Relationships

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5 Differences Between True Love and Toxic Love

Love and lust find their way to us in sometimes unpredictable ways. The two feelings can feel very similar when you're dating someone, but there are definitely some defining differences between the two.

Have you ever been completely infatuated with someone after meeting them, but find yourself sick of them a few weeks later? That's definitely not true love, but it's not exactly toxic love either.

You can be romantic and have intimate relationships without being in love, and those relationships shouldn't become toxic to your mental health.

There are 5 key differences between true love and toxic love in this humble author's mind. Let's dig right in.

Difference #1

In true love, the development of self is most important. Both parties should want the best for one another.

In toxic love, the primary focus is on the relationship itself, sometimes obsessing over how the two people involved interface.

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Difference #2

In true love, there is comfort in separate interests. We can have our own friends and meaningful relationships outside of our romantic relationships. We can pursue interests and ideas without fear of reprimand.

In toxic love, there is total involvement in one another's lives. One can't go anywhere without the other. This is codependency.

Difference #3

In true love, there's no struggle in embracing the individuality of your partner.

In toxic love, there is an obsession with trying to change your partner into someone you'd rather be with instead of loving them for who they are.

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Difference #4

In true love, intimacy is a free choice that grows from love and trust, caring and friendship.

In toxic love, intimacy is something you feel pressured over due to fear, insecurity, and feeling as though you have to conform to the intimate desires of your partner.

Difference #5

In true love, every conversation is constructive, trying to understand and help, or convey affection to your partner.

In toxic love, conversations are intended to blame, defend, or manipulate your partner.

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