Success versus failure is not always black and white. There’s no distinct “finish line” to success, that, once crossed, leads to bliss, perfection and the absence of failure. But, there are bad choices that if you continue to make will hold you back from progressing towards a better you and feeling emotionally and mentally healthier.
No one wants to fail, and yet, it seems many of us keep repeating toxic patterns. We hear the good advice, we know what changes to make and yet…nothing. So…we must want to fail, right? Probably not. But, I’m going to tell you how to do it anyway so that at least you feel like you’ve been accomplishing something! 😉 I guarantee you will continue to feel crappy, unfulfilled, frustrated and miserable, AND, best of all, you’ll never get over him.
- Continue to talk about/analyze the person you can’t seem to stop thinking about:Like it or not you’re obsessed. And talking about or analyzing, or stalking this person is confirmation of your obsession and your addiction. If you really want to wreck your chances of getting healthier, this is the top best way to do it. Also, when other people tell you to focus on yourself and institute no contact (NC) with your person of addiction, ignore them and continue to pine away and ask, “but why doesn’t he love me.” You’ll be able to spend a lifetime trying to figure out the answer to questions like that because, guess what…there is no answer! At least one you’ll never be fully satisfied with.
- Vent (about how miserable your life currently is): I’m convinced that venting is an art. The longer you do it, the better at it you become. And the irony of venting, is that, as you become better at it, the worse you feel. Yay! Why is that? Because venting, although helpful for blowing off temporary steam, accomplishes absolutely nothing. It’s just another way to obsess over someone or something that is completely unhealthy for you. It’s just another way to stay anchored to your addiction.
- Blame “him” (and everyone else) for your problems: Of course we all know that none of your problems has anything to do with you but rather all the jerks who messed up your life, took advantage of you, held you back, never loved you, lied, cheated and broke your heart. You didn’t ask for any of this, right? Heck no. So…when it comes to really assessing the situation at hand, and your ultimate happiness, don’t take any responsibility. Blame others! And likewise, depend on them for your happiness. Happiness, afterall, is something that comes from outside sources, not within. And you have no control over your own attitude, your own behavior or the fact that you have to deal with this situation in the first place. Right??? Oh, and one more bit of advice: blaming others is so much easier too and will never challenge you to think that maybe, just maybe you do, after all, have responsibility for your actions. So, if you really want to just take it easy and continue depending on others for happiness, blame them for not being what you need and want them to be.
- Trust your fantasies: When you were a kid, you dreamed up big dreams of love and happiness and castles and unicorns. None of it was real, but it was a necessary process that either helped you begin to identify dreams that would eventually shape your reality, or it was a defense mechanism that protected you from a reality that you could not manage well, or that scared you. Chances are, if you’re a love addict, those “fantasies” you still carry with you are defense mechanism that served (past tense) to protect you, but now, only stunt your growth and wreak havoc on your ability to face life and deal with what’s really in front of you, as opposed to what you wish were in front of you. The more you spend in la la land, the less time, knowledge and experience you will gain in the real world, learning real world skills to help you actually achieve your goals. So, if you plan to get a big fat F in recovery class, trust those fantasies in your brain and keep telling yourself that they speak the truth. Of course, they’ve never steered you wrong before, right?
- Remove all boundaries, let everyone in and say or do anything you please: Yay! Freedom! Who needs or wants boundaries?! They have such an unappealing reputation, especially if you’re a child of the 60s or 70s. And while good, healthy boundaries serve to protectyou and those around you (they keep bad, unhealthy people out of your life and likewise, keep YOU from saying or doing things you really shouldn’t), let’s face it, they hold you back, make you responsible, and deny you that childhood fantasy that believes that everyone will love us and be good to us if we just give them a chance.
- Cause lots of drama: When you were a teenager in high school…oh, the drama!Remember? Well, don’t give it up. Continue to gossip, manipulate, and act totally histrionic at the smallest sign of strife. Because, guess what, who needs to grow up and act rational? Not you. Acting like a teen, making mountains out of molehills and getting involved in other people’s problems, which then in turn, affect you beyond all comprehenion is exciting! Or dangerous! Or riveting! Heck, it’s your own little slice of Hollywood. It gives you the perfect excuse not to face your actual problems, or work on them, let alone interact with grace and dignity.
