Are you Addicted to Bad Relationships?

Do you often find that you involve yourself in relationships that disappoint you? Are you not getting what you need and desire from the people you choose to date? Does there always seem to be something missing? If you answered yes to one or all of those questions, you could very well be addicted to disappointing and bad relationships, setting yourself up for failure without even knowing it. There are ways you can determine whether you are addicted or not, and ways you can break the addiction and start getting what you have always wanted from a relationship.

Before we cover the symptoms of addiction, it is important that we cover the dangers of staying in a bad relationship. Since bad relationships lack what one or both partners’ need, stress becomes a regular part of your life, as well a gradual lowering of your self-esteem, which will make you unable to focus on your career and personal life with the concentration and care needed, in order for you to be happy. The constant stress will produce chemical changes in your body that drain your energy and make you more eligible for physical illnesses. Physical abuse in a relationship is obvious to cause a lot of physical harm, along with great psychological damage, but in spite of these facts, many people still choose to proceed with such relationships, finding themselves trapped and incapable of leaving. They find themselves depressed, on a search for some relief and unfortunately becoming depressed and possibly turning to drugs and alcohol.

So what are the symptoms of this addiction? Ignoring the truth would be one. If you truly know that the relationship you are in is making you unhappy but make no effort to exit from it, then you are in denial and are holding yourself hostage in a situation you do not have to be in. Making excuses for your partner’s disappointing and bad behavior will keep you trapped and is another huge symptom of bad relationship addiction, especially if the excuses you produce do not back up the facts and are unrealistic. If you do finally build up the courage to confront your partner to leave him or her but are overcome with fear and therefore back off from the confrontation, you are a high and sure victim of addiction because no matter what you attempt, you find yourself always giving in and holding on to what you know is bad for you. Suffering from both physical and mental discomfort once broken up, unless you get back together, is yet another symptom of addiction and should not be denied or ignored.

What causes addiction to bad relationships? There are several levels and everyone’s addiction is different and varies. One common reason is the feeling and belief that if you end the relationship, you will never find anyone else who could possibly be interested in you or love you. You grow so attached to your partner that you forgot your life before him or her, making you feel fearful of being on your own and taking care of yourself. Fear of criticism is another reason many people remain in bad relationships. They are afraid of what people will say, believing that ending a relationship means that they are a failure and being alone is unacceptable and terrifying. Other reasons may be financial support that you are receiving from a partner, making you feel that you should tolerate bad behavior from your lover, since they are supporting you. Having a child together can also blind you or cause you to deny a bad relationship, making you feel guilty for leaving your child’s mother or father. On a deeper level, you could be addicted to disappointing and bad relationships due to your upbringing or experiences as a child yourself. Perhaps you were not nurtured or loved enough and you now think it is normal to be neglected from love, care and understanding.

What should you do and how can you break a bad relationship addiction? Since this addiction is difficult and basically impossible for you to end on your own, counseling would be the best assistance for you. Find a counselor or service in which experts provide their services through, and take that first step in accepting the fact that you have an addiction and that you need and want help to conquer it. Start being a best friend to yourself and open the door to all the feelings you have kept locked up for so long. Stay focused and encourage yourself frequently by setting a goal, and picturing yourself away from all the disappointment and closer to all the happiness and good health you need, desire and deserve as a person. Never give up and know that you are not alone. There are people who can help you, know how to help and will help you. Mainly, keep in mind that there will always be a person who will be by your side and never leave you, always giving you the strength, love and support you need and that person is YOU.

Dare to risk

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach for another is to risk involvement.

To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss

To love is to risk not being loved in return.

To live is to risk dying.

To believe is to risk despair.

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

People who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing, are nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love and live.

Chained by their attitudes they are slaves, they have forfeited their freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

                                                    Adopted from Robert Schuller’s Tough Times Never Last But Tough People Do!



What is beautiful?      

I often ask myself this when I find people marvelling at something they think it is beautiful yet I find it disgusting or unattractive especially in pursuit of love or romance. Someone may see someone as beautiful or handsome yet another person thinks other wise (Robert, 1974).   

Is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder, or are there some things that all cultures find beautiful? 

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder as rarely do people collectively accept something as beautiful and what they think attractive today they find it unattractive tomorrow. It is the reason beauty pageants are held annually because perceptions keep on changing  (Matustik, 1995).       

What is the purpose of art?  

I often ask myself this whenever I visit art galleries yet I always find myself marvelling at some piece of art. I think its purpose is to appreciate and express beauty as perceived by the artist.      

How can a piece of art be successful or valuable? Does beauty matter?    

The piece of art is as valuable as per its expression of beauty and ones identification with its perception of beauty.  I think beauty matter it contributes to happiness and excitement of ones existence. Beauty colours the world and makes it a habitable place (Walter, 1956).     

Dreyfus, H. (2006). A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism. Cincinnati: Blackwell.

Robert C. S. (1974). Existentialism. New York: McGraw-Hill. 

Walter, K. (1956). Existentialism: From Dostoevesky to Sartre, New York: Sage

Matustik, J. (1995). Kierkegaard in Post/Modernity. London: Oxford University Press. 

Sober, E. (2001). Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.


How Deep Is Your Love? Plato’s perspective

To acknowledge an idea as “deep” is not necessarily to endorse it as true. It is to recognize that the idea operates at the foundation of our thinking and, by shaping our way of seeing, contributes to helping to construct our experience. Indeed, one of the tragedies of life is that so many deep ideas are not true. At any rate, I am claiming that two of Plato’s deep ideas about the nature of love are at work in our psychic depths and thus have a large and ongoing (if hidden) influence on our love lives. I am further claiming that one has a negative influence and the other a positive one.

