Love. The word conjures images of red valentine hearts, the feeling of butterflies in your stomach, and senses ignited with passion.
And then reality sets in. Disappointment, anxiety and despair take over…
Addiction to love comes in many forms, though all have one common point of origin: a need to be loved, accepted, appreciated; to feel safe and supported. If at some point – whether in childhood, or even in another lifetime – these needs are not met, we can become insecure, needy, and fear rejection at the highest level. We seek a connection with someone else to quell the sense of trying to feel good, but never quite making it. As the universal law says, Like Attracts Like, and we end up choosing partners with addictions of their own.
There goes the white picket fence.
When we feel unworthy at our innermost level, we choose partners who fear the connection and intimacy we are in desperate need of. We become codependent on our partner, whose love, approval, and commitment always seem just out of reach.
We are codependent if:
1. We are overly sensitive and concerned about the needs of others.
2. We assume all (or nearly all) of the responsibility for our relationships.
3. A heightened fear of abandonment causes us to overlook important signs that we should end an unhealthy relationship. These include verbal, mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse as well as alcohol, drug and sex addictions.
4. We feel the need to control others with manipulation, aggression or seductive behavior.
5. We have shut down and become numb and/or depressed for the sake of staying in the relationship.
Loving without limits equals a loss of control and a relinquishing of our personal power. We lose touch with all we are, and resort to trying to control and change our partner by modifying our own actions, thoughts and feelings, yet never attain the results we seek as we shed our identity. If a relationship causes hurt all or most of the time, it’s NOT one based on love! We deserve more.
Change and transition comes for those who want it and decide to make it happen. Create a support network for yourself, whatever you decide to do. Whether you determine to stay or go, start practicing taking responsibility for your feelings, raising the bar on what you deserve, and set boundaries on how others treat you. You and you alone are responsible for your happiness, joy, and well-being in life.