There are two distinct obsessive compulsive bifurcations within the love arena. One side of this fork in the road is called love addiction, while the other is serial dating. Neither one of these is a functional road to take. And both put your health at risk whether you’re the one caught in its grasp, or if it turns out that you’ve fallen into the net of someone else caught blindly in its grasp… beware. You are entering dangerous territory.
Love addiction is an action driven by emotion, driven by a need to fill a void, to cover up an intense feeling of inadequacy that is simply not true. Maybe they’ve been through negative, excessively judgmental experiences that left scars, as of yet unhealed, and sometimes unrecognized. These scars can come from a cruel year or two on the playground growing up, a critical parent, a lover who’s never satisfied and insensitively shifting the blame, and sometimes even themselves.
But, however it happens, this abusive internal narration becomes internalized. Not always in words either. Sometimes the harshness has been driven so deep that it has simply turned into an automatic negative emotional response, a knee jerk reaction to a silently perceived wretchedness based from one’s feelings of inadequacy.
So this person caught in the grip of perceived self-wretchedness drives themselves to prove this narrative wrong over and over they try, each time trying to do better than the last, each time trying to make this new person the healer of this festering internal wound that keeps breaking open every time they see themselves fail a new relationship.
But failure isn’t what they are experiencing. The initial glow of new love doesn’t last forever. It is the light sparked between two people that beckons us. But eventually that light dims to a familiar glow. It is our own glow, allowing our internal monolog to begin speaking once again.
If you are distraught within yourself, your partner is going to pick up on your unease. This may come up in conversation, the questioning done usually out of concern. But if your internal monolog is harsh and abrasive, it is going to build on your feelings of being less than, of feeling the target, whether or not this is the message being relayed by your partner. Or you may be in the situation where it is your partner who’d internal self in making them feel wretched, no matter how much love or nurturing you try to offer.
Chances are, the person caught in this perpetual conundrum, will eventually move on to the next chance at soothing the burn of their internal narrative, unable to face the music once the glow has died down.
Unless these people can find a way to be less critical of themselves and others, they continue to crave the love they find so elusive, love addicted until they cross over to serial dating.
The serial dater has stripped most of the emotion from the process of dating. The serial dater is no longer looking for love, no longer looking for an emotional and intellectual connection with that special someone. There is a part of them that no longer believes this exists. It is a fairy tale to them, like the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause. They have hardened inside. Their harsh internal monolog has finally proven to their heart, to their emotions, that it is a cold, cruel world out there, and that no one is ever going to love them.
And this has probably been a true experience for them. They haven’t been loved, not with such a rocky road to traverse, with the tests and the traps meant to trip up their intended, with the belief that they are only being taken advantage of every time they start to give. Which can happen, but then again… it is up to us to set our own boundaries.
Boundaries are a natural part of life. They tell the other person in a gentle way that they are stepping outside of our comfort zone. The right person for us has similar comfort zones and so can easily comprehend their partner’s familiar boundaries and needs. Sometimes finding the right partner simply requires that we take an honest assessment of what’s important to us and what we cannot handle, and then going out to find someone of equal footing. Because we can’t make someone be someone they are not. It will make them and us feel wretched about ourselves. And that has never been what a relationship is all about.