It seemed like a good idea. You’ve been pining over someone who has, in the blink of an eye, replaced you with someone else. You are heartbroken and you can’t believe that they are so over you, that you could drop dead and they wouldn’t even notice. So you decide, two can play at this game. I’m not going to sit around here mooning anymore. I’m going to go out with someone else too. You pull up your old profile from that dating site, put your pictures back up and within a few minutes you’ve already got a couple of messages.
It’s a fantastic boost for your bruised ego and it sure feels nice that someone seems interested in you. So you start messaging back and forth. You’re flirting, getting to know them a little, they seem cute enough and by the end of the day you’ve exchanged phone numbers and have been talking non-stop for hours.
You made plans to meet up for Friday night and the next couple of days you feel kind of ok. You’re excited, a little nervous and you’re not obsessing as much over jerkface, who hasn’t made any effort to contact you.
Friday arrives, you put on your best outfit, your hair looks great and you’re not even thinking of whats-his-face. You’re caught up in the excitement of the evening, you get in your car and you’re off to meet your potential new mate.
There he is, he’s attractive, tall, seems nice. Things are going well. He’s funny and amusing and you start to picture your life with this person. While you’re in the bathroom stall you text your best friend, “I think I just met my future husband.”
The date ends, you hug and give him a peck on the cheek. You agree to go out again and everything seems fine. As you start to drive home old, familiar thoughts start to creep into your head. You can’t stop thinking about jerkface and your heart starts to ache again. You get home, open a bottle of wine and start listening to Need You Now, by Lady Antebellum. Next thing you know, you’re drunk-texting He-who-shall-not-be-named, you’re an emotional mess and bing, your phone goes off. It’s a text, your heart flips. Is it him? Is it Jerkface?
No, it’s your date, your heart sinks,“I had a great time tonight. Just wanted to make sure you got home ok.” Why couldn’t it be the one I want? You wonder, why can’t he be nice to me like my date? Why can’t the one I want, want me? But more importantly, why can’t I stop thinking about him?
A lot of people subscribe to the old saying, “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else,” but when you have been involved in an unhealthy, high intensity relationship, trying to squeeze yourself into a new, normal healthy relationship is like going from a Ferrari to a tricycle, when you’ve got a need for speed. Nothing is going to compare. It can’t and all you’ll do is end up feeling worse. The main problem is that your ability to be in romantic relationships is impaired and you can’t fix your relationship issues, while you are in a relationship with anyone.
You’re Addicted to High Intensity Relationships
If you are stuck in a cycle of repeatedly breaking-up and getting back together, then you are addicted to the relationship. The peak of getting your partner back is like a heroin rush to your system. You are more than willing to put up with any valleys, just as long as you know there is a peak coming. This is akin to a drug addict, constantly on the edge waiting for their next hit. They’ll do anything and put up with anything, just as long as they know they’ll have that magical feeling at the end of it. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not rational, but it’s addiction driven.
High intensity relationships exist when both partners are afraid of intimacy and never have both feet in the relationship at the same time. It’s a never ending cycle of chasing, catching, and letting go….. Any normal relationship will feel incredibly boring compared to the rush this type brings. If you’re missing your abusive ex it’s because he or she brings out feelings that you’re used to experiencing. We like what we know and these feelings, even if they’re dysfunctional, feel like home.
This is the Time to Fix What Ails You
If you keep bouncing from one relationship to the other without doing any self-work, don’t be surprised if you keep attracting the same type of person. If you keep doing the same things you will keep getting the same results. This doesn’t mean, if your last guy had a blue collar job, you need to choose a guy with a white collar job, or if your last guy had blond hair and hated hockey, the next one you pick should have dark hair and love hockey. It’s not those kinds of differences that change the dynamics of your relationship. My long term Narcissist was a white collar worker and had long dark hair, bronze skin and dark eyes. My boomerang Narcissist had short blond hair, green eyes and was a blue collar worker. They couldn’t have been more different in personality – but they really were the same guy underneath it all.
Before you date anyone new, you need to make sure that you have gotten to the bottom of your childhood issues, learned new coping mechanisms, learned how to be mindful of your own thoughts and behavior and learned how to reprogram your brain, so that you aren’t consciously and subconsciously looking for that abusive partner that reminds you of the relationship you had with your primary caregivers. If you don’t fix this you will continue to exist at the same low emotional energy and you will continue to attract other low emotional energy people and events to you.
You’re using the New Person as a Distraction
The last thing a codependent wants to do is look at themselves. They’re so good at turning the spotlight on other people and giving their assessment of what’s wrong with them, but they’re terrible at turning it on themselves. Hooking up with someone else is a great distraction that allows them to keep their focus off of what’s really important – healing themselves. Taking care of themselves is such an alien concept to a codependent, the mere thought of it is extremely uncomfortable and can evoke quite a bit of fear. The easiest way to not have to deal with it is to take on someone else and whatever issues they might have.
Imagine too, that if you met a genuinely nice person, who was looking for a new partner, you went out a few times and everything seemed great, then for no apparent reason you dumped them because you’re not over someone else. You’ve just hurt them for reasons that have nothing to do with them and you’ve wasted their time, money and opportunity to meet someone, who was better suited to them. Wishing that someone new could take away your pain is highly unrealistic and puts an unfair burden on their shoulders.
Distracting yourself from your issues doesn’t make them go away. One could date 100 different people and the same issues would keep coming back. The thing that all your relationships have in common is you. You are the common denominator and until you get you healthy, dating is the last thing you should be doing. When you’re dating, you’re vulnerable and I’ve said it before – You can’t recover from your heroine addiction while you are still using heroine. Healthy relationships require trust and an ability to be open and connected to your feelings. If you keep ending up in the same kinds of relationships, with the same kinds of people stop dating, get you healthy, because when you are healthy, your world will be healthy.
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