- Don’t change anything: Don’t change your behavior (notice I used the word “behavior,” I didn’t say change YOU). Keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing(notice I used the word “doing” not “being”). Continue to hang around toxic people, and of course, keep pursuing your Person I am addicted to (how’s that working for ya?). Keep frequenting places that compromise your desire to be healthy and safe (bars, online dating sites, your Person I am addicted tos street). Really, why bother changing? Change is hard! It’s actual work! It requires the meaningful attempt to alter or modify one type of behavior for another, for the sake of improving one’s situation. And you have no interest in improving your situation. You like things as they are (that’s an educated guess, or you would be on this website), so…simply ignore this entry and keep doing what you’ve been doing. The definition of insanity, afterall, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. But then again, you don’t want different results, do you? You want exactly what you’ve got, er, except you want HIM to change. But not you.
- Don’t reach out for any help or take any advice: There absolutely IS a light at the end of the tunnel, but you need to know how to navigate that tunnel. It’s not a straight line. It’s more like a maze. And whether you turn to reading books, chatting on a Love Addiction forum with others, or attend LAA meetings, one or all of those things will help guide you. Why? Well, for starters, you never learned how to love in a healthy way ( love can be learned!), you most likely have low self-esteem (self-esteem can be improved with more knowledge), and what you’ve been doing up to this point obviously isn’t working (people with more experience, with years of recovery make great guides!). But, you’re an adult and probably know it all. You probably resent advice, and hate to be told what to do. Well, take my advice, doing it on your own, without the coursework or without help from teachers will most likely get you a D or F. Try doing brain surgery without any prior learning. Coming out of love addiction is equally as challenging!
- Replace your current toxic, unavailable bf with another one: This one always works so well. When you can’t have a successful relationship with Guy A (for whatever reason), at least you can go out and replace him or her with Guy B or C, equally bad choices. And you can continue to do this until hell freezes over because there’s an infinite amount of bad choices out there to be made. If you want an “F” for figuring this all out, this is the way to do it. Repeat the same mistakes of the past without ever changing and without ever recognizing that real change doesn’t mean just changing the players around and expecting different results, it means redefining what you find attractive, acceptable and meaningful. We so often tend to thing that we will get different results from different people, and we’re always so flabbergasted when different people treat us exactly the same as those who have come before. Does that tell you something about human nature? That while there are subtle differences between us, we still react to people one way: the way we teach them to treat us. When you teach people to treat you differently (healthier) than you did in the past, you tend to attract a different (healthier) caliber person (those who can step up to the plate and provide the kind of relationship that you expect), AND those, like your Person I am addicted to, who start to notice that you expect more of them usually cannot step up to the plate. Change must come from within YOU, not the player. Unless you want an F.
- Never find out what your values are/Continue to believe you’re worthless: Why are you in this situation to begin with? Well, 99.9 percent of it is because you have low self-esteem. How do I know? Because the very second (well, maybe a little longer) a healthy person with healthy self-esteem recognizes they are not being treated decently, kindly and lovingly in a relationship, they don’t stick around. Period. Love addicts do. Why? Because love addicts don’t have the same level of intolerance for things like neglect, avoidance, physical, mental or emotional abuse, manipulation, and so on. And whether it be because they were never taught self-esteem from their parents, or simply don’t have a healthy perspective on their own lives it doesn’t matter. What matters is that there are certain components to self-esteem that you need to possess in order to change and be healthier. The most important component of self-esteem is to have VALUES. A value is a thing we regard as super important that we believe we deserve in our lives for no other reason but that it is something that will make us feel alive, comfortable and happy. Being treated with kindness is a value. Believing that you should never be physically beaten is a value. The trouble is, either we don’t know what our values are, OR, more importantly, we have a vague idea of our values, but don’t stick to them. We walk around and puff out our chest and say “No man will ever hurt me again!” and then we hop into bed with the first hot guy we pick up at a bar and only later find out he’s a player. Having self-esteem means having values, and sticking to them! We don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. If you know in your heart that every time you date someone who drinks heavily or does drugs it makes you feel uncomfortable then that means you have a value that says: I do not want drugs or alcohol in my life. It also means you don’t listen to that value. Success is recovery means you put your values ABOVE your need for a man. Self-esteem means you put your health and safety ABOVE your desire to get laid, above your desire to connect to someone as quick as possible and above your desire to feed your hunger for anything so that the pain goes away. Don’t write down your values or stick to them if you want to fail at recovery. Believing you are worthless, or going through life without a “Values” road map is a surefire way to guarantee a unhealthy, unhappy life.
