When I was in my twenties - oh man - I had a very immature view of love. I was once dating a guy and felt a lot of "love" for him. But it turns out that we had completely different lifestyles and goals (he was a very good person, but we just weren't even close to being a good match or being on the same desired path). Deep down, I was actually kind of embarrassed about the relationship because it was SO CLEAR to me and everyone else that we were not a good match, but yet I remained with him for a long time - even with a pit in my stomach. And why was I with him? Because he loved me. He really loved me a lot. And so I felt "love" for him back. How could I not? He showered me with attention, he was thoughtful, affectionate, etc. Who doesn't love to be loved? It's very, very easy to love that attention and companionship. It feels amazing. Even when your gut says this isn't a good match or you don't fully respect this person's choices in life, the idea of being loved and "being in love" can feel so good that it's like an addiction that you just can't get rid of - you just can't let it go. You may even hold onto it for dear life.
To my dear readers - are you in a relationship and feeling some agony about it in your gut, yet at the same time feeling like you are "in love" and feeling "love" for this partner? CONFUSING, right? Are you in love with someone who actually would not impress you if you stepped back and watched him/her from the sidelines in their lives? Are you in love with someone, yet in your gut, you have a nagging feeling that this isn't the best decision to be with this person? If so...
consider the idea that you might be "in love with the idea of being in love."
I hope this makes sense. And if you think this could be you, know that you certainly are not alone. I've talked to so many women who have been there. In fact, we've probably all been there at least once.
Here are two things that I think contribute to this problem...
1. LOW SELF-WORTH.
2. SEX. (yep)
Let me explain... :)
1. LOW SELF WORTH.
This is the easy one. ha. Self-worth is soooo crucial in dating. Oh my goodness. Please, please...if you are struggling with this, tackle it head on. Try to overcome this. It will help you tremendously as you date and try to decide who to marry one day. Without self worth, it's easy to feel a little desperate. It's easy to look past major red flags in a relationship simply because you want so desperately to be loved. Without self-worth, it's easy to get yourself into some pickles. It's easy to stay in a relationship for all the wrong reasons. It's easy to latch on to anyone who throws you a bone. It's easy to think that you won't be WHOLE until you find a partner or a spouse. It's easy to feel as though finding a partner is the only thing that matters, and that life is really in a holding pattern until you meet "the one" who will make everything feel complete. I hope you can see how detrimental this can be in a relationship. Someone with low self-worth often demands that their partner make them whole; they rely on someone else to provide them with happiness. Oh dear. This thinking is NOT HEALTHY. This will not lead to a healthy relationship. This will lead to one big roller coaster.
If you feel your self-worth really could use a boost, there is hope for you! :) And I think feeling this way is really quite normal, actually. But...PLEASE CHOOSE TO IMPROVE! :) There are so many things you can do! Here are some ideas to get you started, though I am sure there are many more (if you have anything to add, please leave it in the comments!)
- Find a professional you can connect with who can walk you through overcoming this (keep shopping around for a good fit, if necessary!)
- Ask someone you already know and respect to coach you. A self-worth mentor! Why not?
- Go find a church or a supportive community! Churches can be amazing in helping people to understand their value. The Mormon church has been instrumental in helping me to develop my self-worth. Though there are certainly so many organizations that could help in this area. I recommend finding one! :)
- Speak with a spiritual leader or healer. To me, healing on a spiritual level can bring about the most powerful changes I've ever seen in people of all faiths and belief systems.
- Get some exercise. This can do wonders!!
- Get a Dr. check-up - make sure your hormones, Vitamin D levels, thyroid and other triggers are in check. Physical imbalances can make you feel down about yourself and your life. You can help the situation a lot by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Do activities that make you feel positively about yourself. Serve others. Find a hobby. Play an instrument. Do something daring.
- Become a seeker. Try to figure this out. Read books by experts like Brene Brown & Eckart Tolle. Talk to friends. Take classes. Search philosophy and scripture.
- Replace the negative script in your head with a more positive script until those positive words become your belief system.
OK, I think sex plays a huge part in getting addicted to "love". You see, sex creates a powerful bond between two people; it DOES create a desire to be with someone. In fact, that's why it's so dang amazing for a husband and wife to have it in their marriage. :) There are few things more powerful than sex. BUT, when two people who are unmarried and who are still trying to figure out who and when to marry and how to make the best decisions for their lives.....sex can really, really muddy the decision making process; it can make your brain go to mush. You see, sex creates feelings of love, safety, security, desire and bonding. But it can create those same feelings EVEN IF you are with someone who you know deep down is not a good match for you. In other words, you could become bonded with the wrong person, with a jerk, with someone who is not ready for marriage, with someone who is not treating you well. You may not even be on the same page in life at all! Yet sex can bond you and make you feel enhanced feelings of being "in love" with each other. Talk about getting yourself stuck in a difficult and confusing situation. Some may think I'm old fashioned on this, but I believe in empowering women (and men) before they get married, when at all possible. I think if you remove sex from the equation, it leads to less long-term roller coaster relationships that should have ended a long time ago. It leads to less devastating, heart wrenching, messy break ups that can feel like a divorce. Instead, it provides an opportunity for people to think more clearly and therefore make better decisions regarding marriage. And because of that, I'm all for it!
__________________________________________________________________________________I'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you think I'm off my rocker? Spot on? :)
And, do you think you've ever been in a relationship because you were addicted to "love"? Any wisdom or thoughts to pass along?
(first image source: unknown, second image source: wendesgray)
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