Dating and Relationship Questions and Answers
Question

Love Addiction, is it fatal?

I broke up with my girlfriend about 6 months ago after just a 3 month relationship. To this day I am still struggling. I'm 22 years old and she was my first real girlfriend as I am very shy. She was the first person I had been intimate with.

The reason we ended was very confusing in my mind. Out of nowhere doubts were popping into my head that I just couldn't shift. There was no logical reasoning behind the doubts and I couldn't for the life of me find a link between the doubts and my partner. this left me in an awful state of confusion and so I felt I had to end things. Leading up to this period we were in a deep euphoric state, and we spent a lot of time together intimately and it felt like 'perfection'. I longed for a girlfriend and I finally had one. She said she was falling in love with me.

The months after the break-up were very tricky. We were talking everyday still and it almost didn't feel like we had split. I battled my emotions hoping for conviction either for love and to get back together or to pull away. I found I couldn't do either and felt that I just couldn't stop talking to her, yet I also couldn't erase the feelings of doubt when I thought about getting back together. The whole thing has felt like a battle with myself.

Just recently I made the move to stop talking altogether.  This seemed to upset her and I feel really guilty. I'm currently on day 2 without communication and it is mental torture. The annoying thing is there is nothing about her that I can see was the problem, it was all down to myself so I feel I have no closure. I fell like I've failed myself in this chance for a wonderful relationship.

After reading up on the concept of love addiction it appears I have many of the symptoms. E.g. "Love is the only thing that matters in live", " I'm terrified of being alone again", depression, Continual questioning of values and lifestyle, Compartmentalization of the relationship from other areas of life etc etc.

I am facing up to the fact that this is a problem, but how am I to move on from a relationship where the partner involved was so fit for my personality and character. I am the reason this relationship ended not anything to do with her. It could've been special had I been in the right mindset.

How am I to proceed?

Greg

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Answer

Dear Greg

Hope the holidays treated you well, and hopefully the space you intended to put between you and your ex is still going strong. Love addiction, co-dependency or just being plain scared of being alone is a common thing seen in today's society. We have all been raised with the common fairytale ideal of what life should be like. I think it is through this fear of not accomplishing this lifestyle that many of us develop anxiety over the matter.

All in all I think there are a lot worse things in life then wanting to be with someone, but by no means can you let it rule your life. Relationships are a tough thing to get used to, be expected to battle this concept for most of your life. We all need different things, and most of us are looking towards each other for the final answer. We aren't as simple as night or day, white or multigrain, our needs are complex and often ever changing, especially at your age. She seemingly may have had everything you needed in a girl but somewhere inside things weren't being fulfilled. As you pin pointed, this may have a lot more with you then it has to do with her. Perfect or flawed maybe you just need more space or variety in your life.

As you have suggested that your somewhat new to being intimate maybe you became worried that things were going "too good" with your first one. Although the first is always going to be very special, the women at the start of your "dating career" can sometimes carry unforeseen worry due to their possible unchallenged one and onlyness. As to say the worry of things going well (i.e. the both of you getting married or being together for a long time) has a way of added a trapped effect to your life.

Depending on who you are this kind of thing carries a different value. Some are fine waiting till marriage for the one, other just need a few, and some can't ever settle down. You can love a girl whole heartedly but if you still have doubts that you need to be out on the scene unnecessary pressure can sometimes erupt.

I think you took the best course of action by putting some space between you and your ex. I've tried many methods myself when dealing with break-ups and although some people criticize this method of healing I think it's really the only sure fire way to go. It's going to be a painful road but if you are indeed not into having a relationship with this girl I'd cut down communication by a solid 95%. It's ok to say hi if you run into them on the street, or talk on the phone a month from now, but trying to be best friends right after the breakup will make emotions cluttered and confused.

Work on meeting new people, building up your confidence and trying to figure out what your looking for in your romantic lifetime. You are one of millions that thinks they're addicted to love, it's nothing new, embrace it and master it instead of letting it overtake you. Enjoy people's company, fall into love many times, and seek out some variety, you might be amazed as to what you can find. The new year is a great time of year to do some careful self analysis and set some goals for mental progress.

I wish you the best of luck in the new year :)

-Nate Lovestruck