Women Share How They Normalised Toxic Relationships When They Were Young

We cannot totally blame ourselves as some of these notions were put in our heads by society. Read what these women on Reddit said about normalising toxic relationships when they were young.

Avishka Tandon
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As youngsters, we have many notions and perspectives of love. But when we look back at our young selves, we realise how much wrong our notions were and how we often found ourselves normalising toxic relationships. We have collected experiences of women that they shared on Reddit about how they had toxic notions about relationships as youngsters.

We cannot blame ourselves as some of these notions were put in our heads by society. Read what these women on Reddit said about normalising toxic relationships when they were young.

Normalising Toxic Relationships As Youngsters

That being extra controlling and protective towards you meant they loved you a lot.

A relationship is all about having mutual space and freedom. Protective and controlling behaviour is not loving, it is an obsession. It leaves you suffocated and suppressed in a relationship. 

That the guy must pay for all dates.

That is so insensitive. It doesn't matter whether the date was good or bad, one thing is often sure that it is going to cost the man. Do they not have finances to manage? If we can stand up for equal pay, we should also equally pay on dates. Period.


That if they hurt me I have the right to make them just as hurt and not feel bad about it.

Hurting somebody is bad and revenge breaks you more. I am not saying you should forgive them, but you do not have the right to hurt somebody. Just because someone did something bad, doesn't mean you have to reciprocate it.

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That you can or should change someone.

Love is about accepting your partner, not changing them. You cannot and should not think that way. The person is that way for a reason and you should be liberal enough to accept them with their reasons and shortcomings.

Virginity is the be all end all. 


Sure it's great to be able to say "we've only been with each other" (if it is important to you) But it's so far from all that it's made out to be. Although it can be great, it is not mandatory. Neither should you expect your partner to be a virgin nor should you feel guilty about not being a virgin. Your past physical relations, as long as they are way past you, should not define your current relationships.

That I need to be loving and loyal even when I don't get anything in return and we're not even dating or I'm just a horrible human being.

If you feel empty and it seems that your needs are never a priority, you always have the choice to walk out of it. The time or age of the relation doesn't matter. You can be selfish.

That fighting, screaming and yelling are normal in relationships. I grew up with my parents fighting constantly, then my mom and stepdad. Plus people tell me all couples argue. It took a lot for me to realise argue and what my family does are 2 different things.

A healthy relationship has differences that are settled calmly and constructively and not by fights and yelling. It is normal to have different points of view. Ideally, it is better to sit down and talk it out instead of screaming and fighting. Society has told us a lot of problematic things about relationships. Now when we look back, we wish we should not have believed them.

That finding the right person would magically 'fix' me.


Things won't miraculously get better on finding a life partner. They are humans and not magic wands. Things get better if you put your efforts into making them right. If you want to improve, you will even without a partner. Stop waiting for your knight in shining armour and start working on making things right. No one can fix you other than you. This is life and not some bedtime story.

Being essentially hounded and stalked was romantic and a sign that he liked me.

That's creepy. A person with good intentions will face you straight away about his feelings and not stalk you behind your back. They will respect your privacy and safety instead of being like a human GPS. Stalking is a crime and stalkers are criminals. There is no notion of love behind it. Stop romanticising such toxic behaviours.

That staying in an unhealthy marriage was better than having a divorce because it's a 'sin' or 'not accepted' when you're part of a religion.

As youngsters, that is something we were told by society. The movies and stories of ideal marriages were very suffocating when we look back at them. If you feel like you cannot stay in the relationship any longer, you can end it and move on. 

That is normal for a man to be older.

And it is normal for the woman to be older as well. Age does not matter when you truly love them. This is again something very common that was told to us by society.

"You have to pretend you're dumb if you want that boy to like you," My mother, ladies and gentleman.

It was just to make you look less of a competition in front of the boy. As women, we were always taught to be less than men to not trigger their egos. We cannot blame our mothers as they too were told the same by society but they could have been more liberal. Men should know that an outgoing, smart and intelligent woman is not a threat but a helpful partner with whom they will be able to grow more. Pretending to be dumb makes you look stupid and not lovable.

Sacrificing who I was to accommodate my partner.

That is again something that we saw around us and believed. We saw people sacrificing their desires and habits just because they were in a relationship. While it is true that you need to learn to adjust and adapt, it does not mean sacrificing. You can accommodate your needs and wishes in your relationship if you want.

"Happy wife, happy life" 

Not only the wife, but the husband also needs to be happy. He is not an earning robot who cares about only the physical relation and good food. We heard it a lot and saw it in movies when we were young but we should know that the happiness and wishes of both partners are equally important in a relationship.

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