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They are like a drug.

Highly addictive and detrimental to our health -mental and physical-, toxic loves hook us to such an extent that we lose track of what we are suffering.

"We realize that we are in a toxic relationship because it seems that we were in a novel. With a story,

conflicts, misunderstandings, uncertainty and

emotional instability of one or both members of the couple predominate", says Sebastián Girona, a psychologist specializing in relationships and the author of 'I can't stand you anymore' and 'Each one on his own'.

These relationships are characterized by having, according to this specialist, "an

addictive mechanic

because, although in the short term they provide some

satisfaction , in the medium and long term the



and we are worse than before."

All this


that they cause is "very good for a novel and can even be entertaining to watch as a spectator, but it can be very detrimental to mental health if it occurs in real life."

Girona warns that, although we think we control the situation, "that

constant ups and downs

plagued by

passion, uncertainty and conflicts

that attract us so much due to the adrenaline rush it produces, is very detrimental to our psycho-

emotional health


If we know that it will hurt us, why do we insist on suffering for love?

"In our society, the idea continues to circulate that love can be suffered. Moreover, it is even believed that

if you do not suffer, you do not love.

In fact, this is a recurring theme in many

songs, movies or stories

that have counted. However, the truth is that

love does not have to hurt

. Healthy love empowers the members of the couple and seeks that each one get the best version of himself. "

At least, can we hope that this tendency to embitter our existence with impossible stories will pass over the years or will we continue to stumble over the same stone?


Before the age of 30, we are much more likely to fall into the net of a toxic relationship

. After that age, the chances decrease, but we do not become totally immune."

And, what do we do if we are fully involved in a relationship that is destroying us?

"In the first place, we have to

recognize that we are in a relationship that is hurting us

. That is the first step, which is essential but insufficient."

After managing to make that first movement, "the process of trying to

break the addictive dynamics

begins and, for that, we are going to need to modify the

pattern of behavior

that we have, to do something different".

To begin with, what is different, Girona points out, can be something as basic as "

reducing the stimulus

, that is, stop seeing him or her, stop following your social networks and not frequenting the places you frequent."

It is essential, he continues, "to understand that ending a relationship of this type implies a

process that will necessarily take time

and will involve going through different stages."

Ending a relationship "always implies a


and that duel is the distance between the ideal (what I would like to happen in the relationship) and the real (what really happens and that is far from what I would like). Going through that duel is essential to


, "he concludes.

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