...I mean, I know it's the parlance, but there's just something slightly judgemental about it. Your relationship is "unhealthy/toxic" etc. It's a sort of put-down. I'd prefer "unhelpful" or "ineffective" or something, describing its effects on the participants rather than labelling it like we would nuclear waste.

Anyway, I'm not judging the author on that, like I say it's the accepted parlance, but I think it shows our cultural way of viewing relationships - that there are some that "can do it well" and others that are "doing it all wrong". As a culture, we put down people we are "needy" as if they are vermin, but such disgust at what is behaviour revealing a history of maltreatment is tragically ironic.

I do have a kind of question, though, as I haven't seen anything written about this and it just came into my head. Ever since my first relationship when I was 13 I have had a big mouth on me with dates and I will criticise them in situations where I would just walk away in a platonic relationship. For instance, I meet them and they're clearly narcissistic, entitled and truly an awful person. I will sit for hours and openly criticise them for their views instead of just thinking 'well this one isn't for me' and walking away. They always want to see me again because I'm not overly harsh about it, I just can't keep my mouth shut and leave the situation. I just reprimand them for not being 'good enough' (always narcissists and always trying to make them see how their lack of empathy is WHY things are going badly for them...as if I hope they will see the light...) I've never been able to understand what this switch is in my brain. I have a narcissistic father, so perhaps I think if I just explain it again and again to different narcissists one of them will suddenly wake up. But then even with boyfriends who are perfectly nice to me I'm FAR harsher and more bluntly honest with them than I am with others. I'm usually very live and let live, but I seem to feel anger and disappointment at potential dates for not being quite good enough. It makes no rational sense, I just get caught up in it, and I find it embarrassing to look back on. I've been told off by people before for being overly critical of boyfriends (sometimes it just comes out of my mouth accidentally, they walk in the room, I feel anger and disappointment at them and just tell them to "f**k off"). Normally, I'm not like this, the vast, vast majority of the time I'm very nice, so it always gives me a shock. But I seem to get angry at the men I sleep with for just not being good enough, OR I simply enjoy arguing with narcissists. Often when I'm pretty much telling them they're appalling on Date 1 (seriously, why do they want to see me again?!) I'm loving every moment of it. I find it exciting and addictive and I really have to sit down and talk myself out of seeing them again...

...I consider myself to be codependent, but only very mildly so, particularly as in the narcissist I will often laugh with friends about what a terrible person they are, and how fascinating in their delusions, but actually deep inside feel pain for them and want to take away their loneliness (but not stupid enough to actually try...) but something about me doesn't quite add up to that label, as my self esteem just isn't THAT low...