1. You’re so desperate for love, you’ll take it any way it’s served up. All of us want the same thing: to love and to be loved. And for some people there comes a point when we are not feeling loved enough so we’ll take any relationship over being single. Whether it’s tolerating abuse, infidelity, disrespect, or boundary violations. Perhaps in your gut you know it’s wrong to stay, but in your mind the pain of leaving is worse.
This one could be its own post, but I will say this: If you know in your gut the relationship is not well, there is your answer. Period. And maybe it’s not time for you to walk away, but if nothing else, it’s a time for you to have a conversation with your partner that things need to change. And if they won’t work on it, there’s your answer.
And P.S….love yourself first. Staying in an unhealthy relationship for the sake of feeling loved will always end in massive disappointment.
2. You’re attracting the same type of partner as you’re feeling. This isn’t always the case, but it’s typical that if you’re feeling insecure, bitter, resentful, if you self-hate, chances are you’re going to attract the same type of person and/or that person will treat you exactly as you are feeling. Then you’ll end up finding evidence of your feelings in the shape of your relationships. For instance, if you’re with someone who doesn’t feel good about himself, chances are he won’t treat you with the love and respect you deserve. Which opens the door for your inner-critic to come in and tell you, “See! This is what you deserve. Of course it would end up like this.” It’s a cycle that can only be broken by you feeling good and loving towards yourself.
3. You’re a love addict. Guuuuurl, it takes one to know one. When I read the book, “Facing Love Addiction” I felt like Pia Mellody had written my autobiography and then hit me over the head with it. Love addicts in a nutshell are addicted to the feeling of being in love and in my case; addicted to the person I was in the relationship with. The relationship was what gave my life meaning. My life purpose was to make the relationship work. To make him love me the way my heart wanted to be loved. It consumed my life.
Er, not good.
Love addiction is like any other addiction. You’re filling yourself up with something outside of you. If you really feel as if this is you, I encourage you to get help either with a program, or the book above.
4. You expect your relationships to fail. If your self-esteem and self-worth are unhealthy, this is when you expect your relationships to fall apart. If you think all you meet are jerks and crazies that use you and leave you, you will find evidence of this. I encourage you to ask yourself WHY you think and assume this. Is it because it’s been your track record? Then it’s time to investigate how you feel about YOURSELF. How you feel about yourself will dictate how your relationships are. True story.
5. You sabotage any healthy relationship you’re in. Let’s say you’re had a string of shit relationships. Then you meet a really nice, normal, loving guy. Pretty soon you find yourself picking fights, or flirting with other guys, or maybe you’re thinking of leaving the relationship altogether. A couple of things might be happening. First, you’re bored and probably used to craziness- not normalness. (See #6) or deep down your gremlin is telling you that you don’t deserve to have this nice, healthy relationship, so you do things maybe consciously or unconsciously to cause problems to end the relationship.
6. You’re a drama addict. If you’re so used to chaos, intensity and drama, you may be a drama addict. I personally don’t see anything wrong with a little drama every once in a great while (because let’s face it, make-up sex is hot), but if this is your default way of communicating with your partner, or if your relationship has really high highs, and really low lows, that can be unhealthy. When I got married for the second time, I had to get used to communicating without yelling, slamming doors, hanging up on each other, and ending each argument with, “go fuck yourself”. At times I thought my new marriage was boring, but my therapist assured me that NOT doing all of those volatile things and actually communicating respectfully was normal and healthy. Who knew?
7. You’re waiting for someone to “complete” you. Hey sister- Prince Charming also had his not-so-great, ball scratching, asshole moments. I want to vomit every time I see that scene in Jerry McGuire where he tells her, “You complete me”. Barf.
Truth: Autonomy is essential to a healthy relationship. If you aren’t complete before you get into a relationship, you’re in trouble. To be fair, I’m not saying you need to get to a place of enlightenment before you date. I think taking responsibility for what’s yours and what’s not is the first step and if you’re willing to look at that in your relationship, you’re on the right track. But, if you’re actually looking for someone to complete you, you’re in trouble. It’s no one’s job but yours to bring your own happiness to the relationship. Putting that on a partner is not only unfair, but unhealthy.
If you notice something about all 7 of these- they all come back to self. I see people all the time (and I did it myself), search for love and happiness in a relationship. Yes, it’s important to have those things, but if you don’t have it in yourself FIRST AND FOREMOST, you’ll be running around in circles thinking, “What is wrong with me!?”. I assure you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are not broken, nor do you need fixing. The answer is in you.