So, here’s the thing. I had no cooking clue there was such a thing as being addicted to love. I mean, I am no stranger to addictions, having gone through Life in Recovery classes that touch on these in their different forms, as well as having been in counselling and therapy.
Somehow, I had missed the truth that one can be addicted to something considered “good” such as ‘love’. What is funny to me now is how I would tell anyone willing to listen that I just “loved love”. Anyone who knew me just a little knew that I was obsessed with the idea of love – with listening to couple’s stories of how they met, fell in love, and and and. It made me feel alive and wistful.
I just had no idea that I was more obsessed with the IDEA of love than I was with actually finding and experiencing it for myself.
And so, after years of trying to get into a healthy romantic relationship and finding myself going through the same pattern with men, I decided that I needed to approach this thing from a different angle.
I had just ended a relationship and didn’t feel I could try again. It was at this time that I came across Jeannie Mai’s YouTube channel and a video she did on how she learnt to love again. In it she shared lessons I didn’t expect but that would radically shift my relationship with love.
I had already begun my self-love journey, and this was the major boost I needed. I discovered my addiction to love and so began a journey of immersing myself in working through it.
If you find that you really desire a loving, healthy relationship with someone yet can’t seem to find yourself in one regardless of how much you will it or try to “do what’s right” to get it, then these tips may be useful to you. Or that you can’t bear the thought of being alone, this might just be for you too. These are 6 things that helped me work past my love addiction and I hope they help you too.
Going cold turkey
I completely cut myself off of any entertainment alluding to love or relationships i.e., series, movies, music, books, blog posts, social media accounts, etc, that gave advice on love or shared real-life love stories. It helped remove that anxiety to have those be my own experience and also gave me the room to THINK about what love truly meant to me. You can consider removing the object of your affections for a while so that you can bring to the surface what is really going on within you.
Enforcing “The Dating Ban”
I put a “No Dating” time frame for myself where I consciously chose not to get on any dating apps or go out with any guys for that specified time. How long this is can be up to you and may change as you go. I gave myself 6 months, and 4 months in, I didn’t even care any longer about the ban or about “how long it should be”. I was just enjoying the freedom of being. By instituting this “ban” I relieved myself of the pressure to meet someone or have my relationship status change and permitted myself to be. Consider cutting off your “drug” supply just as any other addict would, to allow yourself the opportunity to reboot your system.
Living for yourself
I became intentional about being fully present with myself and trying out different activities with myself, big or small. From “Mask and Wine” weekend nights, dancing to my favourite old school tunes in the mirror, to trying out a recipe I had been wanting to but didn’t have anyone to try it on, I learnt that I deserve the same effort when it comes to planning good times with myself as much as with someone else. And I was no longer wistfully looking for someone to fulfill these things for me. What would happen if you directed that anxiety, fear, or desperation to find love towards yourself? Why not give it a try?
I read up on the subject and educated myself on “love addiction” (seriously, Google it). I realised I was actually obsessed with the idea of meeting someone and finding love, that the anticipation of that happening gave me more of a rush than ACTUALLY meeting someone. Investigating this topic allowed me to question myself as to why this was the case and to unpack fears or reservations I have around love. It allowed me to become my own healer. Do the homework and ask yourself the difficult questions around your choices and mindset. What are you hiding behind your obsessions?
I poured myself into passion projects including improving my business, registering to study again, and considering other major life changes I had always wanted to work on but didn’t give time to. The same energy I had grown accustomed to using to find someone, was being used to pursue the things that set my soul on fire. I didn’t realise how much I had been putting on hold while waiting for someone to “light up my world”. Make a list of some things you’ve always wanted to pursue or do, and slowly work on them one by one. You’ll be surprised by what you discover and how time flies without you wondering where your “soulmate” is.
Meeting your own needs
I worked on first giving myself the very thing I desperately craved from another (even family and friends), regardless of how big or small, before asking for it from them. From learning to hug myself when I felt lonely or low, to speaking love over myself when I felt unwanted. Over time, the feelings of lack or loneliness diminished because I knew I would always be able to get what I needed. And even if someone left the picture, I would be alright because I always had my back. Give the very same love you crave from another to yourself – you deserve it.
I am in a far healthier and happier space when it comes to love. Yes, I would still like to meet a man and give this relationship thing a go, but it’s now just another part of my life vs being my entire life.
How is your relationship with love today? Could you relate to any of my experiences? Maybe you too have been on a journey of healing your addiction to love – what has worked for you? I would love to know so drop me a line here.
Part of my work as a Life Story Coach and Authenticity Chaser is helping people face themselves fully – their good, bad, and ugly sides. And that can be really hard which is why it helps to have someone walk the journey with you.
If you’d like to explore your relationship with love, get in touch with me for your free initial coaching session, and let’s see how we can help you get to the place you want with it.
Until next time, remember to stay true to yourself and chase authentic always.
Sonia Dee (The Authenticity Chaser)