Falling in love can be similar to digging into an ice cream sundae — it's messy, joy-inducing, and likely to give you a slight hangover. We've all been there, even if we didn't have anyone to share it with at the time (unrequited love happens to the best of us). As fun as it is to dive into the deep end of romance, it's not exactly healthy to tread those turbulent waters 24/7. Like anything else in life, it needs to be approached in moderation, and with a healthy dose of logic whenever possible.
An addiction to love is a recognizable phenomenon that many people struggle with, very much like an addiction to drugs or alcohol. I'm not talking about the disease of love addiction in this article, but there are some similarities between a clinical addiction to love and an unhealthy relationship with love. People who suffer from the latter are often dealing with some other issues that they maybe never had the chance to address in the past. They tend to be insecure about themselves and the state of their life, and they need a partner to experience any genuine delight. They also feel most comfortable when they're knee-deep in passion. Sound familiar?
You could be living in a revolving door of love, which sounds innocent enough, but might be negatively affecting other parts of your life. You could be missing out on friendships or career opportunities. You might be losing the chance to get to know yourself and your friends. Because as great as love can be, it's not all there is. Here are seven signs you have an unhealthy relationship with love.
1. You're Always Looking For Your Next Serious Relationship
It's perfectly normal to be single and hopeful about finding someone, but it's a different thing entirely if your radar for romance is constantly turned on at full volume. That would mean you're always on the lookout for the next great date, and always on the hunt for an eligible suitor. If this sounds familiar, you've crossed the line from a lover of love to a fanatic of love.
Ann Smith, an inspirational speaker and author, writes for Psychology Today, "The love addict continues to hang on to the belief that true love with fix everything." As a result, most of their time and effort is spent in search of a life-changing relationship or a soulmate. In their minds, that's the only way life is worth living.
2. The Only Times You Feel Truly Happy Are When You're With A Partner
Smith says people who are slaves to love "get [their] sense of security and worth from another person." It's not a good thing if you're only pleased with yourself when you're with the person you're dating. That would mean that every time you're in between partners — single and "alone" — you just can't be happy with who you are at that moment. You should feel secure in who you are, no matter if you're flying solo or sharing all your experiences with someone else.
3. You Abandon Relationships As Soon As The Honeymoon Phase Ends
A lot of us have an dysfunctional understanding of love because we've seen way too many rom-coms and read way too many romance novels that give us a utopian version of romance. We think things should be close to perfect, and that the spark should always be there, no matter what kind of crap you go through. Real-life love is a lot more nuanced than that, though, and it can sometimes get downright messy.
A person who doesn't have a mature understanding of romance will most likely bail at the drop of a hat when the honeymoon phase ends. They just can't handle the reality of a relationship, since their mind is preoccupied with the fantasy of love more than anything else. Ironically, this will prevent them from ever having a lasting relationship.
4. You've Lost Friends Because You Become Too Caught Up In Relationships
If you think back to your failed friendships, what's the common denominator? Did you kiss your friends goodbye because they mistreated you? Or was it because you blew them off as soon as you cozied up to your new SO? If it's the latter, it means your romantic relationships are consistently taking a toll on the other relationships in your life. You're likely getting so lost in the fresh romance that you don't have eyes for anything or anyone else.
This becomes a real problem over time because, at the end of the day, your friends and family are the ones who will stick by you and support you when everyone else falls away. If you keep ignoring them every time a new beau comes in the picture, though, you could be wrecking the most important relationships in your life, and that's long-term damage you may never be able to repair.
5. People In Your Life Have Mentioned It To You Before
We rarely want to hear the truth from our closest friends, but they're usually the ones who can see things that we're utterly blind to. Listen closely to what they have to say about your love life. If they have mentioned to you before that you have a tendency to get foolishly caught up in whatever new love comes your way, consider taking heed, particularly if the same thing has been said to you by multiple people.
6. You Spend Most Of Your Time Fantasizing About Your Love Life
We're all guilty of daydreaming on the regular, and there will be plenty of times when we muse on love and sex at odd moments of the day. However, it's not normal if your mind is so filled with fantasies about love that other important things, like your job, don't get much air time in your head. You shouldn't be forgetting to finish that project at work on time because you've been spending your time dreaming about the last Tinder match you got.
7. You Often Find Yourself Stuck In A Love Triangle
Someone who's obsessed with romance doesn't usually have the best self-control when it comes to flirting, so it wouldn't be surprising if they got stuck in a love triangle with two people they've been romancing for quite some time. Smith says this is one of the toughest things to deal with when she works with a person who is addicted to love. It's almost like they can't help themselves from falling into a pile of love with numerous people.
There isn't one right way to live out your love life, but the second that other people are getting hurt or deceived is the moment you might want to reconsider how you're playing your cards. Above all, keep in mind that you don't necessarily need someone else to make you happy — only you can truly do that.
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