So what are these deep Platonic ideas about the nature of love? Both are presented in the Symposium, Plato’s dialogue on love. Here, a group of aristocratic gentlemen, recovering from a previous night of heavy drinking, decide only to drink lightly on this night while taking turns giving speeches about love. The first idea comes from Aristophanes’ speech in which he presents a comic myth to explain what love is.

Aristophanes begins by saying that men and women are the separated halves of what was originally one whole being. This original being was round, had four arms, four legs, two faces, and two sets of sexual organs. It could generate great speed and power by coordinating its arms and legs to spin like a cartwheel at incredible speeds, almost like a human bowling ball. Although these beings were asexual and reproduced by casting their seed on the ground, they came in three forms—male, female, and mixed.

Aristophanes says these beings also had great ambition—so much so that they tried to ascend Mount Olympus to attack the gods. Although the gods were understandably outraged, they were perplexed about how to respond. They were inclined to destroy these beings with thunderbolts, as they had destroyed the Titans, but they did not want to lose the worship and sacrifices they provided. After a great effort of thinking, Zeus came up with a plan. He decided that rather than destroying them he would rip them in half, thereby depriving them of their strength and rolling power. In this way humans would lose their arrogance while at the same time doubling in number, thereby increasing the number of sacrifices offered to the gods.

The newly-cut-in-half beings suffered greatly, more so than Zeus had anticipated. They longed so achingly for their other half that they would throw their arms around each other, staying woven together all day in the hope that they would grow completely again. So great was their longing, that they began to die in each other’s arms. Seeing the great show of their sorrow, Zeus took pity on them and made a correction. He moved their genitals to the front, thereby creating sexual reproduction by means of the male penetrating the female.

Aristophanes then says this is how love was born into our being. Love being the force that leads us to try to heal the primal wound to our original nature through sexual union. We are seeking to find our “matching half” in order to become complete again.

Our primal wound also explains our sexual proclivities. Men and women who were split from a mixed being seek wholeness with the opposite sex and are often lecherous. However, women split from a female being seek wholeness with other women, and men split from a male being seek wholeness with other men. The men who seek wholeness with other men, Aristophanes says, are the only type who grow up to be political leaders and, when they are grown men, love only boys and marry only as required by local custom and to make children.

The key point in this comic myth is that it is not a desire for sex that brings us together but the desire to become whole. Sex is the vehicle, not the destination, and love is the fuel for the journey. In addition, it is because lovers find union with their beloved that they cannot bear to be apart.

For all of its outlandishness, this myth expresses the widespread notion that romantic love will end our agonizing loneliness if we can form not merely a stable relationship with another but a sort of metaphysical fusion with them. The idea is that when we are in love, we cease to exist as a separate individual and instead merge or fuse into a new whole being. When this does not happen, it is not love (Bardi, 3). 

Now before you dismiss this idea as nonsense, consider how deeply we are influenced by it. How often do we hear someone say they feel “lost” and “incomplete” without their romantic partner? Indeed, we think it is the very heart of romance to feel we need our true love in order to be complete. “I can’t live without you,” “You make me whole again,” “I need you”—all of these romantic sentiments express Aristophanes’ idea.

It is on this basis that Freud associated romantic love with the death instinct. That is, through love (understood as a sort of metaphysical merging) we seek the “death” of our previous, separate existence. This culturally validated idea that true love involves such a merging of identities is a source of great suffering. It is the classic double bind. As autonomous psychic entities, we resist losing our identities. At the same time, as culturally created romantic partners, we not only seek to abandon our separate existence in a romantic fusion, but we use the extent of our success in “becoming one” as a standard to measure the quality of our relationship and marriage. As a tragic consequence, many a healthy, autonomous couple has split apart because one or the other of them felt that their failure to achieve metaphysical “oneness” was a sign that love had died (Bardi, 3). 

Unfortunately, there is an even darker element to this. Freud’s association of romantic love with the death instinct opens the door to a number of other strange but revealing connections in our depths. For example, just as the romantic urge can become a dysfunction when it aligns with the death instinct and seeks not just a committed relationship with another but a complete fusion with them, so too can lusting after great wealth. It happens when we want lots of money in order to move out of our neighborhood, get all new clothes, quit our job, and get new friends. In other words, possessing great wealth will enable us to “die” to our old life.

As grim as these dysfunctions are, it may be that the deep inner emptiness that leads to them is not an inherent quality of the human condition, as Freud thought, but simply a natural spiritual response to the denigration of self-worth. These dysfunctions occur when it is a sense of lack that is driving us and not a compassionate and loving urge to give and to serve. Once the feeling of inadequacy and metaphysical lack is established in the psyche—the very feeling Aristophanes based his comic myth upon—then products we don’t need can be sold to us on the basis of the implication that the reason we feel empty and unfulfilled is because we don’t yet have them.

As far as romance is concerned, the idea and feeling that each of us needs something “other” in order to complete ourselves represents a failure to accept our intimate selves.

Work cited

Bardi, John.  Plato, Romance, and self-inquiry. Humanist, February 2011

Plato, Plato: The Collected Dialogues of Plato, translated by Gebundene Ausgabe, New Jersey: Princeton university press, 1871. ISBN: 9780691097183.   



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