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 is a brief outline of the appropriate & necessary stages we need to go thru to be sure we’re in healthy relationships – not perfect, but workable & suited to our true personality

• Un-recovered ACoAs have a compulsion to skip the process of forming relationships. When we’re 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 book “Love & Addiction” – list of worst’ addictions to kick, LOVE being the hardest

• 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 distancesymbiotic attachent
• attach ourselves to only one person, but in a symbiotic, addictive bond, with someone who can never really provide the kind of love & support we all long for
• serial relationships, without depth, perhaps sexually promiscuous, as a way to not be alone but avoid commitment
•  friendships with a variety of narcissists, depressives, alcoholics or other unavailable types – & stay in these relationships for many years, living off the ‘crumbs’ we get from these people – if any!

USUALLY, ACoAs get involved with others almost overnight, without going thru the appropriate stages to see if we’re truly compatible.
WHY? Because:
a. we don’t know what the stages of ‘normal’ relationships are
b. we know how 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, in case they’re wrong for us, & then we’d have to leave them
d. we think that when we feel that ’instant connection’ it means the other person is our soul mate – that it has to be love!  It does FEEL powerful & intense, but it’s mainly narcissistic attraction from our WIC, because 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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