Moving forward from Love Addiction
I have been thinking about how devastating it is when a love addict finally admits and owns his/her love addiction. Is it any wonder people hang on to their addictions for all they're worth because, if you finally admit you are a love addict and your relationship is based on faulty thinking and feelings, then where do you go? You give up your boyfriend/girlfriend because the relationship is toxic, harmful, and scarring. Let's look at how we can trade our love addiction for a healthy, meaningful relationship.
I get that it's scary to get out of a relationship and be left totally alone with a deafening silence and ache deep within your soul. But you must not believe the lie that your next relationship will be any different if you don't first pause and examine yourself and past relationships. You've talked yourself into a love treadmill that leads to exhaustion and takes you nowhere.
So, what should you do? How can you stay sane when you do not have a significant other or someone in your life?
6 Steps to Prepare Yourself for a Meaningful Relationship:
1. Work on being alone. It's going to be hard but accept yourself for who you are without a boyfriend/girlfriend to prop you up. Spend time with God. Spend time with other friends whom you are not romantically interested in. It is amazing how free you'll feel not having that panicked feeling that you have to have someone in your life. You must have an accurate sense of who you are, your own identity. Someone who is too caught up in their own insecurities and shortcomings will live with a "me" mentality. A great relationship starts with being comfortable with who God has made you to be and His dream for your life, and then allowing that to overflow into the life of another. (Sarah)
2. Talk about your bend towards love addiction with friends or a minister or counselor. Just talking about these things will help you more clearly understand yourself and realize you are not alone. Talk to someone who will talk loving, but straight with you. In time, you will learn an incredible truth it's okay to be alone. You will not die without a boyfriend/girlfriend. Life does go on. There is more to life than an addictive, toxic relationship. Without all the emotional panic and crazed feelings, you can begin to slow down and actually enjoy life for what it is. Is this easy? No. It will take time to learn a whole new way of thinking and acting.
3. Work on developing new friendships with people from both sexes that do not have any romantic overtones to them. I've always thought people of the opposite sex need to be together just to hang out as friends. This will not only help fill the need for companionship but will also help you understand what the opposite sex thinks and feels about the key issues of life. You can learn a lot about the opposite sex through good friends, especially when there isn't the pressure to have some dramatic, big-time love relationship. Let's face it, if you are a love addict you definitely need a rest from all the drama and intensity of an impossible relationship. You are no doubt tired. Finding new friends will help give you the rest and relief you need to look more clearly at yourself and think about the kind of person you would like to have a romantic relationship with.
4. Slowly work your way back into a dating relationship. The important thing to remember here is to slow down and not force things. A lot of times, a person you will really come to love will come into your life when you weren't even looking for them. It's amazing how that works, but I have heard hundreds of people tell me they found the one they love the most when they weren't looking for them. To find a boyfriend/girlfriend out of panic is a recipe for disaster. So slow down and let life come to you. God will fill the hole in our soul and help lead us to the right person to date at the right time.
5. Develop a meaningful relationship with God. No matter what you think about church or organized religion, the fact is you and I are wired to have a meaningful relationship with God. He is the only One who can give us peace and confidence when we feel alone. Because in a real sense, we are not totally alone if we have a relationship with God. God will fill the hole in our soul and help lead us to the right person to date at the right time. He loves us millions of times more than we can ever love ourselves. We need to turn our whole desire to be loved over to Him. After all, He is the very essence of love. Take time to find and know God. He alone will transform our lives.
6. Begin to look for healthy qualities in the people you meet. You don't need to date one more troubled, self-indulgent, toxic person. You need to change your whole way of thinking about the kind of person you might want to date with. For example, Sarah had thought through the kind of person she would like to date. A good relationship takes an equal amount of commitment from each partner. You have to allow your partner their personal space, allow them to spend time with their friends instead of always wanting to know where they are. There also needs to be equal understanding and support from both partners. You have to appreciate your partner's positives as well as their negatives. Relationships are mainly about equilibrium and stability between the partners. (Sara)I totally agree with what Sarah said. Don't settle for second best.
As I close, I want to end this blog where I began when I started writing about love addiction with the wise words of King Solomon recorded in the Bible. He said, "guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."
Many people don't have the patience to let a relationship develop. They rush into things, but it never lasts. Learn how to find a meaningful relationship.