We all know someone with a relationship addiction. They’re the kind of person who simply cannot be single for longer than a few weeks without losing their mind. They flit from relationship to relationship with no real breaks in between, often discarding any previous feelings they had toward someone else. They latch on to someone new hastily, fearing no real repercussions, and detach just as easily.
Ultimately, they crave that perfect part of the relationship before everything goes wrong. The feel of the honeymoon period, where things are still fresh and fun before any real problems or resentment set in, is highly addictive.
This carefree feeling of love and happiness with multiple partners one after another stimulates exhilaration, passion, and excitement. Once they repeat this pattern and gain the same results, before too long, serial monogamy becomes a habit. [Read: When nothing makes you happy, make happiness your default state]
But often they don’t realize the reason most of these relationships never seem to work out is because they have no breathing space between each partner. This means they have no real way of not dragging emotional baggage from one relationship to the next. There’s no time to deal with their residual feelings about how the other relationship went wrong, or how they could better themselves in the future.
10 ways to find out if you have a relationship addiction
Simply gaining your sense of self-worth from someone else’s love and affection alone can be pretty damaging to your ability to truly connect to another human. Relationship addicts need to learn to love themselves first, instead of looking for self-love in other people. This kind of approach may boost their ego and self-confidence, but it only works for so long before it just becomes a crutch.
A lot of people who have a relationship addiction don’t even realize it affects them. But when all your companions blend into one another, it may be time to take a look at your relationship patterns and figure out if you’re actually an addict.
#1 You can’t be on your own. The idea of not having a significant other really bums you out. You’d prefer to have a partner at all times, rather than dealing with the hurt and anguish of going through a messy breakup or spending time being single. [Read: Learn how to be single after a long relationship]
#2 You crave affection. You’re not the type to roll over after sex and just go to sleep. You want to curl up in a big ball with your partner and cuddle. You constantly find yourself wanting hugs and kisses and tenderness, and you love it when someone looks at you through the smoke screen of puppy love.
That feeling of someone longing for your touch and wanting intimacy with you is what fuels you. [Read: Why type of attraction is vital for true love?]
#3 You need someone to make you feel better. Having a new partner in your life ups your self-esteem. It’s almost as if having someone who’s attracted to and interested in you stops you from confronting any flaws of your own that you have. It feels good for your ego for someone to be crazy about you, just make sure you’re not using that person as a Band-Aid to stop yourself from thinking about all the issues of your previous relationships.
#4 New starts don’t bother you. Most people need time to grieve a relationship that ended, but you like to move on and find someone new as swiftly and easily as possible. You don’t have much of an issue leaving behind old feelings and moving on to another relationship, without having a bit of time off to adjust to single life.
#5 You can’t remember the last time you were single. It feels like the last time you were officially single was years and years ago, and it only lasted a couple of months until you moved on. Staying single for a long period of time feels foreign and uncomfortable to you. You hate the idea of having no one interested in being with you.
#6 A new partner changes your outlook. Once you’ve found yourself at the tail end of a breakup, you feel pretty hurt and gloomy, but once you find someone new you automatically start to feel better. It doesn’t take you very long to move on once you find that your new beau gives you that emotional and mental boost you needed after the breakup. [Read: 10 reasons why you might need to take a break from dating]
#7 One night stands are not for you. You hate having quick, meaningless flings with anyone. Instead you’d rather have someone you know who will stick around after sex for the first time. The challenge isn’t necessarily in the chase for you. It’s in impressing them enough that they want to stay.
#8 You think your exes still love you. You enjoy the idea of staying friends with your exes, because secretly you still want them to want you. It doesn’t always work, but you like to imagine they still pine for you. You think if you stay close with them, there’s a chance they’ll start to miss you, because you think they’ll never find anyone better than you.
#9 Break-ups are no issue when you have options. You don’t really mind ending a relationship. But only when you know you have someone else available for you to start something new. You very rarely break-up with someone first, when you have no one else around that you could potentially move on to. It’s too risky for you to go cold turkey. [Read: 15 reasons why being single for a time can be fun too]
#10 You always move quickly. You have a habit of not taking things slowly. Instead you’re almost always the first one to say ‘I love you’ or taking them on tropical holidays after a couple of weeks and talking about taking them to meet your family after the first date.
Don’t rush it in order to force a quick connection just so you have someone new in your life. Let it play out naturally.
[Read: How to keep from moving too fast in a new relationship]
Having a relationship addiction doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, so long as you don’t end up using these companions just to make you feel better about yourself. Allow yourself to be happy and single for a while.
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