The bad things feel so good- like a one night stand, like a bucket full of ice cream, like Kentucky Fried chicken, like…an impossible guy or gal. Addiction to a relationship is as detrimental as any other type of addiction be it gambling, spending, over-eating or alcoholism. It can be a never-ending cycle of affirmations, resolutions, denial and failed attempts. An impossible relationship is one that feels great at first when you are euphoric and hopeful but turns into a sour mind-game with someone who is emotionally unavailable.
When you are addicted to an impossible person, there is often an underlying psychological need that you are seeking to fill yourself. Often, you are looking for needy people whose world you can fix, even when it is un-fixable. Here’s what I observe all the time about people who are attached to needy people or who cling on to impossible relationships:
Wanting to fix the other person- You keep getting into relationships with guys or girls who have their own addictions. They are addicted to sex, to alcohol, to drugs, to money problems, to lying, to eating; and you are addicted to wanting to solve their addiction. Their need becomes your need and you are two needy people who are not in it for love, but for a negative vibe of dependency and manipulation.
Drawn to emotionally unavailable people- An emotionally unavailable person will frustrate the hell out of anyone. We get into relationships because we have emotional, physical and spiritual longing for completion. When you keep wanting people who can only fulfill you physically but are detached from you emotionally, those who tell you “no strings attached” then you are addicted to an impossible relationship.
Cannot differentiate between attachment and attraction: Without a doubt, we are attracted to people at the physical level first, even before we know them emotionally. However, this transition from physical attraction to emotional and spiritual connection is so messed up in people who are addicted to relationships that just don’t work. This type of person will become clingy very fast and they will have such high expectations of having a solid relationship in just the first few weeks of dating someone.
Subtle Control- Relationship addicts will somehow be drawn to needy people that they can easily control and manipulate. They will attract people who do not have what they have, for example intellect, money and material possessions. This way, you are able to subtly control the other person by awarding them when they meet your needs and denying them your assistance (money, security, a car ride etc) when they do not play to your tune.
Relationship addiction is often caused by deficits in our childhood; something that we were denied and are looking to fulfill as adults. It might help to look at any voids you may have experienced while growing up- unavailable folks, an unresponsive mum, a critical dad, manipulative parents etc. This might help you to understand your behavior and to slowly move away from drawing impossible people in your love life.
Written by Donna Moses