In this guest post, Ciaran Callam from ciarancallam.com explains what addiction can teach us about dating and relationships.
So I’ve recently put together a YouTube video about addiction and while I definitely wasn’t expecting it, I learnt something about dating in the process. Essentially it’s like this, drug addicts (and addicts of any other sort) are basically people who don’t like themselves. At the core of their being they’re deeply dissatisfied with the experience of being trapped in their skulls with the humans in the mirror and they badly want out.
They’re not addicted because they lack strength, willpower or any other positive attributes, they’re addicted because they hate themselves, always have, and their focus of addiction temporarily releases them from this agony. They just want the pain to stop.
This deep and cellular self-hatred basically stems from childhood trauma. Something terrible happened to them when they were children and it stopped them from being able to feel genuine human connection. Fast forward to their adult years and this has led them to substitute said connection for the sweet existential bliss of repeated hits of heroin.
Hating and locking addicts in prisons and shunning them from society while screaming at them to give up their addictions is a massive waste of time because it doesn’t solve the root cause of why they’re addicted in the first place.
How this relates to us
Despite what we might like to think, most of us aren’t a million miles removed from the addicts we look down on. While we’re nowhere nearly as depressed as them, we all have things about ourselves that get us down. We all think we’re too fat, too old, too young, too dumb, too nerdy, too ugly, too pretty to be taken seriously, or too anything.
It’s why we lack the confidence to wear certain types of clothes even though we really want to.
It’s why we need multiple cups of coffee just to get out of bed in the morning or 2 packs of cigarettes to calm our nerves during the day.
It’s why some people just won’t know how to say thank you to the person who just opened the door for them at the bank and instead will march on inside like a cold hearted killer.
It’s why most of us can’t bear to be alone with our thoughts and will instead be with friends whenever possible while spending most of that time staring at our iPhones instead of actually talking to the very people we wanted to be with.
It’s why the concept of going to a social gathering and not drinking alcohol (a drug which lowers social inhibitions) is unheard of for most of us.
And yeah; it’s also the reason why most of us freak out at the concept of having to talk to a hot stranger.
When you put yourself out there and basically signpost your interest to another human being, all of your fears and insecurities smack you right in the face. It’s at times when you’re basically saying to someone, “Hey I’m interested in you. Is the feeling mutual?” that you realise that you’re not as happy and well-adjusted as you might want to be.
When your voice starts to quiver, when you don’t know what to do with your hands, when you can’t maintain eye contact, when you run out of things to say and go deep inside your skull second guessing every single word that comes out of your mouth. That’s when you’re forced to deal with the fact that you’re not the James Bond type of man that you really wish you were.
FYI, this is one reason for the popularisation of online dating in recent years.
Laying waste to your sex life
Anyway, these fears and insecurities are like treacherous, acidic, insidious, puss-filled tentacles that ooze out from your subconscious and lay waste to your sex life. And no, that’s not an exaggeration at all. Not in the least.
They’re actually that damn disgusting to all who encounter them. When you feel like you’re not good enough for that girl you’re talking to, she agrees with you. When you hound your girlfriend with calls and texts about what she’s doing on a night out with her friends because deep down you know she’s out of your league and you’re scared she knows it too, you’re just helping her see your point of view.
In films and books we always hear people say “My girlfriend completes me!” or some other such BS like that’s some massively romantic thing, but guess what? While it might sound nice to say, the fact is that people aren’t attracted to incomplete losers and if you need someone else to fill a dark cavernous void inside you, you’ll project an energy that’ll be repulsive to the very person you want to attract.
What connects us to the drug addicts we look down on is that we all have insecurities which started in childhood, and addressing those root causes is the key to liberating ourselves from this self-imposed mental bondage. And if you don’t think your insecurities started in childhood, ask yourself this question, did you pop out the womb thinking that certain people are out of your league, or was it something you picked up along the way? And If so, how?
5 Keys To Unstoppable Confidence
In any event, a great way to start killing these insecurities is by downloading my free ebook 5 Keys to Unstoppable Confidence from my website.
In it, I list 5 actionable steps you can take to max out your confidence, one of which has a particular focus in overcoming trauma from the past. Just go to the site and enter your contact info to get the download link.