Why You Need To 'Burn The Boats' Of Your Toxic Relationships

After the breakup, you might have the urge to reach out to your ex to work things out. On the other hand, maybe you just want closure you didn't get when you first broke up. Whatever the reason may be, by maintaining contact with your ex, you are doing yourself a complete disservice. This doesn't only go for romantic relationships, but any toxic relationship in your life, such as friendships or those with family members. No matter how difficult it may be, you need to remove that toxic energy from your world.


The only true way to do this is to "burn the boats" of each ended relationship. This phrase refers to the act of saying or doing something to cause a rift between yourself and another person, without any chance of reconciliation (via Cambridge Dictionary). When you burn the boats of a relationship, you're essentially kicking that person out of your life for good. It's easier said than done, but there are good reasons as to why you have to do it. Namely, burning boats will stop you from going back to experience even more toxic behavior, which will make you happier and more confident in the long run. 

It prevents you from returning to that toxic environment

When you burn boats with that person who's caused you pain, you are removing yourself from the situation and destroying any chance of returning to that toxic relationship. This means deleting their number, blocking them on social media, and if necessary, deleting photos of the two of you so you aren't tempted to reach out. A lot of the time, we remember the good parts of our relationship, and this often fogs our memory of the bad stuff.


If you do keep the door open, you are more likely to contact the person who isn't good for you, and eventually, make your way back to them. Think of them as that old sofa that's been giving you back problems. You want a newer, more comfortable sofa, so you take the old one out to the curb. Once it's become moldy and musty from sitting in the rain, and the neighborhood mice have made it their new home, it's unlikely you'll want to bring it back inside. So don't keep the option there for your moldy, musty, toxic ex. 

It improves your self-esteem and overall well-being

Once you've removed that toxic relationship from your life, you'll notice what a change it makes in your self-esteem and overall well-being. It shouldn't come as a surprise that having someone in your life who is constantly causing you pain takes a toll on your mental health — particularly in regards to your self-worth. According to Prime Behavioral Health, people in toxic relationships have much lower self-esteem than those who aren't. If you've noticed a drastic drop in your mental health, take this as a sign to burn the boat of your old toxic relationship ASAP.


It may not be easy by any means, especially if it's someone who's made a major impact in your life, but at the end of the day, you need to do what's best for you. Toxic energy and exes who won't change do nothing for you but chip away at your mental health, and if you can remove both of those things from your life, you'll see what a positive difference it will make.