Confessions of a (Reformed) Toxic Girlfriend
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Confessions of a (Reformed) Toxic Girlfriend

Watch out for these red flags in a partner

Eight years ago, I was the toxic one in all my relationships—and I was totally clueless about it.

I often wondered why my relationships failed. After an overwhelming amount of heartache, self-reflection, therapy, and prayer, I've finally seen the light.

This incredible journey has granted me the invaluable opportunity to reflect on my past actions and recognize the detrimental patterns that once eluded me. It's also given me the chance to warn you of the red flags that are red for a reason. Take heed: Hhere are four traits of a modern toxic girlfriend.

1. She constantly seeks attention and validation from others

In my pursuit of external validation, I craved compliments, reassurance, and constant admiration to feed my ego. Whether it was through flirtatious behavior, dressing provocatively, or repeatedly seeking confirmation of my attractiveness, I was always looking for the next fix.

Let me tell you about the time I was at a bus stop with my then-boyfriend. We’re coming out of this fancy performance, feeling all cultured and sophisticated, ready to head home and call it a night. Yet our evening took an unexpected detour when I turned I put on my own show that was heavy on theatrics and mind games.

So there I was, holding hands with my man when suddenly this guy appears out of nowhere. And let me tell you, he was in a whole different world, swaying back and forth like a Roman model. His eyes were locked onto me like a heat-seeking missile. I couldn’t help but wonder if he mistook me for a celebrity. I stared right back and shot him a wink. Of course, my boyfriend lost his s**t. And somehow, I blamed him for overreacting.

A constant need for validation led me to engage in attention-seeking behaviors that were harmful to both myself and my relationships. I would flirt with others, seek attention from exes, or intentionally create drama to keep the focus on me. It was a toxic cycle that left me feeling empty and my partners feeling neglected and utterly confused.

Related: Being Nice Is Not Your Golden Ticket to a Woman’s Heart or Her Bed

2. She posts every detail of her love life on social media

I used to spend so much time and energy crafting the perfect image on social media, making sure that everyone knew how amazing my love life was. I would post every detail of every date night, every romantic gesture, and every heartfelt message for the world to see.

Little did I know this behavior was not only toxic but also detrimental to the actual relationship. I was more invested in curating the perception of a perfect romance than nurturing the connection with my partner. I prioritized likes, comments, and validation from strangers over genuine connection and intimacy.

3. She plays the victim and avoids taking responsibility

I once loved playing the victim. Whenever a relationship didn't work out, I'd dump all of the blame onto the other person. I painted myself as the innocent wronged party while failing to take any accountability for my own part in the breakup.

By refusing to acknowledge my part in the downfall of those relationships, I remained stuck in a cycle of repeating the same toxic patterns. It wasn't until I took ownership of my mistakes and began to work on myself that I was able to break free from this destructive behavior.

Related: The Most Frustrating Aspects of Dating Men, According to Seven Black Women

4. She belittles and manipulates her partner

Toxicity can also manifest in the form of belittling and manipulation. I would often criticize my partner, making him feel small and inadequate. I would guilt-trip or withhold affection to control and manipulate them into behaving how I wanted.

There was a time a then-boyfriend and I were all dressed up for a fancy dinner, ready to indulge in some mouthwatering cuisine. But before we could dig in, I noticed he wasn’t wearing the beige tie I had asked him to wear. My fingers began doing the Cha-Cha Slide on the table. I was giving him the stink eye because how dare he not accessorize to match my dress. The dinner went from fine dining to a culinary catastrophe.

I had an invisible checklist that was ticked off every single day—and heaven forbid he missed even one box, which, inevitably, would happen often.

Related: I’m a Polyamorous Black Man Dating Eight Women. I See How That’s a Massive Mistake.

The aforementioned toxic behaviors not only eroded trust and love within the relationship but also left my partner feeling emotionally drained and unappreciated. It took a lot of self-reflection and personal growth to realize the damage I was inflicting and to put an end to these toxic habits.

Now that I am out of that mentality, it feels as if the world has completely opened up to me. I see myself and my romantic relationships much more clearly. I see relationships as the coming together of two whole people, and not two broken people trying to complete each other.

Shedding light on toxic women is an essential part of promoting healthy relationships. By recognizing and addressing these toxic behaviors, we can all strive for personal growth, self-awareness, and healthier connections with our partners. It's never too late to break free from these harmful patterns and build the loving, respectful relationships we deserve.

This post originally appeared on Medium and is edited and republished with author's permission. Read more of Dona Mwiria's work on Medium. You can also subscribe to her email list here.