Clara is my drug. I am addicted and I can’t break free. I’ve known“Clara” for nearly 9 years (I’m 35 years old). I know I’ll never be Clara’s boyfriend or husband, it’s just not in the cards for me. Clara keeps breaking my heart and I keep coming back for more. Clara was my first love. We used to hang out all the time, but I knew she didn’t love me. When she finally got a steady boyfriend she stopped seeing me, and then when she broke up with him she called me. I told her I didn’t want to be her rebound relationship and wouldn’t date her then, but I never stopped caring for her. Then she met someone else and broke up with him and she called me. We hung out but she didn’t encourage me to be her boyfriend. This pattern continued through a couple more boyfriends, and finally when she broke up with a fifth guy we agreed to give dating a try. That didn’t last more than two months when we began bickering about things, and then we had a huge fight and she told me that she didn’t want to be with me any more. I was devastated, but I knew I had to let her go. I finally met someone else. She is a good woman and we have been dating now about 8 months. it is a steady relationship with no drama. Trouble is looming though. Two months ago Clara sent me a text saying she wanted to see me.I couldn’t stay away and the moment I saw her I fell right back under her spell. We started to see each other again, but now I’m cheating on my new girlfriend. Clara doesn’t love me and it’s crazy for me to be with her when there is someone who does love me, waiting. So I told Clara we were through, but I keep finding excuses to call her. Clara encourages it although she doesn’t want me and she knows I have a girlfriend. My friends and family think I’m crazy and I know I’m jeopardizing a good relationship because of my addiction to Clara. She is SO bad for me, but Alison and Tony, I am so addicted to loving Clara. How do I break free?
Very often in life we meet another who fascinates or intrigues or tempts us to do strange and exciting things far beyond our normal life. No matter how insane or how dangerous, or how far from our normal personality these people act and are, their very existence commands our attention, our imagination and our lust in wanting to be a part of the magic and insane worlds they create.
It is a mark of maturity when our desires and expectations change from those who just promise a life beyond the ordinary, to someone who is passionate and passionate about us (and we are passionate about with as well), whom we can create a joint life with, as opposed to hanging on for dear life in the downhill sleigh ride with that person who beguiles us with their mysteries and adventures.
Hopefully, you will realize what you have with the new woman is something that can grow and fill your life as you share joint adventures with her. The problem with your old girlfriend is that although she fascinates you, you are merely comfort to her. At some point in time that comfort gives way to boredom and she is off again. Hopefully, you will eventually realize that her insane antics wear thin and that her adventures are merely ways of drawing attention to herself because she is far more interested in not missing anything than she is in being with you.
Alison’s Take: I see a pattern in the portrait you paint of Clara, poor, dear Tom, and it’s not a pretty one. You are besotted with someone who cannot commit to you, because she apparently cannot commit to anyone. She has gone through a bunch of boyfriends and will probably continue to love and leave them. Each time she breaks up with someone what does she do? She turns to you, someone who brings her comfort and companionship but she says she doesn’t love you. She may be somewhat addicted to you, but you are addicted to her love, and she doesn’t feel the same. That is a no-win situation for you.
It is possible (although not likely) that Clara doesn’t even realize that she is a commitment phoebe and that she is using you. Your relationship with Clara is difficult but it is also easy. Both of you can fall back into the comfortable, if negative pattern that has shaped your love-and-leave relationship without missing a beat. The problem is that she finds a way to move on and connect with someone else, while you keep trying to make the relationship “real” with her. Like a true succubus, Clara drains the love you could have for someone else because you pine for her, leaving you empty and alone.
As long as you give Clara the green light, she will connect with you when she feels like it, and break up with you when she feels like it, leaving you confused and lonely. Tom, if you truly want to kick the Clara habit and stop all this, you must block Clara for good, or she will, like the proverbial bad check, keep bouncing back with the same, devastating results to your heart. She will show up, find some fault or reason to disengage, and you will be left devastated. So while I’m not usually this blunt, I feel in this case I have to be — if you want a steady relationship with your new girlfriend, or any woman in the future, Clara cannot be a part of your life. She is indeed your “drug” and like any other toxic substance, you cannot indulge in just a little bit of her. If Clara has any conscience at all, and if she cares for you at all, she must finally do the right thing and allow you to be with someone who really wants to be with you. Tell Clara that she can no longer ruin your chance for happiness and therefore you are going to end all contact with her. Tell her “lose my number” and mean it. You may be tempted to keep reminders of Clara, but like an alcoholic empties out the liquor bottles and the drug addict flushes pills down the toilet, you should purge her in every way you can from your life. Delete her numbers, Unfriend her, put personal mementos in a box and hide them in the very back of your closet where you can’t reach them. Then, focus all your attention on that new woman in your life and don’t look back, look forward.