The person becomes the fix for our external
needs and gaping holes, and the bigger our emotional holes, the
more intensely we feel drawn to and attached to this one human being.
The physical connection is usually undeniable, like a gravitational pull we can’t control. And our emotional and intellectual fantasies
run rampant, which is why most people mistake these unhealthy
relationships for authentic partnerships. But unlike healthy connections,
which support us and encourage us to be our full and
authentic selves, the unhealthy bonds lead to devastating and life-draining
lows. While the ride may feel good at times, in the end
we are too often left unsatisfied, sad, and empty, with our desires
and needs unmet. The cycle is always the same: we give in to the
intense attraction, fall totally into it and enjoy the highs, plummet
to the depths of despair, and then start the cycle all over again.
While it may feel fantastic at times to be intertwined with the other,
using another person to avoid healing our wounds is unhealthy.
COTTON BALLS IN YOUR EARS
This person is “the one,” and we will vehemently profess to those closest to us that “HE/SHE is the love of my life, I don’t care what you say! . . . If you really loved me, you would be happy for me. . . . You just don’t understand.” Convinced that we know the real deal even if our friends and family
think otherwise, we won’t listen to what anyone has to say.
Sure, the relationship isn’t perfect — they’ve got a girlfriend, they lie, they have an addiction problem, or they are not committing anytime soon — but
because we have great chemistry or some other “special” connection,
we’re convinced that the rest of the world just doesn’t know
what they’re talking about. What most of us need when we’re in
this state is a bucket of cold water in the face to wake us the hell up!
If our friends and family scream, “Stop!” and we don’t listen, it’s
almost a sure bet that our relationship is not a healthy influence.
THE DERANGED LOVE TRAIN.
Our heads fill with thoughts like “Who cares that we just met three weeks ago? He/she told me that they love me, and I love them.” We believe without a glimmer of doubt that we are in LOVE. Sure, the feelings are undeniably powerful, and the sex fantastic, so how could it be anything but love?
When we start asking ourselves questions like “How would
his last name sound with mine?” “What will our babies be
named?” and “Where will we live?” weeks into our relationship,
we have just entered fantasyland. Even if this person is playing
along, and even if you really are meant to be life partners, questions
like this do not belong anywhere near the beginning of a relationship.
There is no getting around the fact that we cannot be in
love with someone we don’t really know. Intensely attracted, you
bet, but in love, no.