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Staying in a Toxic Relationship is Never Unconditional Love

Healthy detachment can save your relationships and your life

I believe that there is a gross misconception about the definition of unconditional love. It seems that a lot of people are under the mistaken impression that in order to love people unconditionally it is necessary to endure various levels of abuse from these people. Those who possess this skewed perception tend to look at detachment from unhealthy relationships as a betrayal of said relationship and the so-called love that it holds. This is simply not true.

We can love people unconditionally without allowing them to hurt us. We don’t have to be around people to love them. Sometimes being around particular people that we may love can become unhealthy for us and them. When this so-called love becomes a hindrance to personal growth, all of your relationships are in danger of becoming toxic. Sometimes it is the very people closest to you, that you should keep the furthest from you. Not everyone who claims to love you really does.

I am by no means suggesting that we should end a relationship with a loved one or friend at the first sign of conflict. A certain level of conflict is healthy and pertinent to the growth and evolution of all our relationships. But, there is a big difference between an occasional disagreement and excessive abuse.

When it seems that extreme conflict has become the everyday norm in any relationship you may have crossed the threshold into an abusive/toxic relationship. If someone says they love you but the way they treat you says they don’t, listen to what their actions are telling you. People who truly love you don’t just tell you, they show you.

You do not need permission to walk away from anything that doesn’t serve your highest good.

— Holly Kellums

It is perfectly okay to walk away from people who only hurt you. It is perfectly okay to immediately detach yourself from anyone who might be harming you mentally, emotionally, physically or otherwise. Sometimes the only way to solve a problem is to remove yourself entirely from the equation.

There comes a point when all of the trying in the world will not make the situation any better. This is when it is time to walk away. If you stay when you know that you should go, you are only hurting yourself. This doesn’t mean that you don’t love them, but that you love yourself enough to do what’s best for you and your own well-being. Unconditional love is not a license to accept abuse. Sometimes the only way to love someone is to give them the space they require to love themselves.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! Connect with me more at

Originally published on

Featured image by Wenniel Lun on Unsplash

Published by Bobbyjmattingly

Bobby J Mattingly is an author, social media strategist, content creator, personal development advisor and inspirational speaker.

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