One of the most important aspects of our lives is the relationships we have with people. Biologically, we seek out mates and are social creatures. We crave companionship, be it from family, friends, or a partner. It is part of who we are as humans.
As love addicts, we obsess and worry about our love relationships constantly. We seek out other partners immediately after a break-up, and never stay single for long. What’s the longest you’ve ever been single?
Part of recovery is building loving and healthy relationships. What are your love relationships like? How have they made you feel? My relationships haven’t always been positive. I have been emotionally abused and settled for addicts, disregarding boundaries to feel what I used to think was love. It made me feel worthless to constantly want be with people that were emotionally unavailable. I was always attracted to the addicts.
When we choose people to be in our lives, we often choose people that feel safe and comfortable to us. We subconsciously pick relationships that mimic what our relationships in our childhoods were like (especially with our parents). When I first heard this in recovery, I was shocked to find how well it fit my life. That was when I realized my picker has been off! Does it hold true for yours? Are there any patterns in your relationships that you’ve noticed?
Since we emulate our parents’ relationships in our own, dysfunction feels normal for people like us. It’s what feels safe, and we gravitate towards it. Figuring that out can help you stop picking the wrong people!
Figure out what feeling it is that makes you choose a particular person. For example, I always went with people that always made me feel a certain way. Those are the people I try to steer clear of now. Instead, I don’t go with the initial feeling I get for someone. I try to wait it out and get to know them, letting my interest grow. Eventually, the feeling will come! The most important thing to remember when choosing the people you want to be in a love relationship with are keeping your boundaries with yourself. What sort of boundaries can you set? Tell a friend, your sponsor, or therapist your boundary in order to have someone to be accountable to if you find yourself struggling. Don’t settle for anyone!