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If you’ve never been in a toxic relationship, then you would probably like to believe if you ever got into one, you would recognize the red flags immediately and get out. Obviously, you might be right, or you might be wrong and never see it coming, because there are many reasons why we tend to miss those red flags.

It’s easy to wonder from the outside looking in why someone would stay in a toxic relationship. From the outside looking in, it is easy to see what is going on, but it’s not so easy from the inside. I have a very close friend, and each and every time I was around her partner, I would notice that he would try to isolate her from her family. He was always making little jabs at her and telling her every move to make. It was quite obvious to me that the relationship was toxic, but for some reason, she just couldn’t see it.

Finally, she did see it, and she did get away, but it really makes you wonder: Why do we miss these red flags? According to Good Therapy, the reason we miss the signs is that we often see a different side of the spectrum that others don’t. We rationalize our partner’s behaviors because they had a bad upbringing or maybe they just got out of another bad relationship.

In other cases, we may blind ourselves to seeing only the good in this person, which can keep our eyes and focus on their best selves.

Another reason why people miss the red flags is that we are taught to ignore our intuition. We refuse to trust in ourselves so instead, we go into a phase of denial.

The third layer to the cake is that we have been conditioned to be loyal at all costs. Don’t get me wrong, loyalty is great. And yes, all relationships have rough patches, but when it reaches the degree of toxicity, you should not stick around. Toxic relationships are oftentimes glamorized. We think it’s cute when a partner becomes obsessive over their partner until that person ends up being stalked. We think it’s funny when a girlfriend sends 15 texts back to back until she ends up showing at his workplace and making a scene.

At the end of the day, though, much like glass shattering, when you finally realize that you are in a toxic relationship, you can never unsee it. A lot of times, the best thing you can do is step away from it all and look at it from the outside looking in. Look at your relationship from the eyes of someone else. You might be surprised at what you will see.