Love Addiction Explained In Britney’s Everytime

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how prevalent is love addiction in our culture. We collectively celebrate love addiction in songs and movies, having created a jargon for it with buzzwords words like “soulmate” and “the One”. The general idea is that if someone doesn’t sweep you off your feet it is not true love, right?

I personally think that many popular pop songs play a major part in triggering love addicts. Just think Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” and Avicii’s “Addicted to you”. It’s not just that our culture doesn’t acknowledge how destructive love addiction is, but it elevates it to a noble emotional state, instead of a serious attachment problem.

Everytime

There’s just so much confusion and misinterpretation of this subject. A small disclaimer here, I am not a psychologist or a relationship expert by any means, but as someone who has suffered in dysfunctional relationships, this is my own personal insight on the matter.

So as an example for this I want to use one oldie but goodie, which is Britney Spears’ well-known song Everytime.  Complete with its music video, this is a song that to me depicts the emotional state of love addiction. It is a truly beautiful song, written by a very talented songwriter. But everything in the song and its music video, from the singer’s utter vulnerability to images of violent intensity unraveled in the tune of a regressive lullaby just reeks of co-dependency.

 

I am not saying that the song was written by a love addict, or that Everytime has anything to do with raising awareness. (And honestly, I really don’t care if Britney cheated on Justin either)

All I am saying is that, to me, the end product is a powerful trigger. Let’s take a closer look at the lyrics:

 

Notice me, take my hands

Why are we strangers when,

Our love is strong

Why carry on without me

 

The song opens with Britney calling for attention. “Notice me” she whispers seductively, while the guy refuses to even direct his gaze at her. Yet, she is convinced that their love “is strong”, despite basically admitting that they are strangers.

Sure, there’s a storyline in the video about a couple suffering from aggressive paparazzi stalking. They are both visibly overwhelmed by all the attention that superstar Britney gets. But since paparazzi stalking is a problem that concerns only a minuscule part of the population, the song is open to a completely different interpretation. As I said, it’s the end product.

 

Every time I try to fly I fall
Without my wings
I feel so small
I guess I need you baby 
And every time I see
You in my dreams
I see your face
It’s haunting me
I guess I need you baby

 

Now it gets even deeper. In the video we see the couple arguing in a hotel room, with the guy lashing out and breaking stuff in the room. Damn, he looks angry! Yet, as the song chimes, he is not actually there, and the thought of him has haunted Britney. She needs him to come back to validate her and give her wings, even though he is clearly abusive and bad for her. It’s not his fault, right? She must have done something really bad for him to act out this way. This gets even clearer as the song proceeds:

I make-believe
That you are here
It’s the only way 
That I see clear 

What have I done
You seem to move on easy

Love addicts love to inhabit fantasy worlds, which help them escape from reality and the unbearable emotional pain that they have inside. Their addiction is basically the fantasy that one person will come along and take over their chaotic lives, give them identity and meaning. That person will give them unconditional emotional nourishment they were denied when they were babies by their primary caregivers.

In the song, the music box lullaby tune suggests just how deeply entrenched is one person’s need for emotional nourishment. This is supposed to be a song about romantic love. Yet references to infants, the need for unconditional love and deep emotional deprivation really make it a song about something else.

Moreover, taking the blame for everything in the relationship is something that sufferers of low self-esteem do. When you put the other person on a pedestal and hold onto the mental imagery of perfection, everything that goes wrong in the relationship surely must be your fault.

This persists later in the song where she apologizes more than once:

 I may have made it rain
Please forgive me
My weakness caused you pain
And this song’s my sorry

Love addicts can wreak havoc in the lives of others because their own feelings of ‘true love’ aren’t real. They are in love with the idea of someone and not the real person. They demand that the other person fulfills this fantasy. What’s more, even if they appear weak and needy, they are ashamed to show their true vulnerability to the other person.

Meanwhile, in the video we see Britney undressing to take a bath to calm down her nerves. She accidentally bumps her head in the bathtub and loses consciousness in the water in what looks like an edited suicide scene. The guy then jumps in the water to rescue her.

