When dating someone we have to be clear about if its an attachment vs a connection. An attachment is holding on (most likely out of fear) AND it fulfills a need (i.e., loneliness). Whereas connection is letting go and surrendering things that hold us back from being vulnerable with a person. I always say the more you know/understand the better you feel. I saw a post that stated, "Your partner is allowed to have a meaningful relationship with other people. Your partner is allowed to get things from those relationships they don't get from you. Demanding you being the only source of pleasure and support in their life is possessive and toxic". I wonder how many people agree or disagree with that quote?!?!
I remember feeling like I wanted to be a persons ONE and ONLY, I mean we hear that all the time. But what is really underneath it all? Reflecting back I can personally say it was insecurity that made me feel another person couldn't get their needs filled by someone else. Let me take a pause when I say "needs met" I don't mean cheat. Based on what you and your person decide what cheating is, is up to you. I am not here to debate that. However what I am here to explore is possessiveness, toxicity, and attachment.
So what are the 3 things, glad you asked!
Possessiveness is demanding someone's total attention and love.
Toxicity is the quality of being toxic or poisonous. You are draining the life out of someone.
4 Attachment Styles (See picture below)
In my book, in chapter 3 #RelatioshipGoals I talk about attachment vs. connectedness and how my attachment style impact my relationships.
The following information is from the Attachment Project:
For adults with an anxious attachment style, the partner is often the ‘better half.’ The thought of living without the partner (or being alone in general) causes high levels of anxiety. This type of attachment is associated with a negative self-image, but also with a positive view of others. The anxious/preoccupied type of person often seeks approval, support, and responsiveness from their partner. People with this attachment style value their relationships highly, but are often anxious and worried that their loved one is not as invested in the relationship as they are. A strong fear of abandonment is present, and safety is a priority. The attention, care, and responsiveness of the partner appears to be the ‘remedy’ for anxiety. On the other hand, the absence of support and intimacy can lead the anxious/preoccupied type to become more clinging and demanding, preoccupied with the relationship, and desperate for love.
The disorganized (avoidant) type tends to show unstable and ambiguous behaviors in their social bonds. For adults with this style of attachment, the partner and the relationship themselves are often the source of both desire and fear. Fearful-avoidant people do want intimacy and closeness, but at the same time, experience troubles trusting and depending on others. They do not regulate their emotions well and avoid strong emotional attachment, due to their fear of getting hurt.
The dismissing/avoidant type would often perceive themselves as ‘lone wolves’: strong, independent, and self-sufficient; not necessarily in terms of physical contact, but rather on an emotional level. These people have high self-esteem and a positive view of themselves. The dismissing/avoidant type tend to believe that they don’t have to be in a relationship to feel complete. They do not want to depend on others, have others depend on them, or seek support and approval in social bonds. Adults with this attachment style generally avoid emotional closeness and tend to hide/suppress their feelings when faced with a potentially emotion-dense situation.
The three attachment styles covered so far are insecure attachment styles. They are characterized by difficulties with cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships. In contrast, the secure attachment style implies that a person is comfortable expressing emotions openly. Adults with a secure attachment style can depend on their partners and in turn, let their partners rely on them. Relationships are based on honesty, tolerance, and emotional closeness. The secure attachment type thrive in their relationships, but also don’t fear being on their own. They do not depend on the responsiveness or approval of their partners, and tend to have a positive view of themselves and others.
You should not try and take away someone's happiness and make it your own. The person you are with should do things to make themselves happy and not depend on you to do so. The same way you should not put someone in charge of your happiness. Mainly because that should be an inside job, a person can only add happiness to your life but should not be the sole reason for your happiness. You both should still be your own person, and that means still being able to do things for yourselves, and not always with each other (without being guilt tripped).
I write these blogs based on experiences, I've been there and done that. So I hope that this helps someone. You MUST heal first, for when you are WHOLE, it is a whole lot harder to be insecure. With insecurity comes possessiveness and toxicity. Heal before you attach to someone, because it is really connectedness you want! #myselfincluded
Sneak Peak from Chapter 3 #RelationshipGoals pg. 31
Each one plays out differently when discussing relationships. I will disclose, I was the insecure (anxious) type, I will further explain what that looked like in relationships. Even though I was in a secure relationship, I lived in constant fear that it would not last and I would be rejected. If I was ignored, turned down, pretty much anything other than receiving validation from that person, I felt rejected. I identified myself as a very caring person who went above and beyond (which is where people pleasing shows up). I had to view the relationship as stable even when it was not. When major issues came up, I was surprised because I was in denial that anything was ever wrong. I avoided big arguments and would change behaviors or shrink myself to fit the other person’s needs. I call it peacekeeper chaos. All that really did was create an internal struggle. I had this big fear of abandonment/loss. I tried to hold on tight to a person and control how they saw me (even if it was not who I truly was). If you are anything like me, you have to repeat, “You are not in control” 1,000 times a day. And it is okay, not everything that should work out does.