Have you ever felt that your entire happiness depended on another person’s approval or validation? And if so, was that person your romantic partner?
We all know that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. However, those of us in these unhealthy relationships actually put all of our eggs in somebody else’s basket! How crazy does that seem, when viewed from a safe distance?
Yet we do it. And why? Because we don’t yet know how to value ourselves. We look to another to assign us some value in this world. And we obsessively attach ourselves to this other person who becomes our everything.
Although the idea of making somebody else “your everything” sounds romantic, like a gothic fairy tale or an eighties power ballad, please do not be fooled! This form of attachment comes from a dark place.
We can’t love ourselves, so we redirect all the love we can muster to this other person. We don’t want to feel our own pain, so we distract ourselves with this other person, making them the center of our universe.
And the thought of losing that person? Uh, it makes us physically sick!
We are all afraid of rejection on some level – but if it comes from a place deep inside where you don’t believe that you are good enough – then that fear might keep you locked in an unhealthy relationship. It might even ruin a good relationship.
The bottom line is that we can’t change how our partners respond to us. But we can affect it by how we behave. We can learn how to ‘do relationships’ from a healthier place within ourselves. Although, I know that might sound so out of reach at first.
Is this sounding familiar?
Although living through somebody else, and having all your eggs in their basket is a dangerous path to tread – I want you to know that it isn’t hopeless. You can absolutely take your metaphorical eggs back! In doing so, you can reclaim the responsibility for your own happiness, be in charge of your own destiny, and stop playing second fiddle to your partner.
Because one of the biggest worries with romantic obsession and similarly unhealthy attachment styles is that when you stay too long, your identity starts to erode. You begin to lose your ambitions, your hopes and dreams, and you essentially become an extension of the other person.
Whether your partner intends to or not, it’s hard for them not to direct you where THEY want you to go – not where you want to go. They of course have their own agenda in life.
If you can’t say what you want, then you will find yourself drifting along, anchorless, until somebody else picks you up and makes you a part of their plans. And then what happens to YOUR agenda? Poof – it’s gone.
Now, here comes the crucial bit…
Have you heard the expression, “You can’t love somebody else until you can first love yourself”?
You may have ignored it, dismissing it as a cliché, possibly because you didn’t want to think about how this might affect you. The thing is, you can’t be in a healthy relationship with another person, until you have a healthy relationship with yourself.
Don’t panic – here’s how to move on…
If you currently find yourself anchorless, or a part of somebody else’s plan but not your own, then this is what you need to do.
You need to HEAL. I promise that you are not feeling lost for no reason. These things usually stem from childhood, and although the ‘right’ way is not automatic to you as an adult, you can learn it.
For example, if you lacked something from your parents when you were small, with the right support, you can re-parent yourself as an adult. You can learn to love and value yourself. You can change your perspective, improve your confidence, and leave old, self-destructive behavior patterns behind.
If you are ready to step back and take a look at your patterns, with support, then check out my upcoming online talk with Dr. Andrea Pennington. This could be where your breakthrough begins!
And remember… there’s nothing wrong with being confused or needing tools to grow. We all need a well-equipped toolbox to work on any engine! So be sure to give yourself some essential maintenance and self-care.
For Further Insight:
Although being in this position feels very isolating indeed, if you read my interview with Dr. Andrea Pennington on Romantic Obsession on HuffPost, you will know that these relationships are not so unusual.