Back in the Game: Avoiding Addiction in New Relationships

As the Calendar turns from One blatantly Commercial Holiday (Super Bowl Sunday) to another (Valentine’s Day), I find myself pondering what place love has in my life.  I have always had a particularly insightful POV on love, as I have been working in the restaurant business for the vast majority of the past twenty-two years.   I can tell Blind dates from silver anniversary dates from Dontbotheruswejustheretotalkcauseourspousesareontousandwereplottinganexitstrategybeforeslobbingeachotherdownintherestaurantparkinglot. dates within the first 20 minutes.

I’ve seen:

Love at first sight

Lust at first Sight

And by far, the most entertaining for the spectator and most confounding for the participants:

Luck at first Sight (this is when someone who would be COMPLETELY disregarded is the beneficiary of a completely random course of events)

The tragedy is that all that I saw and learned during this 22 year lab didn’t help me in the least.

As I find myself moving towards new beginnings in my own life, my mind turns toward the magic of the early days of relationships.  Over the next few days I will behold a larger number of relationships than usual as Valentine’s Day on a weekend tends to spread out the VD celebrations.  The newest relationships are always the most intriguing to watch.

It’s all so…new.

It’s all so fresh.


But…Is it healthy?

Stop. Pause. Wait.

Sit still and Look CAREFULLY at the situation that you find yourself in.  Is it REALLY healthy for you?  Are you edified by your relationship? Is your partner edified by your relationship?  Have you even contemplated if this relationship is healthy for THEM?  Do.You.Care?  Would you leave if it wasn’t?

Yeah. Contemplate those and come back.

My own experience has been that people, particularly those still healing from the ends of previous relationships can find themselves so anxious to reconnect that they inject themselves into circumstances that are less about the other party and more about the feeling that comes upon them when they are with that person.

If you said “hey, that sounds like chasing a high”, kindly pull out your smart phone and play Bejewelled Birds, your work here is done. Your fellow readers are catching up. Please sit still and wait for the class to catch up.  Thanks.

The hardest thing for me as a divorcee has been separating actual love from those feelings that feel like love, but actually are just “highs”.

Oh, now you don’t know what I’m talking about?


  • Those faux trembles when you don’t hear from them.
  • That rush you feel when they come back, even though you were pissed at them literally SECONDS ago
  • Doing things you swore you would NEVER do because of how they made you feel with other folks but you do anyway in an effort to chase the feeling.

It is a dicey proposition, avoiding this kind of behavior when the nights get cold…and long…and solitary.

Hell, it’s a dicey proposition when the nights are warm, short, and Full of warm bodies (the same one over and over or a different one…same deal)

Those of you playing Angry Tetris or texting Brett Favre Pictures of your Junk Drawers can rejoin this blog post already in progress.

The obvious question is: How do you know?

Me, Myself, Personally?

My advice is to get some YOU time in. Understand yourself.  Learn what really makes you tick.  It is worth noting that the same behavior that people engage in the mundane parts of their life takes over in their relationships.  People are out here pressing buttons on their new smartphone to see what happens, learning through trial and error.

That’s cool and the gang, for your smart phone.

Learn yourself.  Read the owner’s manual.

You know, the owner’s manual.  Your owner’s manual is the guide to your physical, mental, and emotional self.

Oh…you don’t have one of those?  Then you need to get off and get to writing it.  You’re wasting everyone’s time here.

Seriously. Get. On. It.

You’re playing with fire out here.  You can’t run to the SprintVerizonAT&T-mobileBoost store for help when you press buttons in your life in a funky sequence and you brick your life.


      • Meunequivo.....

        Hmm. So relevant. I’m going through a break-up…though there never was an actual relationship. It’s been interesting these past few days, sorting out how much hurt is due to ‘it’ ending/not being with him/not knowing why things didn’t work out/ flat out rejection. I think I’ve kinda figure out that it’s more about me not liking the feeling of rejection opposed to anything else. I love your blog.

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  2. PKGM

    I agree with this.

    The newness of it all can be overwhelming and if it is “perfect”/romantic/sensual you can fall in deep so fast that you will end up getting serious whiplash when the inevitably “slow down” sign appears. One must know themselves before, after and during a relationship. It does no one any good if they are always just going to assimilate instead of integrate. Jimmy liked video games so I like video games, Johnny likes okra so I like okra and so on. It hurts my head when I see many fall into that trap and at times I find myself giving into that same temptation, but luckily I am able to shake sense into myself before I get carried away. 🙂

    Good post!

  3. Abigail

    So true. Jumping into a relationship just to BE IN a relationship isn’t fair to anyone. You beat me to it when you said it’s all about the Self first. I don’t know why there’s such a stigma to being single or remaining single for an extended period of time after a breakup. The healing process is necessary. You’ll still experience the high when you meet someone new, who is right for you, but I think it’ll help the junkies realize they don’t necessarily need a hit.

    How much fun is the people watching at work for you? I’d have stories for days just reading people’s body language!!

  4. MizzLoveLippz

    Angry Tetris? Bejewelled Birds?! That made me laugh out loud!!

    I completely agree with this post.


    What happens when you’ve had sooooooo much YOU time, that you leave no space for anyone else?

    I’m going on 6 years of singledom. I’m not ready to settle down again. I was married for 9 years and not all 9 years were horrible but the last 4 years that were, have made enough of an impact in my life that I literally push away. I disappear when someone gets comfortable, I use and abuse, I am the hunter and I have been the prey. I know this game inside and out and I’m afraid when I get around to actually allowing a smidge of love my way, it’ll be too late.

    I have no closing sentence. #thatisall

    *goes back to playing Bejewelled Birds*

    • inkognegro

      If youre not ready to settle down, you haven’t had enough you time. No harm in that being the case. There is only harm when you either don’t know or are uncomfortable with that state of affairs.

      It is only too late when they put the tag on your toe.

  5. annette_b

    Good advice. Knowing that most people are on their best behavior to try to make an impression, I especially appreciate the advice to be aware that “…the same behavior that people engage in the mundane parts of their life takes over in their relationships.” This way you can at least try to get a sense of what you’re really in for!

  6. Tyrone M.

    When I exited a long relationship, folks were insistent that I get right back to seeing someone else. I wasn’t interested. I realized t hat I needed time alone…to be myself, not deal with anyone’s mess, to deal with my mess and to clear my head. Nothing wrong with that. Chasing that high is great, but temporary. What I didn’t realize is that two years later (!) that I really missed having a woman in my life. It hit me unexpectedly, since I wasn’t looking for a signal. Not realizing that almost destroyed two friendships though.

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