Are you addicted to love if you’re in an “on and off” relationship for 20 years? Sounds like it to me. Here’s my advice to this woman who questions if her relationship is real or a sickness.
Is She Addicted to Love?
“Dear Dating Coach Ronnie,
Is this a relationship or sickness? I believe the latter of the two! February 2017 will (hopefully NOT) mark 20 years of an on and off “thing”. Truly no one drives me more insane and wild at the same time as this man. We break up for months at a time, then make our way back to each other. We’re so happy to be together and we work in MANY ways then POOF – it blows up in our faces.
I miss him and I know he has times when he misses me, but we typically find ourselves dating others. He’s even had a few rather serious relationships in between, until the next time we find our way back to each other. We have had some very painful fights, painful breaks and have baggage and memories that we’d like to forget. But alas – it’s easier said then done.
I can’t imagine being so crazy in love with and just plain crazy with anyone else. But, here’s the problem – his “I’m just really busy” crap is making me throw up my hands and give up on him. My words have turned so very mean and our fights are just as passionate as when we’re not fighting.
I hate to throw away 20 years, but I haven’t seen him now in several days and the last night was so passionate.
This sounds so cheesy, but when he asked me to look at him and we gazed in each others eyes…sigh. Is it love, or 20 years of being played? I can’t take the “I’m busy” excuse one more time. He asked me to start forgetting the past…but how can I when it always seems to repeat itself?
Passion and Pain”
I understand how much pain you are in but I want to tell you, with compassion, that you are addicted to love with this man. After 20 years, you ask if you are being played? You are just as much a party to this madness as he is. You cannot put this on him.
Here’s what I want you to think about really hard – if over 20 years, he’s told you many times he’s busy, why would you expect anything different from him now? If you have amazing passion and then break up – why wouldn’t you always expect the break up? It’s happened every time before hasn’t it?
No matter how long you’ve known this guy, when a man tells you he’s too busy, that means YOU ARE NOT HIS PRIORITY. Why would you continue to put yourself through this?
It doesn’t matter how great the parts are that work.The parts that don’t work stand out more if you are willing to look at them. Do not compartmentalize your relationship with this man, looking at the parts you adore. You need to look at this relationship as a whole.
Crazy passion is clearly NOT an indicator of long-term potential – although you have mastered the on and off again relationship with 20 years of practice. But it seems like a lot of pain that you put up with to have limited passion with him.
What does matter is that you can’t stay together. After this many break ups over 20 years, I would think you want to put that behind you for good and avoid more pain. But love addiction is like heroin I suppose.
Here’s the hard, cold truth it’s time to face:
If he was the right man for you, you wouldn’t break up, he wouldn’t be too busy and he wouldn’t seek other women.
I have to vote “SICKNESS” since you’ve given me a choice. And you know it too or you wouldn’t have written that. You are addicted to love with this man, otherwise you wouldn’t still be open to his painful antics. At some level, you must enjoy the drama and the pain or you wouldn’t keep going back for more. After 20 years, you know your time with him will be short before it all goes “Poof” as you say.
Being crazy in love is not something you want to aim for. As a dating coach for 15 years, my hope for you is that never find another man you are this crazy in love with. I would rather you find a true and solid love with lasting potential. There might not be the intense passion, but that is a sign of volatility, not enduring love.
I found this 40 Question Checklist from Love Addicts Anonymous that might open your eyes. You are not alone in this sickness – sadly many people have it.
A Toxic Relationship
It’s time to work on your self love and self esteem to disconnect from this toxic relationship. These 20 years will not be wasted if you move on now, heal from this situation, and grow to look for healthy love with a man who wants the same. Sometimes this requires professional help so don’t feel shy about that.
There is a great book called, Women Who Love Too Much, that might also be a huge help for letting go of this man. No matter how much you love him or how long it’s been, this is simply not healthy. DO NOT FORGET THE PAST as he is requesting but pay close attention to it so it motivates you to move on.
You are MORE THAN READY to move on from this man so just do it. Do it today. Do it right now. Conscious choose to no longer be addicted to love with him.
There are far better men out there who want a healthy, loving relationship. They might not be as steamy or volatile, but that is good news. A quality man is supportive, a good friend, loving, and available. Let that be your new standard and guiding star.
Wishing you love,