I Think I Enjoy The Chase More Than I Enjoy Actual Relationships

“The chase” isn’t always a bad thing; at the end of the day, I just want a nice partner, but I think maybe everyone I meet could be that person and I go after them with everything I’ve got. This pursuit becomes an addictive issue when I get high off of the drama and desire. I know I need to stop chasing, but sometimes I can’t help it.

I grew up watching movies that told me love is always supposed to unfold magically. 

Love at first sight is a thing, right? Happens to everyone? The longer I’m in the dating game, the more I realize that attraction doesn’t necessarily equal compatibility. I’m often looking for those magical fireworks, though, and when I find them with someone I just met, I mistake lust for love.

Wherever I go, I’m scanning the room for the most attractive person. 

Seeking a mate is an animal instinct. We’re hard-wired to procreate and partner up (though not always with someone of the opposite sex). It’s normal to appreciate attractive people wherever we go, but I find myself obsessively scanning rooms for my next target.

I think any next person I meet could be “The One.” 

Once I’ve set my sights on someone, my thoughts spin a million miles a minute. I start formulating ideas of who they are and who we could be in a relationship. I get lost in la la land and dream about a life together. Delusional dreaming and wishful thinking keep me from getting to know the person for who they really are. Instead, I think I’ve got them all figured out based on the fairytale thinking I have swirling in my mind.

I’m too good at rationalizing my behavior. 

Oh, the rationalizations. They’re impressive, really. Justifications can run the gamut from “They say the timing will always be when I least expect it, must mean now!” to “This person isn’t my ideal fit, but I don’t always know what’s best for me, right?” If I’m left to reason alone, I find myself in the same situation over and over again, ignoring red flags. Here’s where lady friends come in who can point out my flawed logic and ground me in reality.

I regularly find myself saying “I met someone new” to my friends. 

My friends are never surprised when they call or text to ask me how I’m doing and the first words out of my mouth are “I met someone!” Next comes the eye roll, laughter, hug, or loving offer of patience (because my friends are the best). They’re ready to ride the rollercoaster with me.

I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush. 

I get to a point in an interaction where I can either back out of a pursuit or I can fully jump in. Sometimes, I just can’t get myself to walk away even if I know the person is no good for me. Instead, I strap in to ride the rollercoaster of the chase because I’m addicted to the rush. Hooking up with someone I’m wildly attracted to can feel like a drug high. It’s wonderful and fun, but I’m left feeling awful the next day when we aren’t pursuing a relationship.

I confuse anxiety with excitement. 

Physiologically, anxiety and excitement feel the same in our bodies. A weird tingly feeling and increased mood; sometimes it’s hard to parse out what I’m feeling when I’m in the midst of a chase. Most of the time, I’m experiencing full-blown anxiety,but I call it excitement. It’s not until days or weeks later that I realize I was a hot mess the entire time.

I have a flair for the dramatic. 

I’m an intense human; even when I know someone isn’t who I should be spending my time with, I like to play around in the drama anyway. Maybe this time it’ll be different? Maybe it’ll make a good story? Perhaps it’ll be fun. The stories I tell myself go on and on. At the end of the day, I manage to stir up more drama than necessary.

I’m worried I’ll end up alone. 

I speak lightly of my chasing behavior, but it’s totally fear-driven. A big part of me is terrified that I’ll end up unpartnered and alone in life. This pattern doesn’t come from a place of being malicious, rather in many ways I’m just looking for love in the wrong places. An adrenaline rush, getting physical too quickly, and targeting every attractive person I meet isn’t going to bring me lasting happiness. Awareness is the first step to change, though, right?

I’m terrified that good relationships don’t exist. 

Another reason I’m hopping from chase to chase is because I have a deep-rooted fear that there’s no point to settling down or giving love a real shot anyway. I look around and see unhappy couples left and right. Heartbreak is everywhere. At least the chase gives me a high and there’s always another person to chase around the corner. But, I have to admit, I’m getting really tired of it and I know that it’s time to retire.

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