Addicted to my boyfriend?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I’m 19 years old, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years now, and we moved together a year ago. Since then we’ve done everything together and we knew everything the other was doing. But I noticed that when ever he’s away from home, visiting a friend for a few days, even when he’s away for only one day, I keep feeling weird when ever I can’t keep an eye on him or the other way around. I’m not eating while he’s away, I keep feeling angry and worried, sometimes I get jealous and I have extreme mood swings. I don’t show it to him, I don’t want him to feel like he isn’t given enough space. Now that he got accepted in a school, he will be away from home once every two weeks for a day. Today he left for the first time and I already feel troubled even though I only spent 2 hours without him. Am I not trusting him enough to let him go away? Or is there anything wrong with me?

A; There is nothing wrong. You are just learning how to individuate—which means you are learning how to become an individual even while in an intimate relationship. This is not easy, but it makes the relationship more viable over time.

There needs to be a you, a him, and an us to have a good relationship. I would focus on figuring out what your goals are independent of you being part of a couple. You need to have your own interests, friends and sense of purpose. Yes, you will miss him, but you will also be able to develop yourself in ways that are necessary for both of you in the long run.

Obviously if you try some of these things and still don’t feel better you can check the find help tab at the top and find a local therapist in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Oct 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Addicted to my boyfriend?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/10/08/addicted-to-my-boyfriend/