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Girl Bye (Breaking Up)

5 Lessons You Learn From Ending a Toxic Relationship

Written by Zamara Perri

It’s never easy to say goodbye.

You loved her.

You still love her.

But you walked away because it was clear to you that the relationship was not worth saving. You were not a forever match. You were wise enough to realize when the enough is enough. And even though it hurts and you miss her, and you love her, you have to block her on your phone, unfriend her on Facebook and change the locks on your apartment.

As you mourn the loss of this relationship, you will learn several valuable lessons along the way.

1 . You Learn to Stop Faking the Funk

You had gone back to her before, but this time is different. On again, off again relationships are common. And it’s not just in lesbian relationships. It’s just that lesbian couples tend to become each other’s best friends, so it sometimes takes years to break up for good.

I’ve known women who have been exes for years, but you couldn’t tell by how much time they still spend together. You’ll soon learn that making a clean break is the best way to get off the on-again, off-again carousel. Especially once you realize that keeping a fake relationship just gives unnecessary access to a manipulative ex.

2. You Can Trust Yourself

So yes, if you are strong enough to walk away and stay gone, then you deserve a medal. Why? Because you are brave enough to leave behind your comfortable yet unsatisfactory and even toxic relationship to face the unknown.

When you break up with someone, you feel like it’s a risk. You worry that maybe you are making a mistake. You worry that you maybe didn’t give it enough time. You worry that you’re never going to find anyone. You worry that you’re abandoning this person who “needs” you. You worry about being lonely. You worry that no one will ever choose you again.

You worry because that’s how most of us treat the future. We don’t think we can create what we want, so we don’t even begin to dream of better. Eventually those voices stop and you’ll start to accept that you made the right decision and start to trust yourself.

3. You Can Create a Better Future

But the truth is when you’re strong enough to walk away from an unhappy relationship for good, you are setting yourself up for a much better life. You are creating space to have the life you want instead of complaining about what you don’t have. That’s called being a victim. Do you want to be one of those women who complain about their relationships and partners but do nothing to change it? Of course not!

4. Walking Away Elevates You

What most people don’t realize is that, when you decide that you want and deserve better, you open up a whole other level of dating than you had settled for before. You hold your head a little bit higher, and you love yourself a little bit more. This mental shift causes tiny, non-verbal ripples that attract a different kind of love than what you had settled for before.

I’ve heard of a couple who stayed together for over a decade where one wanted to get married and have children. Her partner didn’t. Toward the end, they were more room mates than lovers. And soon as the one who wanted to get married decided to end things, the one who claimed she wasn’t interested in marriage or kids, fell in love, got married and immediately got pregnant.

Some people may be confused about what happened, but none of us really should be.

We stay in relationships for many reasons, but if our hearts aren’t in it, then most of those reasons can’t be very compelling.

And sometimes we stay in a relationship to avoid hurting the other partner, forgetting that if we are not truly happy, the other person probably isn’t either.

5. Walking Away Attracts Your Best Match

So when you let go, you are not only releasing your partner to find their better match, but you are also opening yourself up to find the person that is best suited for you.

When you let go, you move on up. When you are no longer putting all your energy into repairing a decaying relationship, you find time to improve yourself. Time alone is your opportunity to work on healing your wounds and getting to know you and what makes you authentically  happy.

And when you meet the one who can appreciate you, flaws and all,  your hearts will recognize each other. You won’t have to push her to commit to you or be faithful or to treat you well. You won’t even have to pretend to be someone you are not. If you look back, you’ll wonder why you ever let yourself settle for so much less than you deserve.

Your future love is out there. Don’t be so afraid to leave that you cheat yourself out of a better future. She will only show herself when you have the courage to create a better you.


Models: @Nadirah.Ali & @AiyanaLewis by @shotbysed (Follow them on Instagram)

Article written by:

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She is a proud u-hauler who loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking for her awesome partner and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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