Oh, the dangers of jumping from one relationship to another… without taking some time-out to be alone with yourself.
You know how they say “quality over quantity”? Like how it’s more meaningful to have just a few outstanding things… than having plenty of things that’s just “meh”… Well, it also applies to relationships.
But sadly, some people (and by “some people” you know I’m referring to myself) are so afraid of being alone, that they jump from one relationship to the next in hopes of avoiding the void. But by doing this, you eventually lose yourself… your individuality… because you’ve come to depend on being part of a couple.
That’s exactly what happened to me. I was in a relationship for a long, long, loooooong time… the ex-hubs and I were together since 1991… married from 1995 to 2006. I was part of a couple for 15 years. And when it ended, I had no idea what to do with myself… my life. Like seriously, am I going to survive through the next 15 minutes? Because an entire half of me is now gone.
I was terrified.
Some people absorb their partner’s personality… especially if the relationship was a long-term one. But being the overachiever that I am, I did much more than that… I pretty much disappeared into him. Carmen was not whole without him.
The relationships following my separation entertained that idea, oh so gloriously.
Let me be completely & painfully honest here… it’s so much easier to find a new mate than taking the time to heal. It distracts you from the pain you’re feeling from losing someone who completed you… and heck of a lot quicker than discovering and rebuilding your own identity.
The thing about jumping into a relationship *because* you don’t want to be alone is… things that are normally very important in a loving, healthy relationship such as: respect, boundaries, and compatibility gets pushed way back in the priorities list.
It takes time to connect with someone you are compatible with… any quality relationship takes time. Time to evaluate and weed through those that won’t work out. And during that time, you’ll need to be alone… and most relationship addicts are too afraid of that alone-time, to give “taking time” a chance.
What I can tell you from my own experience is that if you’re a relationship addict, you will attract people who wants to save you… and that’s not even remotely similar to finding yourself a knight in shining armor. I’ve found that these savior types have such incredibly low self confidence, that he (we’ll say “he” since I’m talking from my own experience… but it most certainly can be a “she” as well) NEEDS to feel like he’s your EVERYTHING. And he’ll want you to remain weak and dependent for as long as you are with him.
This is where it gets dangerous, because control, mental, and emotional abuse begins. He takes full advantage on your fear of being alone to manipulate the relationship… and because you don’t want to be alone, allow him to do whatever he wants. He’ll pull you away from friends, family, and your circle of support… he’ll use guilt and “if you really love me” tactics… and the big one: gaslighting.
It took me many, many broken hearts to finally decide I’ve had enough. I mean, the type of people I was attracting… and the situations I’ve repeatedly found myself in… was always THE SAME. So after my last heart break, I decided to finally TIME OUT.
Like attracts like… and if I want a strong, independent, self respecting partner, I have to hold myself at that same value. It’s only fair, right? And in order to do that, I must be perfectly fine being alone, *because* I’m strong, independent, and respect myself.
I went ALL IN… faced my fears and pain head on. And I cried and prayed and cried and meditated and cried and re discovered myself… and realized pain is actually a good thing. It’s because of the pain that I fought hard to discover who I was as an individual… find what makes myself happy, so that my happiness doesn’t depend on another person… and be at peace with just be-ing.
It took me 4 excruciating months of going raw with this… and it was the BEST thing I’ve done for myself since my marriage ended in 2006.
There’s this wonderful sense of freedom, strength, and true happiness from knowing I already have everything I need in myself… and that I know exactly what makes me happy as an individual.
When you are no longer addicted to relationships, you are no longer depend on another person to “complete” you. Instead, others (no matter what the relationship) simply adds to an already WHOLE you. You no longer feel pressured into another relationship… instead, it becomes YOUR choice.
I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s true… you are stronger than you think. It can be scary, painful, and lonely… it certainly was for me… but stick through it, believe in yourself, and I promise, you’ll come out of it even stronger and happier than before!
P.S. Lemme know what you think!
Carmen is a mom, life strategist, religion teacher, best selling author, advice columnist, foodie wannabe, and advocate for victims of narcissistic abuse. She is currently living la vida loca in Vegas with her not-so-little human… prepping him for med school while pseudo-adulting, Tahitian dancing, and exploring the delicious world of bubble tea *woo!*