I’ve attempted to write about other topics over the years, but to be totally honest with you – I just don’t have the heart for them, nothing gets me franticly bashing the keys of my laptop like Love does. I guess it’s because for me this Love search goes on, still, even at the age of 34. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a Love Junkie.
That isn’t to say that I haven’t found love. I have. I have been so lucky to have experienced and to have been part of some of the most loving relationships and friendships. But I haven’t “made it” yet. I haven’t found my forever person, despite on two occasions being so very sure that I had.
At the moment I’m going Love-Cold-Turkey. I’m abstaining from anything that may render my already fragile heart being ripped wide open again, and I’m spending my time loving me, on developing me, fulfilling my ambitions and goals instead of living someone else’s dream, and for the first time in a long while I feel amazing.
What can go wrong for Love Junkies?
In a recent “almost relationship”, that somehow ran on for over two and half years , I found that I was drained from giving so much of myself and getting so little in return by way of commitment or stability. As a result of not putting in healthy boundaries with the person concerned, after a while I began suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I discovered that somewhere along our pathway I had stopped loving me, at the expense of loving him and trying so desperately to ensure that there was enough love to keep us going. I lost sight of the truth, and gave away so much of my precious time loving him, instead of spending that time on developing me. I craved his attention so much, like a junkie waiting for their next hit, that I became willing to accept crumbs of this relationship pie that I was so desperate to devour.
I found out the hard way that when you are a Love Junkie you think that you know how to love well, you give your love to everyone and everything but yourself, but loving well should never mean forgetting oneself.
Love is a strange thing. According to modern day psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists alike, the general consensus is that it is just as easy to become addicted to falling in love as it is to get hooked on street drugs. But I think maybe my favourite drug is love. I’m hooked on the fizzing tummy moments that love can bring about and the feeling of “home” that you can get, certainly if you are loving the right person.
At the root of all junkies is the core belief that “we are not enough.”
For me it was easy to slip back into these thought patterns of not being enough, because they had been a part of my personal narrative and way of thinking for so long. Once I allowed this negative voice to become my internal dictator, my “love junkie” was awoken once more. I thought that it must have been because of me, that I wasn’t good enough for him in some way, and I began analysing myself to a really destructive degree.
Where I was misled was through this internal belief that things would be better if I only loved more—and this “love” was demonstrated by giving all of myself to him, not listening to my personal needs for commitment and stability, or voicing my desires, or speaking my true feelings, for fear of losing him once more.
I felt that if I only loved more, then maybe we would be okay. That maybe I had enough love for both of us – just until he was ready and he would love me back.
The thing was, he was never truly ready – so a pattern was soon created whereby he would go awol and exit our “almost relationship” and after my initial attempts at standing strong ultimately failed, I would go full steam ahead, rewarding him with more of that precious love until he returned once more. This behaviou0r set a precedence and a guide for what I would accept within this relationship and demonstrated to him that I had little respect for myself and for my needs, and that his needs ranked so much higher than mine.
But some “drugs” are good, right?
I wont’ give up on love though, even after my experiences. For the time being I’m finding other ways to love, starting with me, through my work, my friendships and in physically taking care of myself. I’m learning to put me first, not in a selfish way, but in all honesty how can I show someone what I need if I don’t know myself? Others learn about your boundaries and expectations mainly through observation, by watching how you treat yourself. So this year I am choosing to focus on loving me. I believe that Love truly does conquer all, it’s the best thing to be hooked on. The come-downs from love are still dangerous, but the highs most definitely outweigh them.
Some you will win, and sadly (or not so sadly in some cases) you will lose. But each love fuelled journey will give you a gift to take away and will be guiding you on to the next chapter in this thing called life.
“Love is not an obsession. Love is not a possession or the pursuit of possessing any one person. True love fuels a sense of freedom and joy, even within relationships”.