I’m a thirty-four year old female. I feel like I can’t be without a boyfriend but no relationship seeks to work out long term. Most end up in fights and arguments and I’m out of there. I feel like I’m just getting older and doing the same thing over and over and over again. Yet I’m in this bind. Because once again, I’m alone. And I don’t want to be. I can’t even seem to stay uninvolved for more than a few weeks max. I get fidgety. I get lonely. I don’t know what to do with myself. Eventually I go out and meet someone and it seems to turn out the same way. I will admit that I probably drink too much alcohol but usually on weekends. I feel so empty inside. How do I get out of this hole?
Relationships can be addictive, just like alcohol, drugs, and a myriad of other things. You can’t patch up a hole in a garden wall with spit and glue. Yet so many seem to keep trying to do the equivalent with their lives. Over and over again. It’s part of the addictive cycle. It doesn’t work; it never did. In fact, it makes matters worse long-term. Believe it or not, we can be addicted to our own pain, to fear, to resentment, to negative ways of thinking, and to being unhappy. In fact, Eckhart Tolle referred to our addiction to pain as our “pain body”.
In addition, many people are addicted to the attraction phase in relationships rather than connecting to the persons themselves. During that phase, we often feel elated as a result of the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and oxytocin as well as from other hormonal activity. Consider the fact that when you’re in a brand new relationship, you’re “on drugs” to a large extent whether you know it or not.
No, you didn’t deliberately place them in your body, but your system releases them neurochemically. In addition, our egos are often more interested in the idea or fantasy of the perfect person that will “fix” everything in our lives than in the actual human being him or herself. This is not love but unhealthy dependency.
From the little you’ve said, it seems to me that you do not feel whole and safe simply within yourself. Only a sober and honest reflection on your part will reveal whether this is true for you. If it is, as it is for so many people, the challenge is to fill yourself up from the inside out rather than the other way around. That means finally coming to terms with what feels like it’s missing inside. Remember: when you don’t go within, you go without. And not trying to fill that void, that emptiness with external things such as relationships, alcohol, drugs, or running out of the house to avoid feeling alone. This takes commitment, self-love, and discipline. It takes courage.
I would strongly suggest that you consider working with a counselor, life coach, or therapist so that you can have the objectivity, accountability, and emotional support you need. It is so very important that you identify what your inner child/the little girl within you is feeling.
Next, it is about giving her the love and nurturing and support that he or she needs in an unconditionally loving way – FROM YOU. We can indeed re-parent our wounded inner child selves. The healthy growth and maturation of a child requires that different sorts of needs be met at different points in our human developmental cycle. From infancy into young adulthood we grow as we are nurtured through various emotional challenges by our parents or caretakers.
To the extent that our caretakers have their own unfinished inner child wounds (which most adults do), they often are not able, however, to provide the unconditional love and support essential to a child?s healthy development. For so many this results in various types of addictive and compensatory behaviors.
This is not about blame. It is about the reality of taking responsibility to locate your own woundedness and, once and for all loving yourself the way you need (and needed) to be loved. We are all loveable and worthy of love and happiness. Try to find that little girl within you and give her what she needs. This is the challenge. The alternative: putting that burden illegitimately on externals like addictive relationships and substances, results in, for most folks, a revolving door of despair with relatively brief interludes of distraction.