There’s always been a guy in my life who I am completely obsessed with and/or devastated by. It’s the same formula each time: great sex, he’s aloof and emotionally reserved, I agonize over his text messages. I feel like shit during the entire thing, but I crave his attention/validation so much, contact with him is like a high. What is wrong w/ me and how do I fix it?
You just listed what’s wrong with you. Congratulations. You’ve correctly identified your dysfunctional pattern of behavior, and that’s the first step towards fixing it.
The second step is giving it a name. Some folks like to call what you’ve got a “love addiction.” I prefer the term “crush junkie,” because it’s not actual love, nor is it an actual addiction.
The third step is breaking the pattern. This is where things get difficult, because it’s entirely up to you to change your behavior. Stop obsessing over guys. Stop giving them the power to devastate you. Sure, that’s easier said than done, but it’s a lot easier to do when you start recognizing that your boy-crazy bullshit — all the attention seeking behavior and desperate need for validation — it’s all just a substitute for having actual self-respect and self-worth.
Find your own internal source of validation, and let it be independent of any relationship. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s necessary for you to stay emotional healthy, and it will help you to consciously choose not to let yourself get wrapped up in the experience of infatuation.
You can still enjoy the early romantic stages of a relationship, but when you can resist the urge to obsess over a guy because you know in your heart you don’t need his validation, you’ll also find that you won’t feel like shit anymore.