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I Can Buy Myself Flowers: Leaving A Toxic Relationship
Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert
Can You Be Happier Alone?
A song that many people have been singing loudly lately is the new hit by Miley Cyrus called "Flowers." The song is about someone who realizes they are happier alone than in an unhappy relationship. Part of why it is so popular is because more and more people have come to understand they would rather be alone than be in an unhealthy relationship that compromises their sense of self-worth.
This song seems to be hitting deeply with many cis, heterosexual women who have been finding themselves feeling undervalued, misunderstood, or in the role of a mother rather than a respected partner to their male partners. However, people of all genders and sexual orientations can experience these feelings.
Many people in these situations feel resentful and leave their unhealthy relationships. In some cases, they have been emotionally quiet quitting their relationships where they only have minimal interactions with their partner, and the silence between them has become loud.
The Damage Of Staying
While having a loving and healthy relationship can bring a great deal of happiness and fulfillment to one's life, staying in an unhealthy relationship can cause an incredible amount of pain, stress, and challenges to one's sense of self. For many reasons, being alone is better than staying in an unhealthy relationship. Let's review some of those reasons:
- Being in a toxic relationship can cause harm to you mentally, physically, and emotionally. The stress, anxiety, and depression you can experience in an unhealthy relationship can cause serious damage to your health and functioning. In addition, your stress can start showing up with physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach issues, muscle pain, fatigue, insomnia, poor concentration, adrenal fatigue, hair loss, rashes, cardiovascular and breathing problems, and weight gain or loss, to name a few.
- An unhealthy relationship can impact your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. It can cause you to not live as fully, authentically, and empowered as you could be. We are only given so much time in this life, and we deserve to love ourselves and be loved.
- When you are in an unhealthy relationship, you are most likely spending a great deal of time arguing or living in silent tension. This can lead to decreased personal development and a lack of personal growth.
- Your freedom to be yourself completely will be compromised as your relationship will not feel safe for you to be vulnerable and relaxed. There will be a constant sense of feeling inhibited and frustrated, which can cause you to lose your sense of self.
- If you have children, they will be negatively impacted by living with parents or caregivers that have unhealthy relationships. It is far better to model to them what a healthy person chooses over staying in something harmful.
- You may find that you are paralyzed by staying in an unhealthy relationship in addition to feeling that you have little to no independence or freedom.
How Being Alone Is Empowering
- Being by yourself can feel daunting, but it can provide some of the most incredible feelings of self-love, appreciation and increase your sense of self-esteem.
- It allows for time to self-reflect and focus on nurturing oneself.
- To be on your own allows you the freedom to make choices that align with what you believe to be right for you.
- Being alone can give you time to work on your personal development to have a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
I Can Love Me Better Than You Can
In the song, Miley Cyrus sings, "I can love me better than you can." This is a powerful lyric because when you are in an unhealthy relationship, this is essential to remember. You are capable and deserving of loving yourself, and you can most certainly do that better than a partner that does not value, respect, or provides you with the love you deserve.
To love ourselves sometimes means leaving. It is not a reflection of being a failure; rather, acknowledging when something is not in your highest good and taking action to change that is an act of courage. Our most important responsibilities are to love, protect and empower ourselves.
Should I Stay?
If you are unhappy in your relationship, it's time to seriously consider your options. Life is short; make a plan to change your situation. If you want to fight for your relationship and feel it is something you can work out, here are some helpful guides:
Sex & Communication For Partners
Sex Therapy & Counseling
Sex, Relationships, Stress & Politics
Types of Therapy
10 Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Partner
- How & Why People Cheat
Or Should I Go?
If you are in an unhealthy, abusive, or challenging relationship and you feel that you have done everything you can to make it work then it may be time to consider leaving, make sure to check out some of our other helpful guides:
Twelve Steps To End A Relationship
- To Forgive Or Not To Forgive: Learn More About Forgiveness Styles
Whatever you choose, take care of yourself. You deserve it!