Love at First Sight or Love Addiction…How Can You Tell the Difference?

Remember back to when you were a teenager, and each new crush became someone that you told all of your friends, “It was totally love at first sight, I can’t help it!”.  Your mom may have told you that love doesn’t happen at first glance…that it takes time to grow and nurture.  Your friends would swoon over all of the little details, longing to experience exactly what you were.  When he would glance at you from across the room or call you just to say good night, your heart would race, and you swore that you would only love THAT BOY for the rest of your life!!!

Ahhhh yes, young and in LOVE!

Let me stop right here and say that yes, I know that there are many stories out there about people who truly did fall in love the very moment that they met.  And I am so incredibly happy for them, and I ADORE reading and listening to stories like that.  So many of us are hopeless romantics, and those types of things really do make us smile.

            However, I learned later in life that there was a very different meaning for those “love at first sight” relationships that I had.  I discovered (after a TON of heartache, a LOT of soul-searching, and learning what self-love really is about) that what I had really been involved in was love/relationship addiction…and each one of those relationships seemed to progressively do more damage than the previous one. 

Here is a little mini checklist, if you will, that will help you to gather your thoughts about a new relationship that seems TOTALLY intense, maybe too much so:

  1.  You feel as though you cannot bear the thought of spending time away from the other person
  2. The words “I love you” come flying out of your mouth before you have even been together long enough to know the basics and important parts about your partner
  3. You arrange your work, home, and leisure activities around what the other person is doing, so that you don’t take away any time that you could possibly spend with them
  4. You find yourself compromising your basic values and beliefs because they don’t fit in to what is going on in your new relationship
  5. Your friends, family, or co-workers express to you that they are worried you may be moving too quickly with this new person
  6. If there is any time that you are along and not with your partner, you are either wishing that they would call, or you are planning what you will do the next time you are together
  7. You spend more money on clothing or entertainment because you want to make sure that you are exciting and sexy for your partner
  8. Your sleep, exercise, eating, or other habits are drastically different than they were before you met
  9. You tell your best friend all of the good things about the relationship and about your partner, but leave out the details that may lead someone to think that your new mate is not good for you
  10. You do so many nice things for your partner, but you can’t really remember them doing something that nice for you

When we fall for someone new, especially if we have a tendency to become involved in codependent relationships, we can fall REALLY hard.  We lose ourselves quickly in the relationship and are so incredibly focused on that person and all that goes into them, that we lose sight of all of the things that were important to us before they came along.  We will often begin to accept things about them that we never would have wanted in our lives before, such as alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive lying, and more.   The thought of being without them can become crippling and devastating…even though we were probably living a very happy life before we met them.

Healing the heart is a tough thing, especially when there are challenges that stem from our past relationships, family of origin, and overall matters of the heart.  In reality, if we are still in the healing process, loving someone who is not very good for us is still easier than truly loving and working on ourselves.  It is also so common for codependents to be drawn to someone who is “wounded” or “broken”, so to speak; that way, we can work on repairing them, and will try to be their saving grace.

Ultimately, it is necessary for someone with a codependent personality to truly take the time and space needed to work things out within their own heart.  Eventually, you get to the point where if you feel as though it could be “love at first sight”, you stop yourself and slow things down, because you know that is a big red flag for you.  In a new relationship it is so important to spend time alone to reflect, as well as time with that person to learn about them and see where the relationship may take you.  Enjoy the dating experience, keep loving YOURSELF through the entire process, and focus on being mindful about the things that you really want and don’t want in a relationship.  When we let things develop organically, the relationship will tend to last longer and to be much healthier than one of those intense and dramatic “crazy chemistry” flings. 

Take your time…your heart and soul with thank you for it!

Live love, my friends…


March 10, 2020

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