The majority of us when asked would say we’d like to maintain a relationship as opposed to alone. But not all connections are created equal. There are those that are healthy and those which aren’t. Being alone is really better in some instances, particularly if your other option is being in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.
But there are people who would still pick the unhealthy relationship over being alone, even if it’s detrimental to their joy and health. Or the ones that swing from one connection to another, refusing to finish one unless another has started. Each one of these individuals very likely suffers from relationship addiction.
Relationship addiction can be difficult to comprehend, especially for the individual suffering from it. The majority of the time people do not see their behaviours as unhealthy. They may claim to be in love, or to be after their heart.
What Relationship Addiction Can Look Like
Someone managing relationship dependence can find it almost impossible to work without being a part of a romantic relationship. Left on their own they might feel overwhelmingly incomplete or lonely.
This addiction generally manifests in one of two ways:
1. Relationship hopping. Dating hoppers will meet someone, get intensely involved, and then, normally within months, meet somebody else and break things off. This cycle will repeat itself over and over as they move from one individual to another. The relationship hopper is continually searching for the”one” who makes their life complete, banking all their happiness on someone else’s presence and influence.
2. Refusal to leave an unhealthy situation. Another way relationship addiction may manifest is when someone fails to see and alter an abusive or unhealthy situation. These people have their identity so tied to their relationship that the concept of leaving is almost unfathomable — even if this means they suffer. And when these dating enthusiasts in do find the strength to leave, they will often return, not feeling like they could function normally outside of their relationship. This cycle may repeat as well — disagreements, break-ups, getting back together, repeat.
People in one of these categories may have an extremely limited awareness of self and individuality. They don’t understand how to exist out of a relationship and frequently drop interest and connection to family, friends, hobbies, as well as tasks when inside. Overtime this may cause feelings of depression and isolation.
Often they’re also prone to confusing sex with love, presuming that sexual interest is just like deep and real feelings of connection. Regrettably, for many relationship enthusiasts, this is a mistake and their often partner does not share the identical degree of investment in the relationship. If this gap becomes apparent it may have significant detrimental consequences on the relationship enthusiast’s mental state.
Why Dating Addiction Happens
Relationship addicts do not generally recognize that there’s a problem. They feel like their objective of finding love and a happy relationship is just like anyone else’s. What they do not understand is the underlying issues and motivators for their strategy are unhealthy and different.
The majority of the time dating addicts are fighting with self-esteem and intimacy difficulties. This can be a result of things from their youth and family surroundings, traumatic experiences in earlier romantic relationships, or deeper emotional health difficulties. These conditions will have defined their notion of a”normal” connection or given them an erroneous view of what they believe they want and deserve from a spouse.
Occasionally, particularly in the event of dating hoppers, the enthusiast might be a narcissist and always seeking partners that will validate their feelings of grandiosity and entitlement. In these instances the addict can lead to harm and pain to their spouse also, even to the point of creating the relationship abusive.
How you help someone who’s suffering with connection addiction will be different based upon the underlying factors that led to the behavior. Like any addict however, they might not be in a position to change without outside assistance, particularly if they don’t comprehend the depth of the problem. Whatever the motives, and regardless of what sort of enthusiast, wanting to be a part of a connection at any price in unhealthy and will not lead to a long-lasting and joyful relationship.