Dating is already hard work these days, many times leaving us with unanswered questions and the fear to date again. But dealing with an exaholic, and not knowing it, can be mind blowing for some of us.
So here is a scenario.
You meet a nice person you are excited about, you have a drink, see a movie or go dancing. You go on a first, second or more dates and everything seems to be going well. You start to really like him/her and maybe think that he/she might be the one. Then he/she does not answer your phone calls, gives you lame excuses for not being able to go out with you or that he/she is not ready for a serious relationship or simply vanishes into thin air.
What happened? What did you do wrong? Or should have done? Did you say something wrong? Did you send the wrong message? Stop with these questions. It’s not you to blame. It’s him/her. You have dated an exaholic. So what exactly does this word mean?
What is an exaholic?
An exaholic is a person who is still obsessed with the ex, without wanting to be.
The biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher says that falling in love is a chemical, addictive process. We are meant to bond together, and even if a relationship ended for good reasons, this does not break the attachment. Breaking up would be like getting through withdrawal from an addictive substance, and it includes having obsessions, stalking that person and craving and longing for contact with someone you know is not good for you or you cannot have.
An exaholic does not want to be like this, but it’s above their willpower. They try to cram their calendars, date and start new hobbies. Their dating intentions might be honest and real, and they might even start to like the persons they are dating, hoping that they will finally lock up the memory of their ex.
Be aware that dating an exaholic, is like dating a newly recovering drug addict or alcoholic. They are there, but not there at the same time. They are aware that this is the right thing to do and like you, but they also realize that it is not you who they want.
Signs that you are dating an exaholic
Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint an exaholic. Most of them try hard to hide their thoughts, desires and… problems. So here are some signs that could help you realize that you are dating a person with whom you have no feature.
- They ended an important (maybe long term) relationship less than a year ago
- They talk a lot about their ex-girlfriend/boyfriend
- It’s obvious that they were traumatized by the last relationship
- They blame themselves for the breakup
- They are bitter about the ex
- They want to hang out and not get involved in a serious relationship
If you are looking for true love, you do not want to get into a relationship with an exaholic. No matter how hard you might try to help him/her, you will not succeed. They need therapy and specialized help, and there are special recovery programs designed for them. An exaholic is stuck in the purgatory of obsessive longing, being unable to reciprocate your affection.
If you meet such a person, go slowly. Take the time to really know and learn as much as possible about him/her. You will realize if they are emotionally available before getting too far into the relationship. This will prevent you from any turmoil and psychological damage. You cannot rush or force things, so you can only be patient, but if you realize that this is a lost cause run as fast as you can.