Friday, September 9, 2022

Friday Writings #43: Toxic Love

I sat in a workshop, where a high school counselor discussed “toxic relationships” with teenagers and their parents. The first thing the counselor asked was, “What makes a relationship toxic?” Every single response—from teens and adults—referred to physical or psychological abuse in romantic relationships. I found that surprising, since I’ve always thought that all kinds of relationships, all kinds of loves can grow toxic under the right (wrong?) conditions. 

The topic has been in my head for some time… So, for today’s optional prompt, I invite you to write poetry or prose inspired by the concept of “toxic love”.

photo by Dmitry Ratushny, on Unsplash

If toxic love isn’t for you, you’re welcome to link any piece you like. Said piece can be new or old, fiction or nonfiction, short or longish (prose pieces should be 369 words or fewer). Please, add the direct link to your post; one link per participant. After you share your contribution, remember to visit other poets and storytellers.

next week, our Rommy will invite us to write about a time when we realized we were wrong about something, and what we did after the realization hit us. 


  1. You raise an interesting question. I was thinking that in my personal experience 'love' and 'toxic' don't go together, e.g. there was no love lost between my Wicked Stepmother and me. But then I think how over-protective my real mother was when I was little, a 'smother-mother', and I suppose that could be classed as toxic until we both grew out of it.
    But I'm not writing to the prompt today; I'm continuing with the prison memoir. All kinds of toxic there, but in a different context.

    1. I've seen parents manipulate their relationship with their children into toxicity. I'm sure they are convinced they are doing right by their child, while making their world (and often their brains) small. Like you suggest, smothering mothers are an example of that.

    2. I don't like the term "toxic love" either, albeit for different reasons. I'm not a toxicologist by training, but I've worked with them in my professional work. My layman's understanding of toxicology is that toxicity is based on the substance, dosage, route of exposure, duration of exposure, etc. I'm certainly not a science expert, but as a science major, the oversimplification of scientific concepts into everyday lingo annoys me generally.

      That said, I picked toxic love to write about, albeit in a different context.

    3. In see what you mean. Society often grabs a term/phrase/metaphor and takes it too far. Still, I think that in the case of "toxic love/toxic relationship" it applies nicely--the more one gets, the worse it gets; the longer one is exposed, the deepest the damage... and so on.

    4. I definitely get the societal appeal of the term. It feels overused to me and an oversimplification of science but it's because it resonates with so many.

  2. Good day, Poets & Storytellers!
    I am not posting about toxic love, but rather something i have posted before about, love. :)

  3. Hello Magaly, toxic love seems to be everywhere, makes me feel helpless — so I thought I’d take us to play with some kings and queens… 🙂✌🏼❤️

  4. I wrote the opposite of toxic love... Thanks for hosting!

  5. Unable to comment due to the elusive Mr. Linky.


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