What a Toxic Codependent Relationship Taught Me About Love
I decided to write about love because relationships are one of the primary areas where I’ve given my power way.
In terms of allowing another person to dictate how I feel based on how they treat me. This externalization of love or looking for it outside of myself has caused suffering. Once I realized that I had been conditioned to do this through romantic movies and society, I had so much compassion for myself.
For the girl who just wanted to feel good and gave the men in her life the ever important task of loving me when I didn’t even know how. I’m still learning what love is as well as what it is not. It is only once I stopped being an addict for love did I learn what it truly is.
Romantic love is a drug
We all want pleasure. The part of the brain that lights up in response to positive stimuli is called the dopamine pathway. When researchers put participants in a functional MRI, they found that the same part of the brain that lit up in response to cocaine was activated when people thought of their lover. Just like people become addicted to cocaine, you can become addicted to love.
Seeking to recreate that first “high”, is the same thing as trying to feel the way we felt when we were first felt “falling” for our loved one. When we can’t get that spark back we project our discontentment on to our partner. If only they were like they were in the beginning, we’d be happy and get our “fix”, then the relationship would progress. It’s never us it’s them and their inability to love us in the way that we need them to.
Let’s add another element, sex. God forbid yo ass gets dicked down and now you’ve got cornucopia of chemicals in the mix. During orgasm oxytocin gets released, the bonding hormone that women secrete upon birth to bond them to their infants is now in the mix.
This hormone causes you to long for and care about this person, think about them around the clock, and to care for their wellbeing. Nothing wrong, but if you are unaware of this process and aren’t exercising discrimination when it comes to your partnerships, by evaluating who they are and what they’re about before you have sex, then you could end up strung out on a fuckboy. Or with someone because you think that they are the source of your feel goods.
They are now your dope dealer, you’ve given your power of feeling good away to another person, they completely control your happiness. When they text back and show up for you then things are good, when they go MIA you are in despair. Like an addict about to go into withdrawals because they can’t get their fix.
For many people this is what a relationship is. Two people who have come together under the never ending quest to try and make one another happy but to no avail. Thinking that the discontentment and dissatisfaction they feel can be eased if only their partner “text back, communicated, bought them flowers etc”. We create these conditions for loving someone, and what we will in turn accept as “love” based on societal programming and conditioning. Then we constantly keep score to see if people are meeting these conditions based on the amount of dopamine and oxytocin that are flooding our system at any given moment. But ultimately, these people can never meet our needs, only we can.
My toxic relationship cycle
Here’s the karmic relationship cycle that I manifested in order to learn the essence of true love. Two years ago, I wanted a relationship so bad, that I lit some candles one night under a new moon and told Spirit everything I wanted in a partner. A tall chocolate man with hair, a good job, a car that made me feel loved.
So when I saw him a week later and we were instantly drawn to each other, it felt like fate. Things started off hot and heavy and we are instantly enraptured in one another. Our ego boundaries collapsed and we at last felt true intimacy and union with another person.
I completely lost myself and interests in order to consume my time with him. My self care practice tanked and without seeing progress in my life I started growing resentful. Naturally, I started to withdraw from sex and it made him anxious. His sexy she-devil was gone and without my constant availability his ego starved.
He voiced his concerns, I promised to change but never really did at least in any long term way. I felt drained around him around him, like I was giving him everything I had, yet it was never enough. We had fundamentally different views on relationships!
I saw them as fertile breeding grounds for growth whereas he saw them as a place to get his emotional and physical needs met. Our fights got worse followed by an intense high of positivity that made me want to stay. It wasn’t until I stopped talking to him for a week did I realize we were codependent.
When we reunited he was annoyed at how I’d distanced myself. I refused to apologize, saying that I needed time to think and he snapped. Started hurling insults about how I was selfish, ungrateful and unappreciative of him. I sat there without reacting and just repeated everything he said back. In a fit of anger he broke up with me and stormed out my apartment.
What it taught me
I learned that my fulfillment will not come from a romantic relationship that I still must continue to be of service to humanity. Until I work to find fulfillment, I will continue to project my own inadequacy onto my partner in the form of them not being “whatever” enough so as not to feel the pain of being out of alignment with who I truly am.
I’m determining my unmet emotional needs from childhood so that I won’t continue to manifest partners that bring up these wounds. And that yea, I am a little selfish at times.
Also, that I am not responsible for another person’s happiness. Although it’s cruel to tell a person in the midst of their suffering that they’re creating this reality because of their refusal to tap into their own abundance, it’s low key true.
The true essence of love
Love is not an emotion or feeling. Our emotions are the gateway to love but they are not love. Love is knowledge, it’s light, that is what really transforms you. When someone holds up a mirror and makes you see through the delusions of your own self deception. When they call you out on your shit and make you face the pervasive character flaws that are lurking in the unseen aspects of your shadow self.
It doesn’t coddle you with empty gestures orchestrated for a cheap high. It plunges you into the depths of your own darkness so you can learn how to purify yourself to access your own light.
Love forces you to integrate yourself and become a whole person.
We have to become our own pleasure producing factories. Learning how to induce feelings of pleasure by getting into a state of forward flow will allow our brains to secrete dopamine and release our dependence on the other people in our lives to do this for us.
Being vulnerable enough to let negative thoughts and emotions come up feelings of jealousy anger and fear to shed your light of awareness on them so that they can be transmuted. This emotional cleansing can be done through art, music, journaling, meditation or breathwork and other healing modalities. Relationships are lessons in love and not an end in itself.
This is why self love is a necessary prerequisite before entering into any stable long term union. We have to be that person for ourselves. We attract what we are. Do yourself a huge fave and stop looking outside of yourself for love, validation and acceptance from others in terms of flowers and other empty gestures and remember that you are the rose, you are love.
Check out the self care practice I use to keep me grounded so I don’t get lost in the romantic love sauce. Does this resonate with you? Have you ever found yourself in the cycle of seeking love and fulfillment from a relationship? How’d it turn out?