A Jewish Matchmaker’s advice on repelling toxic people and why they are drawn to you.

As a Jewish matchmaker, I cater to Jewish singles – but what I’ve learned about dating and relating applies to everyone and of course, toxic people are not limited to religious affiliation. If asked, no one will say that he/she wants to be in a toxic relationship but many of us seem to attract toxic people. Why is that? Why does it seem we are so easily fooled?

Personally, I feel it goes back to the environment of our early formative years. As good as their intentions may have been, parents are human and don’t always respond to their children in the healthiest way, so children grow up to be clingy or distant, over or under-compensative, peace keepers or rebels, co-dependents or narcissists, and so on. None of this is anyone’s fault and in the opinion of this Jewish matchmaker, no one is to blame. Yet if you find that the conditioning you acquired as a child is getting you into toxic relationships, it is your responsibility to clean that up.

I’ve learned to recognize some specific behavioral traits of singles who tend to attract toxic partners. Those traits include having difficulty saying “no” and setting personal boundaries, putting their needs to the side for the sake of the partner, being afraid of a negative reaction if they speak their truth, and showing more caring and compassion for their partner than for themselves.

Does any of that sound like you? If so, let this Jewish matchmaker give you some tips on how to take back your power and start attracting partners who are able to reciprocate your affection.

#1: You can’t say “no”. Do you find yourself doing things with your partner that you don’t really want to do? Do you find yourself “going along” to keep the peace? Do you accept all requests on your time, energy, and resources until you feel depleted and exhausted? Sounds like a hearty “no” would do your soul some good. If you are in a relationship where you are not comfortable saying “no”, you will eventually feel taken advantage of and a slow simmering resentment will result. This resentment is a harbinger of bad health. Take assertive training, if necessary, but start listening to your body and when it says “no”, voice it. When someone is ignoring or violating your boundaries, you will feel it in your body. You must get out of the people-pleasing mode that you developed in childhood and start living life on your own terms. Your health and mental well-being depend on it.

#2  Your needs come second. Do you regularly place the needs of your partner ahead of your own? Do you see yourself as the more “mature” one? The more “responsible” one? Do you tell yourself that what you want and need “isn’t all that important” and you “can live without it”? Your needs are telling you something crucial. They are telling you who you are and what your life needs to looks like in order for you to feel personal fulfillment. You cannot and will not find your fulfillment in someone else’s needs. If you voice your needs and your partner is unable or unwilling to meet them and so you stifle them, you are essentially obliterating yourself. STOP. You have as much right to be here as anyone else and you have as much right to take up space as anyone else. Step into the highly personalized role that is yours in this universe and OWN YOUR TRUTH.

#3 You make excuses and feel sorry for your partner. Do you find yourself excusing the bad or inconsiderate behavior of your partner? Do you blame it on his/her abusive childhood, stress/depression, bad luck/hard times, immaturity, or lack of relationship experience?  Do you take all the adult roles in the relationship and allow your partner to live like an irresponsible child? If so, you are likely giving all of your love, kindness, caring, nurturing, and compassion to your partner and depriving yourself. How about some compassion for the ways you felt neglected as a child? How about some understanding for all the times your heart has been bruised and broken? How about nurturing YOUR desires, YOUR wants, YOUR dreams? When you can acknowledge that you have been showing more empathy for your toxic partner than for yourself, you can start the journey of healing. A journey that starts by changing your relationship with yourself, which will ultimately change your relationship with toxic people, and with the entire world.

(Check out my previous post on the connection between self-love and toxic relationships.)

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