Emotional fixation – When we cannot let go of a person with whom a relationship is unattainable

This term is rarely mentioned, but emotional fixation can be a big problem. The word fixation comes from the Latin word fixare which could be translated as fixation, that is, in this sense a thought that constantly and persistently preoccupies us.

As this process can go from day to day, there can be an obsession and the feeling that you can not “throw” more specific thoughts out of your head because they are constantly present.

You’ve probably heard terms like a fixed idea, which is exactly what points to something unreal and unattainable, something that only exists in our head.

Emotional (love) fixation refers to the tendency to preserve the patterns of behavior, emotions and thoughts that a person uses, and is connected and directed towards a person who is in some way inaccessible.

Ways a person may be unavailable:

may be emotionally unavailable which means that for some reason there is simply no developed skill in expressing and receiving emotions (emotional intelligence)

  • the person is in a relationship / marriage
  • the person is distant and you have no contact with him
  • the person simply does not want to be in a relationship with the person showing interest

This fixation is often confused with a feeling of infatuation. For this reason, a person thinks that he is in love with someone and that because of that he cannot let go of his head. However, the feeling of falling in love lasts from 2 weeks to a maximum of 2 years, if you have a certain contact with the person towards whom you cultivate this feeling. Anything beyond that is not a feeling of infatuation, especially if you end the relationship or have nothing to do with the other person at all anymore. It is the feelings that can deceive us and we think that it is all love.

How do you know when it is really about fixing on another person?

Some of the characters are:

  • even though the relationship is over you still think of the other person on a daily basis (this is not about the process of mourning the break-up or cessation of contact, but about the process when 2 years or more after the break-up you still think about the other person)
  • you hope for reconciliation even though there is realistically no hope that you will be with that person once or again
  • every day you think about another person, what he does, where he is, who he is with, whether he will call, etc.
  • you cannot let go of that person because you believe that he / she is the only one for you and that you will not survive without that person
  • you have stronger bodily reactions as soon as you think of that person (like heart palpitations, excitement, like a stronger rush of adrenaline)
  • you are in an unsatisfactory (even harmful) relationship, but you still can’t let go of that relationship or your partner
  • you need to constantly talk about the person in question
  • you find it difficult to make new relationships
  • you feel a special connection to the person in question and you believe that you will simply never be able to forget / let them go

What is behind love fixation?

It is actually a defense mechanism by which a person escapes, that is, he diminishes reality. Some time ago, back in childhood, a person learned that reality is simply too painful and too difficult for some reason. With this, he escapes into his world in which everything is as it should be, that is, as the person wants, parents are perfect, partner is special, wonderful and unique. There is no real contact with reality, just as there is no real contact with the partner on whom the focus is.

When a person returns to the “now and here” he would realize that the world is not black and white and that it is a child’s thinking. To the child are all those who are not good, placed in the category of being bad. So from a child’s position a person is either good or bad, there is nothing in between.

In the same way, a person stuck in fixation knows how to idealize a partner who is unavailable by giving him only ideal, positive traits. This strengthens the fixation because the partner is even more idealized and the person believes that he will never meet such a person again. As a rule, the farther a person is, the more fantasy and fantasies arise. All that is real, “How is it now?” goes to: “How will it be one day?” This leads to an escape from the present moment into the future, there and somewhere.

"In the process of fixation, ONE PERSON becomes our complete and only source of comfort, love, security and connection."

If we connect this to a child whose mother is the only source of all of the above, we can easily understand what is going on. When we “fixate” on a person even though the relationship is already over, in a way we become dependent on that person as we were once a child dependent on mom, her presence, love, tenderness, etc. But how all this takes place unconsciously (until you become aware of it and work on it), we usually forget that we are adults who are no longer addicted, helpless children.

How to break with this?

The most important thing is to be aware of this whole process and what is happening below the surface of the image. Thus we can reach the illusion and begin to “break” it. Illusion is a false reality, but it is the people who have the hardest time letting go of the illusion, although in this case it harms them and hinders their further development. Releasing the illusion releases various feelings, which can be painful and difficult to understand. It’s like going through a fog of insecurity, fear, and pain, but once the fog spreads and moves away, you get a whole new look.

Also by working on yourself you learn to consciously move thoughts to yourself, certain activities and other people. It’s like consciously shifting your focus to something else. At first this can be very strange and difficult, but once you train your brain to work like this, things get easier.

And for the end…

“As wonderful as the illusion may be at first, it will never be anything more than an illusion itself, and the reality passes by you, as in a parallel world.”

Marta Kravarščan / atma

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