We’ve all been on that date: the person you are with is the total package, the conversation flows, and you share the same humor. Everything seems so great! Why, then, haven’t you heard from them? Or, why aren’t they responding to your texts anymore? This is a classic case of getting bitten by an emotional vampire. Here’s what happens when they bite:
Phase 1 (confusion): Was it something I said? Was it something I did?
Phase 2 (obsession): What should I text back? How long should I wait? Do I seem too eager?
Phase 3 (desperation): If only I can get one more date. I just need to see them one more time!
Phase 4 (idealizing): This is “The One!”
Phase 5 (rampage): I’m done waiting. I’ll find somebody new!
Phase 6 (depression): No one wants me!
Finally, you have the life sucked out of you. So, who are we talking about? Simply put, emotionally unavailable people. We’ve both spent endless hours trying to figure out these strange creatures and we still have not reached a satisfying answer. If anything, we felt more confused! The only relief we had was that we had each other for support and making sure we kept our sanity. Most of us have been victims, although some of us can’t break the cycle of falling prey to these very desirable beings, and the scars they leave are so deep that it gets harder to heal, leaving you wounded for a long time.
How do you detect an emotional vampire? They are hard to get a read on and mysterious. Playing hard to get to keep up the allure is one thing, however, when someone is not communicating clearly, or sends you mixed signals, they’re not playing hard to get — they’re simply not available.
So, how come they were available when you first met them? Because emotional vampires are emotionally disconnected, confused people. One moment they show interest, but once it becomes real, they bail. People who are emotionally unavailable are in fact terrified of intimacy, which is based on their fear to get close to someone. It’s their own insecurity, usually born of an emotional trauma of some sort; remember, they were bitten before, so someone before you turned them into an emotional vampire.
Why do they bite? They need your approval to survive, as your approval is the source of their emotional energy. Could you help them? No, unless you are a therapist, or you want to be in a co-dependent relationship (in which case you need therapy yourself). But, they talked about a future together! Do you want to spend your future with someone who makes you feel insecure? Of course not! So please do us a favor: stop making excuses for them. Rather, see the situation for what it is and accept it. That was always the hardest part for us, because it hurt our egos. Admitting the truth to yourself is difficult, but necessary. Even though the truth hurts, by not lying to ourselves we are one step closer to regaining control of our lives. Why do we choose to suffer? Because our egos often dictate our behavior. We make the assumption that everything is about us. If we stop taking things personally, we become immune. We stop the suffering.
If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it’s in your best interest to walk away. However, a lot of us still hold on, holding on to the belief that that person was “The One” who got away. Let us ask you this: would “The One” really make you feel miserable about yourself? No. Do you deserve to have the love you want? Do you deserve to be happy? Yes and yes! So, stop believing all the lies you tell yourself. Don’t believe yourself when you say you are not good enough, not intelligent enough, not beautiful enough! Don’t believe whatever makes you suffer. You can choose how you want to live your life and you can choose the reality in which you live. And, if you were to be honest with yourself, you already know that you are strong enough to make new choices. You have value, and that value is measured in self-love. When you love yourself, your price is very high, and your tolerance for self-abuse is very low because you respect yourself. Finally, the universe is respecting that value and will provide you with the love you want and deserve.
Make a list of all the attributes you’ve assigned to your emotional vampire on one page. On another page, write down reasons to either support or oppose those attributes based on what they have actually done or said. Also, think about your soulmate list and write down how they fit or don’t into your list. This exercise will help you get a clear picture of your situation, and help you assess whether it’s a good idea or not to keep this emotional vampire in your life. Remember, all is well.
Simone is pursuing her master’s degree in psychology and serves on the Commission for the Senior Community. She prides herself on having had more marriage proposals than shoes. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. In her inner circle, Limor, a screenwriter, is known as the “wing woman” and her cell number has become the hotline for dating advice. You can reach her at email@example.com