’t feel like that.

When love is raw and real and genuine, it’s not going to feel so dark, so lonely. You aren’t going to feel so alone while lying next to someone who you think loves you. You’re not going to feel like the only person in the relationship. You’re not going to feel like you’re the only one trying. Like you’re the only one who actually cares.

Sometimes, toxic love is hard to spot. It’s hard to come to a realization that you are even in one, that you would put yourself in that type of situation. That you would be so naive. That you would be so dumb to believe that he or she cared back. That he or she actually loved you.

But you aren’t dumb or naive. You just have an open heart. You just wanted to feel needed and loved. And you thought that this person could do it for you. You truly thought this this person was different from the rest.

And you thought that he or she would treat you with respect and dignity, instead of with control and insults. You thought that this person would treat you with love and adoration instead of passive aggressive comments and snarls that gave you goosebumps.

But love isn’t supposed to feel like that. You aren’t supposed to duck from their comments and hide from their touch. You aren’t supposed to be so scared. You aren’t supposed to feel like you will die without them, even though they treat you like crap. You aren’t supposed to feel like your self worth has turned to dust. You aren’t supposed to feel like you are nobody without this person.

Because real love isn’t scary. It isn’t frightening or dark. Sure, it’s compromise and arguments and working together, but it’s also compassion and generosity and selflessness.

Real love isn’t selfish. It isn’t mean. It isn’t a bully.

Real love is truthful, but not harmful. It is never question or altering or fading. True love is never violent or loud or scheming. It should never feel like you need to hide your true self from someone else. It should never feel like you need to change. It should never feel like you need to be somebody else.

Real love is about acceptance. It’s accepting one another’s flaws as beautiful, and it’s allowing you both to grow and to bloom together. Real love is about fighting through the hard stuff. It’s about never giving up on your loved one, and it’s about being there for them through better and through worse.

Real love is about coming together as two individuals, but still being your own person. It’s not about being two halves of a whole. It’s about being two wholes, two happy human beings. It’s about being strong separately and being just as strong together. 

Real love is never pushy or jealous or fake. Real love is coming together, and still loving one another, even when you fall and mess up and make horrible mistakes. It is never ever going to judge you.

It is never going to want you to be somebody different than who you are. TC mark

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