LOVE AND SELF-WORTH
Unfortunately many of us grew up being exposed to unhealthy models of relationships. Our parents are the primary example of what children will attach to as an association with safety, love, compassion, and support. When a child grows up in an unstable and unpredictable environment, they learn to emulate the behaviors their primary caregivers engaged in. As individuals, we do not consciously recognize the impact that an unhealthy relationship between our parents may have had on us as adults. Therefore, we move forward with eagerness and a strong desire to attract a mate. Subconsciously the unhealthy messages have already been planted and programmed. We begin to gravitate towards unhealthy and toxic behaviors without having any awareness of this internal association. As we begin to get to know a potential mate, our vulnerability is heightened, which often leads to susceptibility of having our 'blinders' on. We refer to our dulled awareness as our blinders because the brain desires to duplicate pleasurable sensations and experiences. When our brain receives a signal of pleasure, it results in an open opportunity for the mind to seek replication of the stimulant that caused the pleasure sensor to react. Blind love is a concept that exists due to many people falling in love with an unhealthy individual. When we allow our emotions to lead our decision-making processes, we often end up with regret, broken hearts, immense sadness, remorse, shame, and fear of abandonment. Should we remain with toxic partners, our ability to apply logic and make a healthy decision to leave the relationship continues, to reduce over time. Sadly, it often requires one to go through many painful disappointments and experiences before ultimately deciding to trust their intuition to terminate the relationship.
The romantic aspects of blind love are the intrigue and excitement of the pursuit of the unknown. Additionally, the mind often creates hope of the unknown and will glorify the 'what-ifs' or the possibilities of how love could be the answer to feelings of emptiness and loneliness. Blind love creates a facade to the brain and stimulates the pleasure sensor which acts as a seal for romance and stimulation.
Blind love can provide a foundation for unhealthy patterns. Many individuals associate their level of worth and value on the responses that they receive from their partners. When rejected, an individual may perceive themselves as unwanted and will often turn to unhealthy decisions or begin to engage in unsafe practices in order to receive validation, praise, or acknowledgment from their partner. When we remain in unhealthy or toxic relationships, we place our emotional needs aside and begin to develop patterns of Codependency. Codependency results in very low self esteem and can exacerbate in isolation and avoidance of maintaining a separate identity and support system.
Blind love often leaves us as quickly and easily as it comes. However this requires time and individual identification of the damage that the relationship has resulted in within their persona. Falling out of blind love requires taking an objective approach to examining how your identity has changed as a result of being in a toxic relationship. When an individual begins let of blind love, this indicates that a person is beginning to develop a sense of identity and self worth. One who connects with their core values will be better-suited to leave an unhealthy dynamic. When someone ends a blinding relationship, new opportunities to develop a relationship with their true selves arise!
If one begins to isolate themselves from friends, colleagues, and family, and places their partner's needs before their own happiness, this is a sign that they could be approaching a dangerous path. Often times a codependent partner will try to make their significant other question their own opinions, and even their own identity. Narcissistic partners will have you use negative comments and judgmental remarks to regain control of the relationship.
A romantic path will result in increased sense of fulfillment, maintenance of individual hobbies, interests, and outside friendships and relationships. A healthy romance is built upon a foundation of support, encouragement, and separate interests.
BRIANA LEFMAN JANUARY 15, 2019