Being enthralled with a whirlwind romance is more common than ever before. Unfortunately, both men and women alike find themselves swept up in the moments and ignoring present pain and suffering within their relationship.
Being stuck in a bond with a lover can become obsessive; and just like any other addictive substance, withdrawal seems impossible, and holding on to the relationship presents itself as the only option.
There is a distinct difference between love and addiction. We will examine how to not only find the difference between the two, but also being able to recognize these elements before they turn your relationship into one of utter dependency.
As do most relationships, addictive and dependent affairs begin with brilliance. This person appears in your life as an answer to all your problems, and a way to feel like you can breathe again.
They encompass all your thoughts, all your actions, and their feelings go into every decision you make. Any semblance of anxiety, depression, self-doubt, or abandonment is washed away – briefly.
The difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships is in how they grow. Instead of blossoming into everlasting love and compassion, addictive relationships become rigid and escalates into a damaging entity, making way for the anxiety and inner turmoil to take the reins, once again.
And you looked like everything I wanted. And then became everything I hated.
Your dependency on this other person is rooted into an obsession of attachment and control. The need to see and understand your significant other’s every move is itemized into your daily routine.
Endless conversation and connection with this other person is the only way you feel your relationship is still in tack. This is masked by a façade of trust, which eventually turns out to be closer to paranoia, suspicion, and panic.
And you showed me who I wanted. And then who I wasn’t.
Unfortunately, another detrimental side effect of addictive relationships is losing your sense of self. You’ve become preoccupied in the idealized version of your significant other, making the risk of losing them even greater.
All of your energy is put into keeping this person alive, well, and happy, ultimately forgetting about your own wants and needs. The reality of your situation and life around you is no longer genuine.
By letting go of everything around you, the connections you developed with family and friends starts to suffer. Your conversations, if any, become solely about the other person, and you’ll no longer be able to draw on personal experiences when asked.
And when things go wrong, because they will, the people you counted on the most will no longer be around. They will have exhausted all opportunity to bring you back to reality and stop this addiction, leaving you to live out the situation for yourself…