Of all the many addictions and obsessions that leave us feeling trapped – whether it’s partying, shopping or even just Facebook stalking – what could be a more under-estimated affliction than that of love addiction? Allow us to indulge you with a personal testimony to the power of this particular vice.
Both of us girls (the founders of addictivedaughter.com) used to be obsessed with dating Bad Boys. They were typically heavy drinkers, serial philanderers and emotionally unavailable. Inevitably, these relationships never worked out.
Yet, we found ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, believing that we were destined to only ever fall for men who would eventually break our hearts, claiming that they were just our type. As far as we were concerned, our love lives were essentially out of our control, because we could not help who we fell for.
It never dawned on us that we were actively choosing these toxic relationships as a way of avoiding having to look at what was really going on inside of us underneath all the romantic drama.
Because it is a choice, after all – who we give our hearts to; infatuation and obsession are decisions like any other, but we tend not to perceive them this way. This is because we are regularly bombarded with the Hollywood-ised perception of true love as being all-consuming and immersed with pain, suffering and heartache.
Yet, there came a point for both of us (after experiencing a crushing break-up one too many times), when we decided that this obsessive and addictive form of love was simply too painful and exhausting to fight for any longer.
There had to be a different way.
And – it turned out – there was. It began by taking a very honest look at our own patterns in relationships. It was probably no coincidence that we kept being drawn to the same type of man that, for whatever reason, could never give us the love we so badly craved.
We realised that we had hopped from destructive relationship to destructive relationship, desperately looking for what was missing from within us – namely, a sense of self-worth and self-love.
It became apparent that the only way that we could ever hope to find a healthy loving relationship in the future, was to first develop one with ourselves.
From the murky depths of heartbreak, we began to focus all the energy that we had once used to obsess over relationships that were doomed from the start, into obsessively learning to love and respect ourselves wholeheartedly instead.
After all, we had been more than willing to become fully addicted to our previous love interests – knowing full well it would only end in pain, so why not permit ourselves to become equally addicted to our own healing, safe in the knowledge that it could only be beneficial to our lives? Without that other person to fix on, something needed to fill the empty void – it may as well have been ourselves.
After what we later dubbed our ‘summer of self-love’, whenever new love interests turned up on the scene (as they always do just as things are finally going well), we were not thrown off course by them as we always had been before. Our new-found self-worth was too precious a thing to throw away for what we used to sweepingly (and somewhat naively) refer to as love.
We took our time, assessed whether these potential suitors would benefit or hinder our lives, and only chose to commit when we felt sure these men valued us as much as we now valued ourselves.
The result of our new perspective on love?
Well, one of us recently got married to a wonderful man, and the other is choosing to focus purely on her relationship with herself for the time being, and it feels great.
After seeing the huge benefits of examining and working on our own love lives, we felt called to share what we had learned with others out there struggling in romance.
If you’d like to learn the 3 step process we went through ourselves to turn our heartbreak into the best thing that’s ever happened to us, head over to heart-rehab.com – we’re sure you won’t regret it.
Persia & Joey
Founders of addictivedaughter.com