Millions of people are involved in addictive relationships. These are romantic relationships that are unhealthy. They are inauthentic. The reasons for at least one of the people being in the relationship have to do with personal issues or some form of mental illness instead of true love and respect for the other person.
An addictive relationship is much more like a drug than a real relationship-hence its name. But it's not always easy to tell if you're in an addictive relationship. There are certain things that you should look for, and if any of them are true you should probably end your relationship.
Signs of an addictive relationship
- Your relationship to the other person is based solely on physical, animal-like attraction. The other person might be married, emotionally distant, or totally uninterested in anything you are interested in but you still think you want them. You may call it "love at first sight", but there's no such thing.
- You got together with the person with the idea of changing them to become the way you want. You constantly fantasize about how wondrous things would "if only" the person changed to please you. This tends to be more a female problem.
- You know you aren't happy or fulfilled in the relationship and never will be, but you somehow stay in it. You might worry about how the other person will take the breakup instead of your own fulfillment. You might believe in secret that you aren't worthy of a fulfilling relationship.
- Your relationship is full of conflict, but you find the non-conflicting relationships of other people "boring".
- You are usually an independent person, but when it comes to your relationship you feel totally dependent.
- Your partner makes demands on you that you want to say "no" to, but you never can bring yourself to.
- Your partner causes you to doubt yourself a lot.
Overcoming relationship addictions
To overcome your getting into addictive relationships, you need to know what a healthy relationship must include.
- Respect and joy in each other's personalities, even when you disagree.
- A lot of shared commonalities and common interests.
- Far more shared laughter than shared conflict.
- You feel built-up by your partner, not torn down and self-doubting.
- You can say "no" without fear. You may still need to discuss a disagreement with your partner, but you don't feel that you always have to give in to their demands.
- Your sexual attraction is based as much on their personality as their physical attractiveness.
A relationship is not a drug. It is alive itself, and makes you feel more alive personally. Be aware of the reasons why you get into any romantic relationship.