Of all the many addictions and obsessions that leave us feeling crappy, could there be a more normalised and under-estimated affliction than that of love addiction?
As former love junkies ourselves, we think not.
But, as we ourselves have discovered, there is a remedy that is sure to banish the ghastly symptoms of loss of appetite, sleep (and will to live) once and for all, should you be courageous enough to commit to it fully.
Sound too good to be true? Read on, dear friend, read on.
Allow us to take you back to the start:
Both of us girls (the founders of addictivedaughter.com) used to be obsessed with dating Bad Boys – as in really quite naughty. They were typically heavy drinkers, serial philanderers and emotionally unavailable (and sometimes even pyromaniacs).
And where do you think that led us? Down s**t creek, that’s where.
But, of course, we found ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, believing that we were destined to only every fall for men who would eventually break our hearts, claiming that such men 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-ized 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 another way.
And – it turned out – there was. It began by taking a very honest (and very difficult) look at our own patterns in relationships, and realizing that it was probably no coincidence that we kept being drawn to the same type of man that could never give us the love we so fervently craved.
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.
The only way that we could ever hope to one day find a healthy loving relationship in the future, was to first develop one with ourselves – and this was the secret cure we’d been looking for all along.
From the murky depths of our most recent 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.
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.
Becoming addicted to our own healing required a lot of discipline and effort, and was by no means easy for party-girls like us; it meant eating healthily and exercising daily (instead of pouring a toxic cocktail of booze and drugs into our bodies on a worryingly regular basis), reading books that expanded our minds and nourished our souls.
Creating healthy boundaries when it came to friends and men, listening to music that uplifted us, praying and meditating daily to expand our inner awareness and connect with our spirituality, learning to forgive ourselves and those that had hurt us, and writing daily lists of everything we were grateful for in our lives (because even in the darkest of times, there are many, many things to be thankful for).
Consequently, when new love interests turned up on the scene (as they always do just as things are finally going swimmingly), we were not thrown off course by them as we always had been before, for 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 new fellas valued us as much as we now valued ourselves.
The result of our new perspective on love?
Well, one of us recently got engaged to be married, and the other chose to leave a healthy, loving relationship after it became apparent that both parties wanted different things. Sad as this was, it was a relief to no longer be caught up in the futile battle of trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole.
Today, both of us now feel 100% free to focus all of our energy into generating more positivity, love and abundance, without being side-tracked by our addiction to a person or relationship that takes a whole lot more from us than it gives.
Now we would love to hear from you: What of all the self-love tips listed above has helped you the most in getting over heartbreak & love addiction in the past? Do you have any other (healthy!) tips that help ease the pain of a break-up?
Persia & Joey