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    Navigating the Labyrinth of Love: Unraveling the Unhealthy Patterns

    Greetings, dear readers! Today, let’s embark on a journey into the complex world of love. Love, a word that evokes a myriad of emotions—joy, hope, excitement, trust, and sometimes, sadness.

    Surprisingly, for a word so intertwined with our lives, the art of loving is rarely explicitly taught. We navigate relationships, from friendships to romantic entanglements, with the expectation that we’ll figure it out. However, the truth is, we often unintentionally harm and disrespect those we love.

    Today, we’re diving deep into the realm of unhealthy relationships, shedding light on the signs we often miss. So, buckle up for a rollercoaster of insights as we explore how to love better and healthier.

    The Central Message

    In the grand tapestry of love, unhealthy patterns can subtly weave their way into our lives. Whether it’s guilting a friend, peeking at a partner’s texts, or shaming a child, these actions can harm the ones we care about. According to One Love, an organization born from tragedy, unhealthy relationships can escalate into abuse, affecting one in three women and one in four men. Today, we’re on a mission to bring awareness and equip you with the tools to navigate the intricate landscape of love.

    3 Main Goals for you

    At, we want you to achieve three main goals: provide a language for discussing the often awkward topic of unhealthy relationships, empower friends to intervene and help, and ultimately enhance our collective ability to love better. As we delve into the serious subject of unhealthy love, we’ll also sprinkle in a touch of light-heartedness with “The Couplets,” a thought-provoking piece that sheds light on five markers of unhealthy love.

    Unveiling the Markers

    • Intensity:
    • Girl: “I haven’t seen you in five minutes. It feels like a lifetime.”
    • Boy: “It’s been three minutes. (#thatsnotlove)”
      Unhealthy love often begins with an exciting rush of affection. Yet, over time, it can shift from exhilarating to overwhelming, creating a suffocating feeling. Pay attention to the pace of intimacy in the early days of a relationship and use your voice to express your needs.
    • Isolation:
    • Girl: “Me and my boyfriend always have Monday Funday.”
    • Boy: “Want to hang out?”
    • Girl: “No Friends Day.”
      Isolation creeps in when a partner pulls you away from friends and family, casting doubt on your pre-relationship connections. Healthy love embraces independence and maintains connections with one’s support system.
    • Extreme Jealousy:
    • Boy 1: “She just started following me on Instagram!”
    • Boy 2: “She, she just started following me, like, everywhere. (#thatsnotlove)”
      As the honeymoon period fades, extreme jealousy can manifest as possessiveness, mistrust, and accusations. Love should never feel threatening or desperate; it shouldn’t be accompanied by possessiveness.
    • Belittling:
    • Friend 1: “Wanna hang out?”
    • Friend 2: “I gotta study.”
    • Friend 1: “You’ll get an F for, F for… stupid. (#thatsnotlove)”
      Unhealthy love uses words as weapons, turning lighthearted conversations into hurtful exchanges. Your partner should build you up, not break you down, and their words should make you feel more confident, not less.
    • Volatility:
    • Friend 2: “I’d be sad too. (#thatslove)”
    • Friend 2: “I’d so depressed if we ever broke up. I’d throw myself off this step. I would! Don’t try to stop me! (#thatsnotlove)”
      Volatility manifests as frequent breakups and makeups, high highs, and low lows. Tension rises, leading to tearful fights and emotional makeups. Recognizing this pattern is crucial for breaking the cycle of unhealthy love.

    Practicing Healthy Love

    Understanding the signs of unhealthy love isn’t just about romantic relationships; it’s a tool to audit and improve every relationship in your life. Open communication, mutual respect, kindness, and patience are the building blocks of healthy relationships. While perfection may elude us, daily practice can make us better. Even those of us who work in the field of healthy relationships can stumble, as seen in a personal anecdote shared by our author.


    In a world where relationship skills are undervalued, understanding unhealthy signs is the first step towards improvement. Love is both an instinct and a skill we can enhance over time. As we wrap up this exploration, remember that love should never be a soft topic; it’s one of the most important and challenging aspects of life. Keep practicing, keep learning, and strive for healthier relationships every day.

    “Understanding is the first step to improving, and while you can’t make every unhealthy relationship healthy — some you’re going to have to leave behind — you can do your part every day to do relationships better.”

    Thank you for joining us on this enlightening journey, and don’t forget to bookmark for more insights into the intricate art of love.

    The images accompanying this article were created using Leonardo, unless stated otherwise.

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