7 thoughts on “Failing at getting over him is easy. Here’s how…”
LovelyJune – this post – and all your posts, really, are so helpful for me. I am over at Susan Peabody’s forum now too and I’ve been reading your old journals from 2012. I think it’s cool how you said you should reserve romance for people you know really well – I always had it backward…romance was for that cute guy I just met and I grew out of it with people I knew long term. Wow, how backward I really had it.
I ordered a book you recommended, A Fine Romance – I’m scared to read it because I’m afraid it’ll make me sad. I’m an LA/romance addict and I’m afraid it’ll trigger me because I’m not in a relationship. I’ve only recently started recovery. Do you think I should wait a while to read it and if so, what other books should I read first? Thank you for sharing your recovery with me and all of us who REALLY need to hear about it!
I’m afraid to read certain books too! Don’t be afraid! A Fine Romance is a great read when you’re single, before you get into a relationship or when you feel you’re on the precipice of a possible relationship. The reason is that this book really puts a relationship and the “timing” of a relationship into perspective. You will want to know these things BEFORE you begin a relationship. But! There are books I’d recommend you read first: Susan Peabody’s “addiction to love,” “He’s just not that into you” by Greg Berhandt, and “co-dependent no more” and maybe even the “self-esteem workbook.” They are all listed here http://thelovelyaddict.com/books/ 🙂
I LOVE your blog. It’s already helping me so much. I look forward to reading more. Thank you:-)
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Thanks restless! 🙂
Hi Tracy – Your blog is amazing and is the first thing that has actually helped me! I have known about my love addiction for a long time. You can just read my diaries from when I was a kid! I had so many crushes and fantasies starting in kindergarten! My dad is an alcoholic and he is a very mean drunk! As a kid he would yell at my mom and it was very scary! He never physically harmed us, thank goodness. But I am realizing that this may have played a role in my love addiction. The worst was when I dated a sociopath, but I pulled myself out of that by going No Contact. Very hard, but I did it! That was 4 years ago…since then I have been celibate. I wanted to ensure I finished college. I had huge walls up and never let any guys in while trying to finish college. I graduated this past May : )
However, it has not been easy…even though I am not physically intimate with anyone, I am noticing I get into fantasy mode and dream and dream about guys that are so wrong for me!! I can’t think about anything else! The most recent POA is 10 years younger than me. He is 21 and a gorgeous typical player….very popular on campus. Anyway, he played the typical games with me for the past 2 years. I did not let him get to me until now! School ended and my love addiction really kicked in. We ended up kissing and I have become obsessed. I let my guard down since I graduated and I thought I could handle it….well I was wrong. I have decided to go No Contact with this guy and really take a look at myself. I have blocked him from my phone and that’s the end of that! Receiving texts messages are like a hit of a drug. I get SO high and then SO low when he doesn’t respond.
Your blog has been a real eye opener. I hope I can get past this. Right now I feel so lost and I hope this doesn’t last forever. I do believe the fantasies and addiction are ways for me to avoid facing reality.
I watched the documentary you were in and it was an eye opener as well! My dream is to one day be attracted to a healthy guy that really cares and loves me. I do not want to be attracted to unavailable men anymore. I do admit that a real relationship really scares me. I want love SO bad, but I don’t. It’s very bizarre! I can’t imagine living the rest of my life like this. I have a lot of work to do. Thank you for being a part of my healing process. You are doing wonderful things for people! 🙂
Thanks soooo much for those wonderful compliments, and I hope you keep reading and learning about love addiction. Every bit helps to make you stronger!
As for your comments here, you will find a healthy available partner when YOU are healthy and available. Right now, it doesn’t sound like you’re ready. We may want love “so badly” but we really need to work for it. And I’m talking talking about pursuing someone. I am talking about Self-Love. A baby must crawl before she walks, and you must love yourself before others. Otherwise, how will you know what you like? What you want? What you need? Answering these types of questions takes EXPERIENCE and ACTION, not fantasy.
You have done a WONDERFUL thing by getting your degree! That’s a great investment in yourself. Now it’s time to do a little soul searching and learn more about you and what you’re afraid of and what you’re running from…it could take months or years, but make the investment. YOU ARE WORTH IT. 🙂