I can’t seem to cut the ties with this one guy who just seems to be using me. I think I love him and he loves me, but I know it’s not right…how can I cut the ties? -Severingties
Sometimes, when we enter relationships, we think we’ve found the person who completes us and somewhere down the path, we lose a sense of “I” and become a “we” (Agnew, Van Lange, Rusbult, & Langson, 1998). As you start to realize things aren’t exactly as you might like them, it becomes difficult to leave because you know how tough it would be to lose a part of you. Anything sound familiar yet?
My biggest suggestion for you would be to take the time to focus on you. Begin to phase this guy out of your life. Obviously, if you feel used, nothing is healthy about your relationship. Spend time without answering his texts or calls. Don’t go hang out with him. Don’t spend time worrying over what he’s doing or where he might be. Try your best to remember that you will find someone else out there (there’s lots of other fish!) and you owe it to yourself to be in a relationship where someone who loves you and doesn’t use you.
It’s easier said than done, without a doubt. Neuroscientists have figured out that the brain activation patterns associated with feeling in love are similar to those of drug addiction, even if it’s with someone whom you’re no longer seeing (Fisher et al., 2010); thus, you can literally be addicted to the feeling you get with that other person. But, just like with drugs, sometimes you have to go cold turkey to break the habit.
Try to separate the “we” back into a “me” and distance yourself as much as possible. It’s a difficult process, so I wish you luck. Just find who you are and shut the door on him.