Are you ever afraid of who you become when dating?

I’ve only ever had one serious relationship, during which I became someone I didn’t like. I was jealous, irrational, dependent, and more moody / prone to overreacting. To be fair, turns out my ex did cheat and was lying throughout the relationship, and I was stressed from a high workload. With that being said though, my behavior still wasn’t the best. I hope I’m never like that again, but the fear of becoming toxic makes me reluctant to try.

When I’m single, I only have to think about myself and I feel so much more levelheaded and rational. For the most part, I like who I am. If I see someone who’s pretty, I’ll just think “Wow, they’re so pretty.” Or any other positive trait—they just remain positive traits, like someone being smart, kind, etc. Vs in a relationship, I might think, “Wow, she’s so much prettier / smarter / kinder than me. He’ll leave me for her.”

Sometimes it felt gradual enough that I didn’t realize the extent of how bad it was until awhile after the breakup—I guess post-relationship clarity ????

I guess my question is, do you ever experience this? Have you ever changed in a negative way due to your relationship? If so, what did you do to prevent it?

And lastly, how do you know whether you changed due to an external factor (e.g high workload) vs due to the relationship?

Lots of questions ???? Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!

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