Signs that you're in a toxic relationship.

And how to break your bad love habits for good.

We all know someone who’s made disastrous love choices.

The girlfriend who married a nice guy, had three great kids, then left to shack up with her nightmare ex, who everyone else hated.

The bright, successful career girl who slays them in the boardroom but stays with a no-hoper boyfriend who’s addicted to both drugs and other women.

Celebrities aren’t immune – Myleene Klass claims she’ll never marry again after her ex did the dirty after just six months.

Why did they choose them? Why don’t they leave? We think to ourselves.

How women who are often intelligent, attractive and normal could end up in these situations really is beyond us.

When people constantly go out with people who are bad for them, it’s usually because they’ve developed a destructive relationship pattern.

It’s not rotten luck – they’re subconsciously choosing people who treat them badly because of something which happened in the past.

How healthy are your love habits?

"We subconsciously choose people who treat us badly because of something which happened in the past."

You’ve got bad love habits if you answer yes to more than six of these questions about past or current partners:

1. You love your partner, even though your head says you're incompatible.

2. You put up with being treated badly and keep on loving in the face of abuse, neglect and little positive reward.

3. You believe there's only one magic person out there who can make you truly happy. This is exceedingly dangerous - you'll put up with all sorts if you're convinced your partner is the only person who can make you happy. Not true. There are lots of people who will.


4. You've tried to leave in the past but can't. You're miserable in relationships but unhappier without them.

5. They left you but you won't accept they're gone. You say things like, 'I know he's living with her but his heart's still with me'.

6. Your relationships are bad but sex is usually fantastic. Destructive relationships stretch emotions to screaming point with one positive: sex feeds off danger, so sex is likely to be charged. Sadly, we spend the majority of time not having sex.

7. Your friends and family rarely like the partners you choose.

8. When you fall in love, other people suffer. You stop seeing people who are important to you because you know they'll see how unhappy you are and force you to leave.

"Write down what your relationships were like in the past."

9. Your work and health take a dive because you become increasingly reliant on addictive substances.

10. People constantly tell you that you deserve better. Sometimes, they'll come straight out and say 'Get out. Leave. This person is bad for you.'

11. You return to the same partner over and over even though it never works out.

Feeling a little uncomfortable because most points are ringing true?

Make your relationship with the next person you meet different from the last:

1. Work out what your pattern is. Think past the surface and pinpoint what's happening below. What messages did your parents teach you about love? What were your early experiences? Get therapy if you need it (relate or


2. Write down what your relationships were like in the past. Then how you'd like them to be in the future.

3. Don't have sex too soon. You're subconsciously choosing a certain type of person who is bad for you. Don't take the relationship further until you know for sure you haven't made the same mistake again.

4. Speak up the second you aren't happy. Calmly spell out exactly what you need. "I'd appreciate a call when you get home from work". "I don't like it when you flirt with other women'.

5. No second chances. One warning, then they're out.

6. Listen to your instincts. They are there to protect you. Even if you can't put your finger on it, if it feels ominous or like you're back to old habits, walk away.

7. Avoid drugs and alcohol. They skew your judgement.

8. Introduce new partners to trusted friends early on, ask for honest feedback and act on what they tell you.

9. Finally, always remember, it's not about whether you love them but whether they are worthy of your love.

For more great advice on relationships, visit You can also purchase products from Tracey at The Love Group.

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