We can all conclude that at some point in our lives, we’ve acted in some emotionally toxic manner, pushing people away. After all, we are mirrors of each other. Sometimes the things we don’t like in others are those we suppress in ourselves. But when it comes to relationships, what are we doing that attracts these emotional vampires and toxic partners?

Here are five behaviors that attract toxic partners (and how to avoid them):

toxic partner

1. Toxic partners take things too personally.

You are only responsible for your behavior. Unfortunately, we live in constant concern about what others think of us. When we take things personally, we attract drama in our lives. We stop being authentic to our spirits. If you constantly internalize things, you will attract those negative characteristics to your relationships.

In a relationship, there are two people. You cannot possibly know every situation in your partner’s life. Therefore, don’t take it personally when he/she is having a bad day. It could be work-related. It could be something completely unrelated to your union. If you don’t want over-sensitivity to be part of your partnership, it’s time to recognize what is yours and your partner’s. It’s also essential to have the freedom to have your own set of friends. Each person needs their space.

2. Jealousy.

The green-eyed monster is birthed through insecurities. Nothing is more toxic in a relationship than jealousy. The ego will create these elaborate scenarios that play on childhood traumas, past relationships, and old beliefs. When someone is insecure, it will conjure up drama that’s not there. You will also attract cheaters, liars, and manipulators into your life. Dr. Ayala M. Pines, the author of Romantic Jealousy: Understanding and Conquering the Shadow of Love, says, “Jealousy is a reaction to a perceived threat–real or imagined–to a valued relationship or to its quality. A nationwide survey of marriage counselors indicates that jealousy is a problem in one-third of all couples coming for marital therapy. This helps explain our fascination with stories about the wild things some people are driven to do.”

If you have a reason to feel insecure, it’s time to take accountability for your partnership. Are there infidelity issues involved? What is the root of the insecurities? Relationships based on these doubts, uncertainties, and distrust are not worth living. Jealousy is maddening and can show off as pure insanity when it’s at its highest level of emotional turmoil. If things keep coming up, then it’s best to look hard at reality. Reality is based on your perception. So, check it out and see what is causing this imbalance.

3. Toxic partners might be carrying past pain.

Past traumas, events, and hurt carry on into all facets of our lives. When you piggyback these emotions, you are not living in the moment. You are connecting, attracting, and revamping those issues over and over. We are all wounded. We have all been hurt to some degree. How we process that heartache determines how fast we heal and to what level of forgiveness. You cannot blame your new partner for what the last one did.

There will always be pain until you face the past, process it, and let it go. Get help through counseling, spiritual guidance, or support groups. These types of issues manifest in addiction which we attract in others. It’s essential to accept your past. Your experiences have made you stronger. Dr. Mark Banschick once wrote,

“We learn from our need to forgive. Even if you were hurt terribly, like with a rape or a financial scandal, there may be a place for forgiveness, if not to the one who hurt you, than to a God that may have watched while it happened, or to a situation in which there was nobody there to protect you. There’s always a place for healing and forgiveness can help you heal. Make a difference in the present and the future. If you had been abused, you may wish to protect the world and others from such a fate. This is the next step in forgiving a terrible wrong.”

4. Negative thought patterns.

A negative person will attract a pessimistic partner. Often, we take on the victimization role while our partner takes on the martyr one. We are so miserable in other parts of our lives that we carry these negative patterns into our love life. Unfortunately, a negative person will dispose of your dreams, self-worth, and abilities and disarm you with their judgment and opinions.

How do you break the negative pattern? You begin to reward with positive reinforcements. You start to find joy by being honest. You’ll start to look at the real issues in your relationship. You also begin to realize that you have control of your life and your future. You are not in a cage. When you wake to these realizations, you can no longer return to unhappiness, where your spirit is degraded.

5. Judgment and criticism.

In a perfect world, love is unconditional. Unfortunately, in reality, love is conditional. It is based on our reality and expectations. Therefore, our perception shifts and changes as relationships go on. Judgment and criticism become the meter on which conditional love sustains itself. We are taught to analyze others to get what we need.

To some extent, judgment can be constructive if done healthily, helping each other grow. But, constant criticism, nagging, and negative input are hurtful and destructive. A relationship that is driven by demoralizing another, by putting a person down, is abusive. Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. The person in the relationship has their self-esteem and worth manipulated by another.

Abuse of any kind is unacceptable. No one has power over you, including a mate. This is a form of control to get you to stay in the relationship. You have the ability and tenacity to do anything in your life. You don’t owe anyone the right to ownership. It takes years to heal from severe judgment and criticism. It carries over to other parts of our lives: parenthood, careers, and other relationships. Get help by getting support for your emotional body. That person will most likely be gone whenever you stop the bull-dozing behavior and set boundaries. They need to be in charge.

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Final Thoughts on Toxic Partners

There is a healthy balance in a good relationship. When two people get together, challenges will always be, but you don’t have to participate in toxic energy. You are not there to fix anyone. A healthy and loving relationship enhances your best characteristics. It consists of love, trust, respect, equality, and acceptance.