Dr. Karin Anderson Abrell
When Love Traps #27YearsofDating: Year 4
Love makes us feel alive, invigorated and free!
Except when it doesn’t . . . because sometimes “love” traps, confines, and enslaves.
I’ve been there, felt that. It happened with my first college boyfriend, Eddie.
I met Eddie a few weeks into my freshman year and we hit it off immediately. As my sophomore year rolled around, Eddie began talking about getting engaged. He was a senior and suggested we get married right after he graduated.
No way was I ready for that! Please, I was only 19! I wasn’t thinking about marriage! Besides, after graduation I planned on getting an apartment in the city and experiencing single life for a while. I wanted some time on my own!
Still, he was my first love and it scared me to think of losing him. So even though my feelings for him were waning, I hung on. What if I let Eddie go and never found anyone else?
So I stayed—and felt trapped.
But let’s be honest, the only thing trapping me was me!
I let my thoughts keep me captive:
What if I never fall in love again?
Maybe this is as good as it gets…
What if I leave Eddie and end up alone . . . forever?
So I hung in there, feeling stuck and wishing I had the guts to break free. But I didn’t and I had no one to blame but myself—and my fearful thoughts.
Which were entirely in my control, by the way. At any point I could have chosen different thoughts such as:
Worrying about whether or not I’ll fall in love in the future isn’t relevant. All it’s doing is keeping me trapped in the present in a relationship I don’t want to be in.
I’m not satisfied with “as good as it gets.” I want a GREAT love!
I know I can go it alone—in fact, I know I want to be alone again for a while. I’ve got my whole life ahead of me!
With powerful thoughts like that, there’s no way I would have felt trapped. Furthermore, such a mindset would have given me the confidence to break up and move on!
Renew your thoughts and reclaim your life!
And as for Eddie and me?
Funny enough, in the fall of my sophomore year Eddie broke up with me. A hot little freshman with big hair and adoring eyes got up in his grill and he was gone. To be fair, I’m sure he sensed my ambivalence, which made the attention from Little Miss Hottie all the more appealing. Then after a couple months he left her and wanted me back. We did the on-again/off-again thing for a while—wasted time—ugh! Ultimately, it ended up getting way too dramatic and dragged on way too long. I should have taken charge of my thoughts early on when my gut was telling me Eddie and I were done. I could have saved myself a lot of pain, angst, and heartache!