There is such a thing as a love addiction where the connection between two people is more chaotic than positive but they cannot seem to separate. One person is usually self-centered and the other overly-empathic. The self-centered person comes and goes as they please, while the empathic person is stuck in an unpredictable pattern of trying to let go only to get sucked back in any time the self-centered person comes back and wants them or gives them any type of attention.
Here are 5 Signs You are Addicted to a Toxic Relationship:
1. Craving: When love is an addiction, there is a compulsive and chronic craving or pursuit of a lover in an effort to get a sense of security and worth from them. These relationships always stay true to the extremes of infatuation and heartbreak, hardly ever functioning in the middle where true intimacy can exist. It is the roller coaster ride where you no longer have control over your self-esteem, emotional stability or independence. You are always on the edge of breakdown and obsessed with every action, word, glance, or move your partner makes.
2. Infatuation: When we are in the infatuation phase we believe we have finally gained and secured the relationship, only to be horribly disappointed and empty again once the person decides they cannot commit after all. The negative consequences can be severe and yet the love addict continues to hang on to the belief that true love will fix everything. Infatuation has been proven to take over the more rational parts of the brain. People cannot understand why the nice person keeps going back, because from the outside looking in there is nothing but a toxic connection there.
3. Hope is dope: When the person you once loved and who broke your heart comes back, you get a huge sense of relief and become hopeful. You see something in that person no one else does. The rewards keep you hooked because they alleviate the pain and suffering. They make you believe they really do want you they are just “not ready” or “too scared.” These justifications are the hopeful qualities which keep you waiting.
4. Intermittent reinforcement: A lack of predictability is incredibly seductive and rewarding. Sadly, when you never know if or when you will get rewarded you go through a process of withdrawal and depression. When there is no reward you begin to give up, until that person reappears in your life – promising change and undying love. Just as you get sucked in, they disappoint again.
5. Loss of support: When you are in a toxic relationship, you often lose the respect and support from those who love you the most. At some point they cannot hear your broken record over and over again. Because nothing is stable, you are needy for advice all the time and you wear those out who will listen to you because your story never changes.
Solution: Get out. It is easier said than done, but there is no future with a person who is toxic. You will listen and believe every excuse they make which can go on for years. You have to decide how many years you want to waste on broken promises. You have to be wise, look at the reality of the pattern and dismantle the hope that keeps you believing this person will at some point change and offer you the relationship you want.
Little life Message: Love yourself enough to leave what doesn’t serve you.
Dr. Sherrie Campbell is the author of Loving Yourself, and a licensed Psychologist with more than nineteen years of clinical training and experience. Receive free insights from Sherrie and get involved in her Facebook community with others looking to improve their relationships.