CEBU CITY, Philippines — A healthy relationship should bring out the best in each partner. But when you do things to limit your partner’s growth, that’s toxic love.
True love starts when you truly love yourself. As cliche, as it sounds, this is the clinical perspective provided to CDN Digital by a local clinical psychologist.
A healthy partner, according to Dr. Anna Kathrina Oaminal-Watin, is a healthy person in all aspects— physical, emotional mental, social, and sexual.
“A romantic relationship becomes unhealthy when one or both of the parties refuse or could be incapable of kindness and generosity. These two are the foundation of mutual liking, then, later on, to love.” Dr. Oaminal-Watin noted.
A relationship, in general, requires kindness and generosity in order to allow giving and taking. It is imperative that for a romantic relationship to bloom, the kindness and generosity we may readily give to a romantic partner needs to be innate first.
“To love another requires loving yourself. Compassionate to others, but more to the self. Gentle with others, but more with the self,” Dr. Oaminal-Watin emphasized.
It is especially important to note that many toxic relationships that we know, have heard of, or even experienced can be detrimental to mental health.
It can lead to great emotional distress, anxiety, and depression.
In the worst cases, it can result in self-injury.
“Self-harm, according to Dr. Oaminal-Watin, can be made as a ploy to manipulate the other. However, it can also be a raw reaction to frustration and a sense of helplessness.”
Here are some common unhealthy loving signs according to Psychology Today:
· Controlling behaviors – the attempt to control your partner’s behavior by telling them what to think, feel, and do.
· Manipulation – gaslighting, ghosting, and lying are some common manipulation tactics
· Disrespect and belittling – name calling and constant negativity in your conversations with your partner
· Possessing the partner – being too demanding to a point where your partner forcibly shuts out everybody else for you.
· Losing yourself – losing your individuality
· Double standards – creating rules for your partner that you do not apply for yourself.
They say all we need is love. But to what extent?
When to let go
Dr. Oaminal-Watin bared that she had been asked numerous times on when to let go, to which she asks this question, “Is the relationship good for you?”
The answer, she said, can be used as a guide on what options one has and the best action to take to solve the problem. It takes a level of realization to have a clearer vision of what you should do to correct the situation, she added.
Humans constantly evolve. Therefore, how we perceive love to be is also evolving.
As long as we create a sound relationship with ourselves first, and open up to learning curves along the way, that healthy love everybody aspires for will always be within reach.
It all begins and ends with you. /rcg