Tag Archives: codependency

Why can’t I stay single?


single person photo

Why can’t I stay single?

Many clients ask me the question, “Why can’t I stay single?”. The moment a relationship ends they are looking for someone new to replace their old love. What is that all about?

There are many reasons for people constantly pursuing relationships. I have listed a few possible reasons:

A loveless childhood

Some people experience a lack of love as a child and this can create a long lasting neediness. As an adult, they will constantly be searching for that love that they didn’t receive when they were younger. They are always looking to fill the void. As they never received the solid foundation of care and love when they were children, it can create a chemical imbalance, the brain develops differently and there may even be a long lasting biological aspect to this overwhelming need to never be single. These people feel unsafe and unprotected without the love of another person.

Love addiction or relationship addiction

Love addicts crave love obsessively. Their reasons for craving love may stem from a loveless childhood but they are less discerning about their partner. They will settle for whomever is willing to be in a relationship with them. Somehow, along the way, they have developed beliefs that they are inadequate on their own and that they cannot cope alone. These core beliefs lead them to seek out a partner and be in a relationship at all costs. Unfortunately, due to their distorted ideas about themselves and their limited thinking about their ability to cope, they never manage to feel satisfied, even when in a relationship.

They are needy, they can be manipulative and can often be co-dependent as well.


Co-dependency exists when one partner is excessively dependent upon their partner for emotional support. It is a dysfunctional ‘helping’ relationship that is often one-sided (they do all the giving and their partner does all the taking) and emotionally destructive. People with low self esteem and poor boundaries often have co-dependent relationships. They enjoy taking care of their partner as it gives them a sense of control and security.

Low confidence and low self esteem

People with low confidence and self esteem don’t feel good about themselves and need a partner to bolster their confidence. Due to their low confidence they often stay in relationships that are unhappy as they fear being alone too much. They can end up feeling trapped.

There are many reasons for people staying in relationships and avoiding being single at all costs. As previously mentioned, this can be due to neglect as a child (often the case) and/or faulty assumptions about their abilities to cope as a single person as well as dysfunctional beliefs about what a relationship offers. Ultimately, we all want to be loved and be with someone but being single is not at all inferior to being in a relationship. Many people hold attitudes that being single suggests there is something wrong with them. This is only a thought – not a fact. It is also a thought that can be challenged and changed as it is irrational.

If you tend to resist being single, you probably need to be single for a few months just to show yourself that you can actually do it. You will probably learn more about yourself in that time and be in a better place for a relationship. Being single can be freeing and a great opportunity for personal development.

Mandy X



Are you a love addict?


love  photo

Are you a love addict?

Love addicts live in emotional chaos where they obsess about their romantic relationships. They fear being alone or being rejected and search endlessly for that special someone – the person that will make the addict feel whole.

Ironically, love addicts often have many opportunities to begin an  intimate experience but they are much more strongly attracted to the intense experience of “falling in love” than they are to the peaceful intimacy of healthy relationships. As a result, they spend much of their time hunting for “the one.” They base nearly all of their life choices on the desire and search for this perfect relationship – everything from wardrobe choices to endless hours at the gym, to engaging in hobbies and other activities that may or may not interest them, to the ways in which they involve others in conversations and social interactions.

Characteristics of love addicts

1) They spend a large amount of their time and attention on relationships. Far more than the average person. Love addicts think about their partners obsessively. They often put their partner on a pedestal.

2) Love addicts have unrealistic expectations about how their partner should respond to them. They expect constant love from their partner and are highly sensitive when they don’t receive this. They often live in an unrealistic fantasy world and become angry when reality doesn’t match up.

3) Love addicts may neglect themselves in a relationship. They can become dependent on their partners and put their partners needs and wishes ahead of their own to a point that is no longer healthy.

You may be a love addict if you fear being alone and harbour underlying insecurities about your worth. Love addicts do all they can to avoid the unpleasant feelings often associated with relationships. Feelings that we all go through – rejection and failure to loss of a loved relationship. When a love addict becomes brave and allows these feelings to be experienced they will be on the road to healing this dysfunctional behavioural pattern.

Love addicts often fear abandonment and have an underlying belief that their partner will love them less and not reciprocate the same level of feeling and emotion. Combatting this involves making themselves a little vulnerable in order to test their beliefs. Small baby steps initially are a good idea.

The causes of love addiction are fairly easy to identify: inadequate or inconsistent nurturing, low self esteem, absence of positive role models for committed relationships and indoctrination with cultural images of perfect romantic love and happily ever after endings.

Breaking the pattern of love addiction

1. Stop and think. Find some perspective and look at your patterns of behaviour. Make a list of your dysfunctional pattern in your current and past relationships. Be honest without blaming anyone else for your choices. Unless you are in a committed relationship, do not engage in any potentially romantic interactions for at least 6 months. That includes no texting, emailing, online dating sites, hook ups, introductions by well intentioned friends and family.

2. As you do your list look for the common themes in your relationships. Does there appear to be a similarity between your  childhood experiences and your choices as an adult? If so, it is no coincidence.

3. If you are not in a relationship right now, consider getting professional help with your self evaluation before you begin your search again. If you are in a relationship, unless you are being abused, don’t make any decisions or demands until you look at yourself honestly.

4. Ask yourself how life would be if you took responsibility for your own happiness, successes and failures and loved yourself the way you want to be loved.

5. Make a plan and follow through on a daily basis. You will be lonely, sad and frustrated at times but in the end you will have the most valuable gift of all. You will know and love yourself. Only then can you choose well and have the real, albeit imperfect relationship you deserve.

6. As an act of love that will last a life time, accept yourself and the one you love AS IS. It may not come with a big red bow but it is one thing you can be sure everyone wants.

Mandy X





love addiction

Love Addiction

love addiction photo

Love Addiction

Currently, I see numerous clients suffering from love addiction.

The following characteristics/causes are common:
1) This addiction often stems from a lack of a nurturing relationship when growing up. Perhaps parents were inconsistent with care, did not show love etc…this deficiency can lead to distorted brain development which in turn leads to dysfunctional thinking patterns. (the synapses do not connect correctly).

2) When someone with a love addiction enters into a relationship, they tend to idolise their partner, they fantasise and become emotionally attached very quickly. They place an inordinate amount of importance on love relationships and feel incomplete without a partner.

3) There is also a tendency to trade sexual favours for love. Many love addicts confuse love and lust.

4) The need for security overrides many other needs and the greatest fear is abandonment and rejection.

5) Severe cases of love addiction can end up becoming stalkers.

Even when a relationship is abusive, a love addict will want to stay – this is often due to a lack of self esteem and is tied in with a lack of love as a child.
Therapy focuses on taking back control, living with and facing the uncertainty of life and finding alternative ways to find the security they crave.

Recommended Reading: The Love Trap – Annie Bennett

Mandy x

Photo by marc falardeau