Relationship addict. Let’s call it that instead of “love addict”. Because love never harms us. Deceipt does. Lies, abandonment, bestrayal and abuse does. But never love.
I was a relationship addict. I couldn’t see it. Like most of us can’t see our own wounds when we’re immersed in it.
Luckily I had amazing friends who kept saying “You still don’t love you fully. Look at the people you are attracting.” And I looked and saw that they were right. I still had the lowest expectations and was willing to make myself be abandoned again and again and again. I didn’t feel that I was scared of being alone in my life. Off course, because I was never more than 3 months single before I met the next “love of my life” who in time would abandon me emotionally, so I could relive my trauma and my wounds.
In 2020 I took a year of no romance and a lot of alone time. To learn to create a life with me that I would love. “If I were to be solo forever, how can I make my life amazing for me?” That was the question and the goal. Little by little I pieced together a life that I loved. It became clear to me what really matters to me – on a deeper level than before. I cried. I climbed the walls of loneliness. I talked to friends near and far who all gave me loving kicks in the ass and stroked my hair when it was tough.
In 2021 I reached a point where I couldn’t remember why I would want a partner. It felt like such a freeing narrative to me. “I don’t have time. I don’t need it. I don’t have room for that.” And I saw that that too was part of my wound. As in “A man craves my attention and time in a way where there will be no room for me to do my thing.” Funny, when we start to get it and can reflect on the stories in our head! 🙂
Then I got to a place where I could recognize that in me that wanted to be with a man who needs me, so I become significant and I could see how toxic that was as well. The need to be important to others. Off course we are important to each other, but the level of importance I wanted, was “I cannot live without you” – and that is toxic because no one cannot live without you.
I knew what it would feel like when I met a man worthy of being my partner. I would feel completely safe and calm. Able to be honest and open and surrender without having to make myself smaller or have leverage. If you had asked me in 2020, I would have said “I have never ever met a man like that.”
First of all, because falling in love in the past had made me jittery and I got in my head trying to figure out next moves and challenges we could have or arguments of why he wouldn’t love me or what part of me he wouldn’t like.
Second, my male rolemodels were never kind, warm, loving, insightful or trustworthy, so I attracted men who fit that template. Got my old patterns confirmed again and again.
After I did my year of “sobriety” I started meeting men who were kind, loving, insightful and trustworthy. They were all in relationships – thank you universe – so I could observe what a good relationship looks like. No addictions, no depression, no hidden agendas, deep conversations, open arms and hearts. It was beautiful. I was in awe of the men I met.
Then in 2022, I started meeting men who were all those things AND single, so I could hang out with them and learn how I feel when I am with men like that. I was invited on dates a few times.
I had my absolute list now. (From the book “Love that Lasts”) My list with a handful of traits, values and characteristics that HAVE to be present in a man for me to consider a romantic relationship. Dating expanded the list. But more than anything, the knowing that I had to feel calm and not be in my head with him was number 1. That’s not about him of course. That’s about me. If I don’t feel safe and calm, something in me is triggered by the man and I need to look at that more than blame him. So it’s a new way of setting boundaries for me. “He is not interesting to me, because I cannot be who I want to be with a man when I am with him.” Maybe it’s because something in me has to change and maybe it’s because I am not ready. I accept that fully.
But I got ready. I felt I didn’t NEED a man, but I would love to share love with someone. I still have tons of work to do, that never ends (and hooray for that, I love to learn and grow) but I haven’t considered that a problem for a few years now. It’s my adventure. My treasure hunt. My journey. And I love it.
Whatever you’re celebrating these days, celebrate that you’re alive and on this amazing adventure. And be kind to you. Be the parent you should have had. Your own best friend. Discover who you really are. Love your shadows. Love that you did a lot of stupid things to survive and you did. It worked. You are here. Free to make your life amazing. That is the ultimate freedom that some of have. Not all are so lucky, so don’t throw it away. Cherish that freedom. You are love. 💝