A Jewish Matchmakers Guide to Recognizing Toxic Behavior

The saying “love is blind” is not without its truth, its benefit, and its detriment. When we think our man is the handsomest, the most intelligent, the most creative, and the sexiest – we are seeing him through the rose-colored glasses of love and affection – all good so far. But when we turn a blind eye to toxic behaviors that clearly reflect he is not viewing us through a loving filter, we need to take off those glasses and see reality in all its painful glory- and get out.

Why do we make excuses for bad behavior? Because we want to be wanted; we need to be needed; we love to be loved, and there is nothing wrong with these desires. It is only wrong when the man is wrong for us. So if you’re second-guessing a relationship, then it’s time to get down and dirty with some honest perspective. If you are justifying his behavior with any of the following excuses, start loving yourself more than you love him, and let him go.

He’s busy/needs space: We all need some time alone, but if his alone time takes up more time than your together time, find a more involved partner. If you find yourself sitting home alone while he’s out doing “his thing” the only understanding you need to do is to understand that he prefers to fill his time with activities that don’t include you. Is this a partner?

He’s just not communicative: Most of us could improve our communication skills and the best place to start is with yourself. Be honest and brave in voicing what you need from the relationship. If he still can’t provide it, then his issue is not communication. Tell him what you want and break it off if he is unable to meet those needs. A good partner wants to make you happy; a bad partner won’t even try.

He’s not ready: How long are you willing to put your needs on hold? If he isn’t ready for the mutual give-and-take of a meaningful relationship, it is not in your best interest to wait until he is (he may never be). You don’t need a diamond in the rough- you deserve a diamond. Go find one.

He doesn’t know how to love: We can all use some lessons in how to love. It’s not something that is taught in school, and many of us had less-than-perfect role models for this particular art. The most we can do is be willing to try. Is he trying to love you better? Do you see improvement in his ability to love you the way you want to be loved? If he is unable to demonstrate caring and concern in a way that makes you feel loved, it is time to start loving yourself enough to walk away.

He’s going through stuff: We’re all going through stuff. Life is all about going through stuff. The key to a good partnership is that you go through stuff together. If he pulls away when he’s stressed and has a hard time letting you in and sharing the burden, eventually that stuff will tear you apart. Find a man who appreciates having your ear to bend and your strength to rely on and you’ll be able to weather the storms of life together.

He’s had his heart broken: Yes he has- and you’ve had your heart broken too. But you’re here in this relationship ready to move forward. If he isn’t ready to move forward with you and put the past in the past, then he is not ready for another relationship. Don’t wait around until he is. You cannot heal his wounds. Find a man who has learned from past heartbreaks and applies those lessons to creating a healthier partnership with you.

It’s not his fault: He had a rough childhood; he’s misunderstood: If truth be told, most of us are wounded children. Getting through childhood with no emotional scars is next to impossible. And those scars have made us into the person we are today. The question is, are we better for them or worse? It takes some inner healing to turn those wounds into our source of strength, and if your man is using his wounds as an excuse for his bad behavior instead of a source of growth and betterment, then you are way too enlightened for this partnership. Look for a man who has done some inner work and has become a better person for it.

I won’t find anyone else: If you are staying in a toxic relationship because you don’t want to be alone then you are the one who is not ready for a relationship. Take a break from dating and start practicing some self-love.

The truth is, you are never alone and the one person who can give you exactly what you need is yourself. Get to know yourself and start lavishing all that love that you have inside on the one person who is guaranteed to deserve it- you! Once you’ve gotten to know yourself, fallen in love with yourself, and expressed that love in all the ways that you want it expressed, you will be ready to love someone else. And when you have truly reached that state of loving yourself, you will be a magnet to the man whom you can love with no excuses.

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