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When and How to Walk Away from a Toxic Person


Gary Thomas

Heart of Dating is excited to welcome back Gary Thomas to the show! Gary Thomas was on one of Heart of Dating’s first episodes as he talked about the myth of soulmates. You can listen to that episode HERE (

Gary Thomas is the author of over 19 books including The Sacred Search and The Sacred Marriage. He is the process of releasing his new book When to Walk Away! On this episode Kait and Gary talk about how to tell if someone is toxic and when to walk away from an unhealthy relationship.

In your book, you mention that allowing toxic people to make an impact on your life is actually offensive to God… could you explain that more?

  • Mark of toxicity is controlling… which is the opposite of who God is because it’s a play for your allegiance.
  • It’s always best for us to do what God tells us to do.
  • God is actually not controlling, He gives us the freedom of “free will” and choices.
  • “Control from another human is simply evil.”

How can someone who is being controlled or manipulated in a toxic relationship break free of that?

  • You simply have to walk away.
  • “You cannot be concerned of the unhealthy response of unhealthy people to healthy decisions.”
  • It doesn't matter how someone misrepresents you, there is a freedom when only one person has the right of passage to say something about you… and that one person is the father.
  • A healthy dating relationship is one where the other person supports you and encourages you to become the person God is calling you to be.
  • “Is dating this person bringing me closer to becoming the person God needs me to become?”
  • Gary talks about Gaslight which is making somebody feel crazy for speaking the truth.

Allowing toxic people in our lives can actual deter or distract us from God’s mission for our life. Could you elaborate more on this?

  • Every moment you spend wasting it on a toxic person, is a distraction from God’s calling your life.
  • You need to walk away and become the person has called you to be. 
  • Remove your focus and your distraction from the wrong person, especially if they are toxic.

How do you recognize if someone is toxic?

  • A toxic person will get in the way of healthy friendships and relationships.
  • Self-esteem, joy, and sanity will become destroyed by a toxic person as they destroy your peace.
  • Gary tells a story of a woman who married her a toxic person and the negative consequences of it.
  • Healthy Christians are wired to be: compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, and loving. A healthy person should
  • A toxic person will hold on to: anger, rage, malic, slander, filthy language, and lying. A toxic person lives for conflict.
  • A toxic person may have some aspects of a toxic person, but not all… it doesn’t mean that they’re not toxic. There is still red flags in regards to a healthy dating relationship. 

Going into dating, how do we balance a flaw with toxicity, especially for those who are new to dating? How do we truly know if someone is toxic?

  • You have to ask if your relationship is destroying your peace and hope. You have to evaluate if they have a “murderous spirit” or simply have made a mistake.
  • We have to distinguish between a toxic person and a toxic behavior.
  • You don't want to see yourself in a marriage where you’ll be manipulated for the rest of your life, so recognizing these things are extremely important!
  • As Christians, be careful of people pleasing! 
  • All in all.. If someone is toxic.. If someone steals your joy… If someone steals your peace… you need to walk away.

What’s your final nugget of dating advice?

  • If someone isn’t good for you… you need to walk away so that you don’t get sick and can become healthy in all of your other relationships!

Other Resources:

Get Gary's new book HERE

Follow Gary on Instagram HERE

Connect with Gary on FB HERE

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Gary Thomas

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