One of the most confusing aspects of breakups is who we end up taking the longest to get over. Why, for instance, does it feel easier to bounce back from parting ways with a genuinely kind, wonderful partner you considered a best friend than an ex who had virtually no redeeming qualities? Why are the people who proved to be selfish, dishonest, manipulative–aka, so obviously bad in every way–sometimes the hardest to release?
I read a personal testimony from a member of @thebodyahomeforlove who wrote:
As a survivor, I constantly wish I could go back in time and change who I was when my assault happened.⠀
I wish I had seen the signs. I wish I had never entered that relationship. I wish I loved myself the way I do now. Maybe I would have been able to change what happened. Maybe I would have avoided the mental abuse. But, that version of myself is valuable.⠀
She didn't know what she knows now. And even if she did, it wasn't her fault.⠀
Because of what I accepted and tolerated in relationships back then, I will never accept that behavior now. Because of who I was during that period of my life, I am stronger.⠀
Do I have some healing to do? Of course. But I came out of that situation shocked by how much resilience I have.
I love myself. But I also love who I was when my assault happened.
As I read her testimony, I understood this sister. I appreciated that nothing was rejected about her experiences. Gracefully understanding that every former version of ourselves is valuable. Knowing that shedding toxic releases makes us more alike than we are different.
I remember my first night single, I returned home from work, took off my bra and tossed it over the hamper and lit a candle. All I knew was that I made it out and now I could comfortably sit in an empty home without pettiness.
Missing foresight, I was limited to the awareness of what life after a toxic lover would actually feel like. But I knew I had been here before, and what I would do first was change my look. Was a new identity even what I should be focusing on first? This was what I only knew to do, I was going through all types of hair styles to welcome the 'life after' me. What did she actually look like now?
Like most women, I even did the "cut a man out of my life haircut chop" when it was finally over over. But I had to see deeper. Collectively thinking with my girlfriends, could we write a new rule in the dating-relationship world. Could we? Something that was a solution to toxicity.
Here's the truth about life after a toxic lover:
You’ll need to know what to search up on YouTube to grow in femininity.
It took a minute for me to come across some channels that perfectly matched who I wanted to be but I'm glad they found me. So many "a-ha" moments happened right on my living room couch as YouTube taught me. Vetting. Something I did naturally but not strategically. Femininity. I was getting in my own way. Understanding a man. I had to learn quickly here. And YouTube University was teaching me all of it.
At first, you say it's not you because the toxic one was him. The toxic lover was obvious. But delusion says that much of it was you too. Think about it this way, the word sounds defensive, I know, but society taught you that. As defined, delusion is based on or having faulty judgment; mistaken. When we allow the wrong person in our lives, it's because "we missed the mark", not them. So, when we allow the wrong person to stay in our lives, we should be held accountable for their presence. Once they're gone, be sure to ask yourself why it is you're attracting toxic lovers. Having these hard conversations with ourselves should be a requirement.
You’ll convince yourself you're OK when you're not.
Isn't it easier this way? Eventually, someone will keep it real with you and after enough time, you'll see that your version of damage control is controlling you. Luckily, our culture has accepted therapy and even with a pandemic going on, virtual therapy has become a thing. I'd say, that if discussing your former toxic relationship with someone doesn't sting a little bit with the truth, seek a professional relationship expert or a good ass cultured therapist that'll challenge you.
You will have a period of time where you will date too soon because you miss companionship.
Just prepare. The natural tug of needing your own masculine energy to laugh and talk with all started in the "Garden of Eden". It's not going away. It's natural of a woman. I was awakened to this acknowledgment after questioning myself. Sasha, why can't you stop dating and just let many years go by? What was I thinking? That seemed more like a punishment than a privilege. As I sat with those thoughts, I was just simply tired of the disappointment and needed a break, and breaks to recharge are healthy. And I did just that after dating, loving, relationship-ing since 16.
Heartbreaks come with work and when it happens, it’s hard to identify the type of work you really need done.
Toxicity found you but it's not the end. It's hard for the mind to uninstall programs that block our truth, happiness and authenticity, and while healing from a toxic lover doesn't help, it will grow us if we let it. Finding the strength to go into negative memories to accept what just happened is a painful awakening, but one that is needed. As programs are projected on us as early as childhood, we have to uninstall them, files need to be deleted that are not yours. Files that could have been placed on you by your parents.
Your soul really needs to know that it's not yours and you don't have to carry pre-programming around of what others did to you.
The more we look in the mirror naked, we meet somewhere, some place that our mind must take us. Cheers to rebuilding a community. I love following bold women online who embrace stretch marks, gaps, fros, acne, sagging titties, pain, a body in any shape, therapy, mistakes, modesty, femininity and so on. The important stuff. Because the more she does, and I encourage that, the more indirectly she helps me tap into my own authentic reflections.
