God said, “It’s not good for man (mankind) to be alone”. And if you’ve ever been alone for any period of time then you know that to be true. But generally what do we do when we’re feeling alone and all by ourselves? We go get somebody. Or in today’s vernacular ….” some body” or more specifically…. “some booty”. We make a “booty call”! Now tell me, how have those flesh dives worked out for you???
In our current relationship approach many of us get caught up in “unhealthy” relationships out of sheer loneliness. Just wanting someone to fill an empty space in our hearts. In most cases this type of “hooking up” turns out to be nightmarish adding nothing but more stress to our lives. These become relationships which actually create MORE problems than they solve. Eventually this becomes a cycle we get caught up in and it’s tragic. A PERPETUAL CYCLE OF DEFEAT. Is it any wonder then why our relationships are so messy (carnal)? So we become addicted to the SEX by “hooking up” and end up neglecting the rest of the person who we’re involved with.
Tom O’Connell wrote In Lifestyle Journal……
Are you attached to your partner so strongly that you can’t picture functioning without him or her?
Are you preoccupied with your partner?
Easily disturbed by your partner?
Caught up in moods based on feelings about your partner?
Lost in your partner to the point where you don’t know where one of you leaves off and the other begins?
Today many people equate the words “intimacy” and “relationship” with the sexual act. And all too often, what they are referring to is simply another form of addiction. The word “intimate” comes from the Latin “intimus” and means “within,” “private,” “personal,” “closely acquainted,” or “very familiar.” It’s a powerful word.
The sexual act is only one part of intimacy. True intimacy is a blending of mind and spirit (and sometimes body) that goes beyond the sex act (hooking up) and brings us into unusual closeness to another human being. And true intimacy is not achieved quickly. It’s a labor of love that takes time and demands respect for oneself and another. It’s not a quick fix; it’s an ongoing work of art.
If you have answered yes to any of the aforementioned questions, there’s a good chance you’re a relationship addict. And if you want to have healthy relationships you need to address your addictive tendencies because addiction impairs relationships. When we’re addicted to a person, place or thing, we become separated from our inner selves, from our loved ones, and from God. Addiction forms a troublesome triangle that impacts on everything we do.
Does the word “addict” bother you? It’s a fine word, but many of us only use it when we’re describing the severely impaired people. Actually, there are degrees of addiction, and we all get that way at one time or another, sooner or later, now and again.
The word “addict’ means one who is “devoted” to a “constant practice” or “habit.” And considering our basic human needs, no wonder we often fall into addiction.
The view of addiction that I appreciate is the one Dr. Stanley Gitlow provided: “It’s a disease in which any technique for adapting to life is used other than interpersonal relating.” I insert an additional word and say “healthy” interpersonal relating.
Another way of describing addiction is calling it “unhealthy dependence.” And in a relationship when we become too dependent we are acting like a person hooked on alcohol or drugs. Regardless of what our love object is, a dependent person is in a state of suspense because when we’re addicted we’re left “hanging” much of the time. And suspense can wear us down.
The Five C's
To test your own closest relationships, try the Five C’s of addiction and see what you come up with. Addiction, or unhealthy dependence, involves Craving, Compulsion, loss of one’s Control despite attempts to control, and Continuation of the behavior even though there are life-damaging Consequences.
Do you Crave certain behaviors from your partner?
Do you feel Compulsion driving you to get your own way?
Do you feel like you are losing your Control at times?
And do you continue the behavior (hooking up) even though the Consequences are damaging to your life?
If you are caught in the “hooking up” cycle, you are in a process involving more than just habit. And you may qualify as a relationship/sex addict. But it’s up to you to figure out if you’re mildly, moderately, or seriously impaired before you cause serious emotional damage to yourself and others.