How To: Deal With Toxic Exes and Mixed Signals

 “I keep going back to my toxic ex. How do I stop?”

Dear Friend,

So you’re thinking about going back to that one ex that just keeps pulling you in. You know the one. The one that you know is bad for you, but you just can’t seem to shake him/her/them. What do you do?

To begin with, DON’T DO IT. I know you probably love or care for this person deeply, but toxic is toxic and toxic doesn’t just change over night. I know the thrill of being with this person is so much fun and you’re thinking, “They’re not that bad, though”. If this person is effecting your mental health, physical health, or spiritual health, don’t do it.

Toxic people in your life will always have a certain pull for you to come back. This is what they do. They know that whatever it is they are doing to you is hurting you, and I’m sorry to be so blunt, but they don’t care. They only keep you around because you keep coming around. Imagine your best friend in your shoes right now. He/she/they are going back to this one person that hurts them every single time. What would you tell your friend? Would you encourage this person to go back even though you know it won’t end well for them?

Now treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend. If you wouldn’t let your friend go back to a toxic ex, why let yourself? This toxic person is going to pretend to be hurt if you reject them. They’re going to make you seem like the bad guy to play your guilt and compassion for them against you. Don’t let this happen.

If this toxic ex isn’t necessarily a bad person, but they’re just not good for you, tell them. Talk to this person about what doesn’t work with you two. Communication is key. Don’t be vague about what isn’t working. They need to know. They can either improve in these areas, or they can let you go. The truth now will hurt, but prolonging the inevitable will hurt more. Don’t let them talk you out of it if you know you’re not happy or if it’s hurting you. But remember, toxicity is not always on purpose. If your partner doesn’t know that they’re hurting you, TELL THEM. If nothing changes, then you know they were doing it on purpose, or they just don’t care.



“So, I’ve known this guy for a few years and we’ve always been friends and nothing more. He doesn’t know that I think of him as more than a friend and it’s really weird trying to bring it up to him because I don’t want to change anything between us. He gives me mixed signals about the entire situation and he leads me on in a way. I don’t wanna like give up on being with him, but I don’t wanna ruin our friendship either. what should I do?”

Dear Friend,

Mixed signals are so hard to deal with. You’re always left questioning everything: yourself, them, your relationship, etc. But don’t worry. It happens to everyone.

What I’ve learned throughout my life is that if they are not clear with their intentions, they don’t want you. Someone who really wants to be with you will always make it clear. And I know you’re reading this and trying to defend someone by saying, “Well, maybe this person doesn’t know how to express their feelings”. Read what I said again. If someone wants to be with you, they will make it clear. Even if this person is bad at expressing themselves, they will still find ways to tell you. Look at this person’s actions. Watch how they treat you. Words can say one thing, while actions can say an entirely different thing.

Mixed signals usually indicate one of two things. Either they are confused themselves, or they are bored. They don’t want to be with you, but keep you around for entertainment. This ties back in to the toxicity of people in your romantic life. Mixed signals are signals themselves. Talk to this person. I know it’s terrifying and you’re scared of rejection, but rejection happens to everyone. Remember, the worst thing that can happen is this person says no. You’re not going to die. It’s going to hurt, but it’ll stop hurting eventually.

Talk to this person and be as blunt and honest with them as possible. Don’t try to tiptoe around the subject because you’re scared of how they’re going to react. Just say it. Ask them how they feel about you. Tell them to be honest. If they say something like, ‘I don’t know”, then get out of there. You can either wait until this person does know and they’re ready, or you can move on to someone who will make it very clear what their intentions for you are. Clarity is key. If you’re left confused, this person is probably not the person for you.

And remember that somebody loves you! 🙂



One comment

  1. Excellent article! You are very wise for your age…wish I had read this when I was in high school. I hope everyone reads this and accepts that this IS the way it is because the person that wrote this is – RIGHT ON THE MONEY regarding relationships. You will always find another to date and the quicker you realize what is going on and act accordingly, the better off you are. Be honest with yourself and like this is saying, treat yourself like you would your best friend.


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