Photo Essay: Relationships & Toxicity

Our society has always attached relationships with all kinds of positivity, our obsession with the beauty of it all has somewhere negated the few negatives which sometimes are prevalent in certain relationships. Even talking about such negativity comes at a cost as people tell you things like, “It will be okay”, “Give it some time”, “all couples fight”. We have given such a sense of entitlement to our society that they do not think for a moment before commenting on things. Relationships are meant to be equal, loving, and inducing personal growth along with the growth in the relationship. It should not, in any way, make you feel bad about yourself, your mental health, and your life or career choices. No one has the agency to tell you what you should and should not do, not even your partner. We have internalized and conditioned ourselves to believe that toxicity is there in every relationship and it is okay to continue despite the effects it might have on your personal growth and mental health. We do not think twice before blaming ourselves if our partner says “it is wrong”. We do not think twice before severing ties because our partner said so. No, it is not okay. And no, we should not be making peace with it in any way. If you feel stuck, disturbed and not loved when you are with a toxic person, you should move away the first chance you get. It will keep coming back, contrary to how you believe that it is going to magically work out someday. It won’t. There is no magic in a relationship. It is hard work between two like-minded people agreeing to deal with issues together. Instead, if you feel like you are taking the entire burden, you are not doing it right. If you feel like, that person controls every action of yours that is not cute. If you feel like a person decides things for you, it is not sweet. We get used to toxic behaviours, we get used to hate and try to overcome with the love that we have in our heart, but after a point, it is simply impossible.

Do not let others tell you that this happens in every relationship. If it does, they too must get out of it. It is not healthy. You should grow in a relationship, not feel stuck in circles of abuse, hate and disagreements. Every person has personal boundaries, and if someone (be it your partner) tries to cross that boundary, you should stop them. Otherwise someday you’d start blaming yourself for not having a personal boundary. Someday they might blame you for being emotional, but don’t take that blame. Stand up against it, tell them it’s wrong. We need to be much clearer and transparent about our feelings. We need to be honest, kind and love wholeheartedly. Let’s not suffer in silence, let’s talk about it, let’s exchange our experiences and grow together to be a better society.

Models: Arghya (@boy.with.wings) & Pritam (@fearless.jimmy)

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I am a research scholar of English Literature who tends to spend most of his time following his passion for photography and writing. I aim to bring a change in the way male sexuality is perceived by the mainstream. Also, love over hate, anyday.

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