Life after a toxic lover ain't all bad, boring, or bougie. You go through the shit to get to the joy. And although it ain't always good, it's a period of time that you are finally allowing yourself to heal, hopefully. Because what got us to a toxic lover is the failure to be with ourselves too. And when we keep dating, going, moving through life — or ignoring this, we'll look back and before we know it, we have neglected the most important person to know entirely, ourselves.
Life after a toxic lover.
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Libra woman and Aries man are the divine feminine and divine masculine, coming together as one. The love compatibility between these two is one for the books. These two are opposite signs, however, their differences tend to complement each other well. This is a dynamic relationship where they know how to have a lot of fun together, but also aren’t afraid to deal with the more serious stuff that comes with a relationship.
The Libra woman is looking for her equal in love, someone who is willing to put in the same effort she is, and the Aries man sees Libra as someone he is willing to do that with.
The Love Compatibility Of A Libra Woman And An Aries Man
What attracts a Libra woman and an Aries man to each other?
There is a magnet of attraction pulling these two together, and things tend to move pretty fast in this relationship. The Libra woman is always open to love and her charming nature rarely has any challenges here. The Aries man fights for his independence and doesn’t sacrifice that unless he is completely enamored with someone.
Once the Aries man catches the eye of the Libra woman, he is typically the one to make the first move and this instantly wins the approval of Libra.
These two feel like they have known each other forever when they meet, and this spark between them doesn’t die down easily.
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What is the relationship like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The relationship between the Libra woman and the Aries man is one of balance and excitement. The Aries man tends to take on the more dominant role in this relationship and the Libra woman tends to be the more receptive one. Aries is ruled by masculine Mars, and Libra is ruled by feminine Venus. They understand they are coming from two completely different worlds, yet they also instinctively feel this underlying connection to each other and like they could be something each other needs in their lives.
The Libra woman can rely on the Aries man, and the Aries man never has to ask for the love that Libra already knows he needs.
This is a couple that is often reading each other’s minds and wanting to do a lot of the same things. However, not everything is rainbow in this relationship as well, and there are some major differences they have to overcome to make things work. One argument can lead to an explosion between these two, and addressing things when they come up rather than sweeping them under the rug, will be needed to make this relationship long-term.
What is the sex like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The sex between a Libra woman and an Aries man is adventurous. These are two cardinal signs with plenty of energy and stamina to keep things exciting in the bedroom. There tends to be a good give and take in this relationship, and their yin and yang energy benefits them when it comes to their sex life.
There is electricity felt between the two of them in this area of their life, and their power of attraction to each other is strong. These are two people who will want to do a lot of things together, including exploring sexually together.
The Aries man will have to be careful with being overly aggressive, however, as the soft Libra woman may not like this energy- it will completely depend on the two individuals at hand. The Libra woman wants to ease into things, the Aries man wants to get going right away. Learning about each other's bodies, and energy, and reading each other’s cues will help with this.
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What makes a relationship between a Libra woman and an Aries man work?
These two genuinely like each other, and that basis is a key factor for success in any relationship. The Aries man is straight to the point, direct, and inspired. The Libra woman admires these characteristics in others, as she is often herself finding her balance in this type of energy as well. Neither sign is overly emotional in a way that turns them off, and they both require a lot of the same things in a committed relationship. They want honesty, fun, good communication, passion, and to be moving towards a common goal together.
The Libra woman and Aries man don’t have a problem being real with each other and this is something they really value within the relationship. They are both very charming, and there is plenty of flirtation and attraction to keep this relationship going. Aries being the protector they are, Libra finds a sense of safety and ease in this energy, and like they have found their match. Overall, this is a well-balanced relationship and one where they don’t have a problem when it comes to compatibility or chemistry in the relationship.
What may cause a Libra woman and an Aries man to break up?
Libra is the lover, Aries is the fighter, and this energy may be tiring for the both of them after time. The Libra woman can be passive to a fault, and the Aries man who is not evolved, may take advantage of that. She will need to be careful with putting Aries’ needs above her own, creating resentment later down the road. The Aries man loves a challenge, and the Libra woman would be up for that game for a little bit, but if she is not being met in the middle, she will begin to look for other places. These two can have a difficult time keeping the peace in the relationship, and there could be a lot of arguments and disagreements here if they both aren’t willing to put their egos or self-pleasing attitudes to the side.
The Libra woman and Aries man are both more sensitive than they appear or come off as. They are also not necessarily the type to dive deep into their emotions and express them to others, even in their relationships. However, this energy can keep the relationship to a surface level than what is needed to progress and grow the relationship, and a sense of openness is required for this couple to work. Libra needs romance, she wants to be wowed. Aries needs to remember this and to always consider her love language.
Overall, this is a successful pairing. They will have their fair share of challenges in the relationship, but nothing they can’t overcome if they are willing to. The trouble will come in when it comes to the longevity of the relationship, keeping Aries excited and Libra in love. However, all in all, there is more power, attraction, and love to keep this relationship together rather than apart. No relationship is perfect, but this one is a little more blessed than most.
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