The Relationship CONTINUUM

what the process is supposed to be!


LIST of Love Addiction books by Brenda Schaeffer


CONTINUUM CHART – (from Hunter College 1981 notes)
➼ This chart is a brief outline of the appropriate & necessary sages we need to go thru in order to be sure that we’re in healthy relationships – not perfect, but workable & suited to our true personality.

• Unrecovered ACoAs have a compulsion to skip the PROCESS of forming relationships. When ACoAs are attracted to someone, we usually pick another ACoA &/or addict, so ‘jumping right in’ to the deep end seems perfectly natural, AND desirable. In reality, it’s another form of addiction! (see Stanton Peele’s list of worst’ addictions to kick, LOVE being the hardest, & his book “Love & Addiction”)
• Moving at a pace that’s too fast or too slow will disturb the progress towards intimacy.  In most social situations, a creep is someone who jumps too fast from #1 to #8 – from stranger to intimacy – in one leap. Yet ACoAs do it all the time, & don’t realize it’s inappropriate.

ACoAs most commonly have one of several types of relationships:
• avoid forming any kind of closeness, or may have many casual acquaintances, keeping people at an emotional distance
• have serial relationships, without depth, perhaps sexually promiscuous, as a way to not be alone but avoid commitmentsymbiotic attachent
• have friendships with a variety of narcissists, depressives, alcoholics or other unavailable types – & stay in these relationships for many years, living off the ‘crumbs’ they get from these people – if any!
• attach themselves to only one person, but in a symbiotic, addictive bond, with someone who can never really provide the kind of love & support that we all long for

USUALLY, ACoAs get involved with others almost overnight, without going thru the appropriate stages to see if they are truly compatible.
WHY? Because:
a. we don’t know what the stages of ‘normal’ relationships are
b. all we know is to be symbiotic, like with our family. It makes ‘sense’ to us
c. we’re so afraid of abandonment, we don’t want to take the time to actually get to know someone
d. we think when we feel that ’instant connection’ it means the other is our soul mate – that it has to be love!  It does FEEL powerful & intense, but it’s mainly narcissistic attraction, where their damage dovetail with ours!

Contrast Toxic Intimacy’ with ‘Intimacy Antidotes’ .
Also Idealizing’ vs ‘Healthy Attachment posts

NEXT: Getting to Know You (Part 1)


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