How to Stop the Cycle of Toxic Relationships

How to Stop the Cycle of Toxic Relationships how to stop the cycle of toxic relationships

You’ve seen that couple who repeatedly break up and make up more than 365 times in a year, right?

You might have also had that one friend or family member who has sworn multiple times that they will never go back to their abusive ex, even telling you to hold them accountable, only to shock you with their recent photos on your Instagram or WhatsApp stories, sharing love quotes about how they were meant to be.

Or perhaps you, too, remember the time you declared to yourself that you would never hang around with certain friends because they made you feel uncomfortable, only to find yourself in that same clique of friends a week later? So, how do we break free from these patterns of toxic relationships that we see all around us?

Life is interesting — we may already recognize some aspects are unhealthy for us, yet we still find ourselves engaging in the same patterns. Many people seem to repeat the same relationship patterns throughout their lives. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” becomes a recurring theme in a life of repetition and recycling.

It’s quite a revelation to escape an unhealthy relationship, only to find oneself in another toxic relationship. You might have worked on yourself, but that unconscious pull towards toxic people seems unavoidable, pushing you to recreate those familiar and unhealthy relationship patterns. If you feel trapped in the same cycle of toxic relationships, the following tips can help you break free and start attracting healthy relationships into your life.

1. Identify where the patterns are originating and change them

A crucial step in breaking free from these patterns is understanding the factors that may be drawing you to toxic relationships in the first place. In life, we tend to recreate familiar patterns because they provide a sense of safety and comfort.

These familiar patterns build beliefs that influence our actions, potentially leading us to attract toxic partners. Once you understand these beliefs, you can recognize them as ideas gathered from your environment or upbringing. You should then challenge these limiting beliefs, as they do not align with your values.

This process enhances self-awareness and improves your approach to building relationships. Some beliefs that contribute to toxic patterns include notions like “you should not question your partner; you should endure” or “a real man should never show weakness or emotion.” By shedding these beliefs, you’ll see people for who they truly are, not through the lens of familiar beliefs.

Additionally, comprehending these patterns helps break free from social influences or models of engagement developed from past experiences. This involves examining our beliefs and their role in attracting toxic partners.

2. Recognize the red flags in relationships

Red flags serve as warning signs that a relationship might become toxic and should not be pursued. Certain toxic relationships exhibit clear indicators that the person you’re considering dating, or are already dating, is not genuine.

Being aware of these signs, such as habitual lying, excessive self-focus, discussions about past turbulent relationships, isolation from friends, overly affectionate language, and controlling behavior, enables you to disengage early without forming strong attachments.

You should be capable of identifying red flags and addressing them or acting in a manner that safeguards you from future regrets. Some red flags might not be immediately apparent, making it essential to trust your intuition when something seems amiss or doesn’t align with the person you’re spending time with.

3. Establish and uphold boundaries

Healthy boundaries prevent you from being ensnared in a toxic relationship. These limits can be physical or emotional and define what you’re comfortable with and how you expect to be treated, as well as how you treat others.

Recognizing how you deserve to be treated and what you won’t tolerate stops others from manipulating or controlling you. Establishing boundaries not only halts the cycle of toxic relationships but also improves decision-making, empowers you to take personal responsibility, and focuses your attention on what you can control.

However, it’s vital not only to learn about boundaries but also to be someone who sets and maintains them without compromise. Toxic relationships often begin when toxic individuals disregard these boundaries, consistently pushing you to lower them.

4. Address unresolved trauma

Unhealed childhood trauma often underlies toxic relationships and can lead to behaviors like people-pleasing, codependency, self-blame, and difficulty expressing opinions.

These trauma responses attract individuals to toxic relationships since they struggle to assert themselves, say “no,” or establish boundaries — qualities that toxic partners exploit. Healing these wounds separates past painful experiences from present healthy choices. By doing so, you assess potential partners through the lens of your adult self rather than through the eyes of your inner child seeking comfort.

5. Embrace self-honesty

Breaking the cycle of attracting toxic relationships requires absolute honesty with yourself. Honesty remains the best policy, even when breaking free from toxic relationship patterns.

Essential questions include: Why do you desire this relationship? Is it your choice, or are you influenced by others? Is this partner suitable for you? Is the relationship an escape from your own life? How does this person make you truly feel?

Acknowledging these truths about where you currently stand, without justification or rationalization, prevents you from forcing yourself into a relationship. This involves having a candid internal dialogue before investing emotionally in a relationship.

6. Practice conscious dating — Understand yourself and your desires

In most cases, relationships seem to unfold naturally, without intentional consideration. However, conscious dating entails dating with awareness of who you are and what you seek in a partner. It requires assessing your readiness to date, identifying your requirements in a partner, and determining what you can or cannot compromise. Conscious dating safeguards you from stumbling into a toxic relationship because you are fully aware of your actions.

7. Embrace being comfortable with solitude

Being single offers an opportunity to embrace your entirety and independence. It’s a time for self-reflection, acknowledging that your happiness doesn’t hinge on anyone’s validation. Taking a break after a relationship and being single provides insights into your relationship with yourself.

It allows you to prioritize your needs and even be a bit “selfish” because self-care matters, and you should be your top priority. This period cultivates healthy self-esteem and reinforces your understanding that you deserve respectful treatment.

Being single is a space to work on yourself and take full personal responsibility without relying on a partner to “fix” your life. Remember, if you’re not content with your life or yourself, a relationship won’t remedy it.


To break free from toxic relationships demands effort, but the results are worthwhile. Lowering the chance of attracting individuals who later betray you makes the process rewarding. Focus on self-improvement until you feel whole, needing no constant validation. Avoid entering a relationship as an escape; instead, work on yourself before seeking a partner. Be kind to yourself during this transformation, understanding that you have time.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns (in less than 2 months) , then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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