Might as well face it- I’m addicted to (romantic) love.

Hi Brooke! So it’s been my narrative for years that my kryptonite is seeking male approval and that I’m a romantic love addict. I had been in one monogamous relationship after another since I was 17 and had never been single until I was 30. When I was 30 I broke up with my ex to build my relationship with myself and its been amazing (I’m 34 now!). I can truly say that I love being with myself and am not in any way shape or form missing being with a man- in fact- I’ve not been touched or kissed or intimate with a dude in 4 years and I’m ok with that.

Recently I decided to dip my toe in the dating pool as a fun way to grow and get to know myself and lo and behold all of the patterns around men have cropped up big big style. I can see why I’ve stayed away from men with a 10 foot pole. Its like urge-city, next stop, compulsion-ville. I am determined and excited to work through this- I dont want to be afraid of myself in any part of my life snd I also would quite like to be able spend some fun time with a funny dude without it meaning everything to me or making me completely crazy. I know I can do it! But need some help.

I have already created the constraint that when I meet someone who looks cool online, I take it off the dating app straight away and stop spending any time on the app until the current interaction has come to a completion.

Last week, I met someone online who I think could be awesome- all the right funny messages and he’s super cute and seems like a kind man. Mind you, this is all in the space of 4 messages so you can see how juicy my crazy is here. My compulsion wants to spin out of control. I want to text him nonstop, I cant seem to stop indulging in confusion, I fantasise about introducing him to my friends, I want to override all my other plans (and myself!!) to meet up with him etc etc. This feels awful and so disempowered- its coming from a total place of compulsive dopamine covered desire and I feel like I have to fight so hard for any kind of control- not fun.

I’ve downloaded and printed the SO worksheets (I’ve used them in other areas of my life already to great benefit)- shall I just view and treat this as any other compulsive behaviour and start allowing urges and doing the write it down worksheet etc? And in terms of a ‘drink-plan’- I’m thinking of giving myself certain days and certain hours (15 minutes of back and forth every 3 days) where I can engage with him and then plan for a meet-up soonish (in my own time and without sacrificing any other part of my life) so that I dont endlessly drag this on in my mind (he might be awful!). I’ve done quite a bit of thought work around this in terms of where this behaviour is coming from etc so right now it literally feels like going through the fire of the detox in real time is what needs to happen. What do you reckon? Good plan? Any other tips you might have?

Big big love and thanks for the support- to progress and growth!

xxx Maria