We all have that desire to be “in love”. There is a special feeling that accompanies the romantic kind of love. Being in love provides a feeling of security, a sense of safety, and a post to lean on – just all around comfort that can be extremely uplifting or a terrible choking hazard. The question is: How do you tell the difference between real love and toxic love? How do you know when you are in love or in love with the idea of being in love? Are you addicted or, are you truly “in love?”
To find out if it’s true love or an addiction by asking yourself the following 12 questions:
1. Are you hiding the guy or the “relationship” because you are avoiding what your friends and family might think in terms of your super active “love” life?
2. Are you consistently worried that you will lose him?
3. Do you rationalize doing more work in the relationship than you should?
4. Do you excuse his lack of attention in your interest or hobbies?
5. How often are you emotionally unfulfilled when you are around him?
6. Do you negotiate your personal boundaries tolerating unacceptable behaviors like verbal abuse or intentional disrespect from him?
7. Do you use sex as a means of appealing to him or seducing him emotionally?
8. Do you date the same kind of guy or the same guy, repeatedly?
9. Are you in constant contact with him even though you are doing most of the contacting?
10. Are you in contact with more than one guy with no well-defined attraction for any one of them?
11. Do you allow yourself to be single for a while in between romantic interests or relationships?
12. Do you remember the last time you were single or alone and happy?
How many of these questions did you answer with “maybe”, “possibly” or “yes”? One? Two? Maybe you don’t have much to worry about if you are being honest with yourself. If you were actually candid and found that your answers made you feel defensive or uncomfortable then you may have a problem in your relationship that should be addressed and soon.
Seeing others in love remind us of the lack of passion we have in our lives. We then use this feeling to measure our self-esteem and self-worth. There is a tendency to beat up the person in the mirror because there is no significant other to share the intimate details or our life with. Meanwhile, the lives of others who seem to have it all together are a constant reminder that you don’t. So, not only are you beating yourself up you are also pouring salt into your own wounds! And seriously, you are only fooling yourself because most don’t feel that they have their act together but know how to put on a good show for your viewing and their social media posts!
So, with our self-loathing thoughts, we engage in any and every relationship we can get our hands on. We throw ourselves at the first guy who smiles, winks or buys us a drink without thoughtfulness to our independence. We immediately submit to his every want, need and desire as means of fulfilling a void that really isn’t there or hasn’t been identified correctly. Sure, he might act like he is into you but more than likely, you are a notch in his belt and he has a level of concern that goes about as far as his bedroom door, which is why you use sex to “seduce” him. In reality, you are just making it easy for him.
So, how do you know if the guy you are dating is the “real thing” or another one of your cockamamie loveless ideas that will send you into a radical girls night binge?
He shows you respect without you asking for it. The real guys out there, the guys with thoughtfulness and concern will respect you even when you don’t respect yourself.
He makes an effort. He can initiate conversations and makes plans with you before you bring it up, but he is NOT blowing up your phone!
He seems to “get” you because he wants to. He will ask questions and listen as you answer. He will offer you answers when you ask. He will figure out what drives you, encourages you, motives you and inspires you and try to incorporate what he can into the relationship from his capacity.
Because he “gets” you, he also wants you to be you. He doesn’t tell you how to act, what to say or how to dress. He gives you space you need to be you and he expects the same for himself. He encourages you to be all that you are, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly because he understands you are human. Not perfect.
You are relaxed around him. One of my favorite feelings is being relaxed, specifically around the guy I am seeing. Yeah, there are sparks and there is a flame but there is that feeling of just being Zen when you are with someone. That feeling of relaxation with your romantic partner means the other four items are in play and in a healthy manner!
The loving relationship you seek, or desire “someday”, will only take shape once you can handle being you on your own. If you can’t handle you, if you can’t be you by yourself, if you can’t take being alone for any length of time why would anyone else want to be with you, either?