By Laura Lifshitz
Do you keep finding yourself in bad relationships that are toxic or abusive? Perhaps unfulfilling or too tumultuous?
Instead of saying, “Oh I just have bad luck” or “I always meet the weird ones” or “Why does this always happen to me?” you need to realize: these relationships aren’t happening to you by chance, but by choice.
People who know how to have healthy relationships did not simply “get lucky” at dating bingo; instead, they made smart, healthy choices about love and their life. That’s why they’re happily and healthily coupled.
Bottom line: a healthy relationship happens by choice, not by chance. Here are five signs you don’t know how to have a healthy relationship.
1. You always meet bad guys.
If you find that every guy you seem to meet is a scumbag, that could be chance... as long as you’re not getting involved with them. If you find that the people you meet and subsequently date are “bad apples,” this comes from how you feel about yourself.
Healthy, happy people do not tolerate bad apples for long, or a second even. Healthy, happy people leave a situation once they realize it’s bad. They don’t stay to end up wounded.
If you’re constantly involved with bad guys, you need to evaluate your own “healthy status.” Like, why do you feel that you deserve to be treated poorly? What do you gain from these bad apples? What do these relationships with bad apples do for you? What do they reinforce in you? Do they mimic relationships you’ve had in the past either with other men or family?
2. You believe love only ever happens because of luck.
You can’t control who you fall in love with, that’s true, but if you find yourself falling in love with the bad ones, it may not really be “love” you’re experiencing. You may just love to feel wanted, may love the attention — no matter how bad or good it is — and you may love the drama. You’ll say you don’t, but you may crave it because you may have grown up in a dramatic household.
Healthy love happens with a little of chance, but also with choice. Healthy people don’t allow toxic people to have an entrance way into their hearts, and if they happen to let a bad person in, they are quick to remove this person.
3. You always assume you’re the victim.
A healthy person knows that his or her love choices are made because of that person’s values, beliefs and confidence in oneself. The person who sits and says, “I met another loser. Why does this happen to me? Why am I always treated this way?” plays the victim and never once stops to think that she had a role in choosing said loser.
Yes, being mistreated is not OK and toxic partners that hurt others are totally in the wrong, but if you are choosing to continue to stay involved with bad partners, you are choosing your own pain. Healthy relationships happen because two healthy people decide to make good choices together, not because they just got lucky.
4. You blame others for your heartache.
Sure, luck and fate bring people into our lives, but just because crazy comes to the door doesn’t mean you have to open it. Healthy people see crazy waiting at the door and they don’t answer. Even if they got blindsided for a minute, once they know the games that person is playing, they stop answering and put a “Do not disturb” sign on the door.
Unhealthy people keep opening the door. Unhealthy people don’t maintain the right boundaries. Unhealthy people blame the sun, moon, and stars for their bad relationships before they’ll even admit that their own bad choices got them to hell and back.
5. You blame others for everything that doesn’t go your way.
Unhealthy partners will always point fingers at the other partner for the relationship’s demise and failings. Healthy relationships consist of two people who recognize their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and then they take responsibility for their own individual actions.
Healthy relationships exist and continue because the two parties in the relationship happen to not only maintain good self-care and self-awareness but they also both believe in developing themselves as individuals. They know that they must be good inside and out in order to be a solid partner for anyone else.
The bottom line is that healthy relationships happen by choice, not by chance. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can start to look at your choices and decide just how valid and healthy they truly are in the first place.
This article originally appeared at YourTango.
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