As addiction specialist Alexandra Katehakis has said, nearly all love addicts have some kind of rescue fantasy.  It is the ultimate high for a love addict, to be utterly helpless until Prince Charming arrives and magically ends their problems.

And besides that, what better way to punish your qualifier than a suicide attempt? There is a need for drama and intensity to justify true love.

Finally, the big finale in this beautiful song.

At night I pray
That soon your face will fade away

People affected by love addiction are often so tortured by obsessive thoughts that they are advised to pray. Prayer and meditation help them think less about their qualifier.

Obviously, if we had a magic wand and could wipe out love addiction, more than half of love songs on the planet would also cease to exist. Buy where there’s talent, exquisite pain makes exquisite art. Would the words “romantic” or “sexy” have the same meaning if we could just ban love addiction? I honestly have no idea.

But even the most beautiful soul-wrenching songs in the world won’t make love addiction or any addiction bearable, desirable or a remotely normal situation.

Netflix’s Love Ending Was Sloppy and Unfair to Fans

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As you’ve probably already heard, there’ll be no more Love on Netflix. It’s hard to see why Netflix decided to kill Judd Apatow’s seemingly successful series . I however feel that all in all, the gritty romance of Gus and Mickey deserved a more sentient finale.

I watched the whole third final season on a binge and was somewhat disappointed by the hastiness the producers decided to wrap up the story. Let’s not forget that last season ended with Mickey finishing things with ex Dustin behind Gus’s back after a frantic chase at the farmer’s market.

The third season felt like it fell short compared to its  predecessors.  For all its soul-searching, it didn’t compensate with hilariously candid action. Mickey’s emotional woes resurface when she finally meets Gus’s parents, but by that time viewers wonder why would anyone want to be serious with someone as wayward and unpredictable as Mickey.

She takes great offence at one of Gus’s careless comments about the relationship (which really isn’t that big a deal compared to the things she has done not so long ago behind his back). This incident eventually triggers the next phase in their relationship, ie. taking things to the next level with Gus.

Perhaps the producers really didn’t have the time to give the couple a more comprehensive finale. But a wedding doesn’t really feel like an organic part of season 3, but rather a forced way to wrap it up. The -problematic-dynamics of their relationship are still there: She is the hot girl dating a less hot guy, who naturally dances to her tunes.

For a few scary moments the final wedding episode even had an awkward Big Bang Theory vibe about it.

The ending didn’t really explain how an impromptu wedding is the solution to keeping Mickey’s  several addictions at bay. What’s more, there seems to be a gaping hole, where the whole Dustin karma should have returned to move the story forward.

The highlight of the whole season is without a doubt Bertie’s much anticipated new romance. “Bertie’s Birthday” is hands down the best episode of the final season, and the one that truly reflects Love’s original spirit. It’s such a relief to see this girl meeting someone more compatible than needy freeloader Randy.

It also gives a final positive, (and why not,also feminist), message: The key to finding love, ladies, isn’t to make safe choices and date less good-looking guys. It is rather to be open-minded, and allow yourself to meet people in whose company you feel great, and who make you want to be a better person.

 

 

 

 

 

The one that got away: advice for broken hearts

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We all have one that got away. Even the most happily married, the most seriously committed. We all have one person that did not succumb to our charms and did not fall in our trap.

There are those who have passionately condemned this person as a troubled commitmentphobe, an asexual loser, a victim of her/his own ignorance and thus have found peace in their own bitter verdict. And there are those who will endlessly wonder on a rainy night what really happened, what really went wrong and burden their minds with whys and what ifs.

If you belong in the second group a word of advice: Don’t waste more energy. It is a fact of life that we all have one that got away, and don’t flatter yourself that you should have been the exception. Yes, you liked that person and yes you felt a special way when you were together. But think of it this way, especially if you are a lady: Love is like an online buy. Imagine for example that you are web browsing on Zalando and while you browse, let’s say shoes, you find that perfect pair of Italian design heels, the perfect color, the best leather. Do you know what really makes it irresistible to buy?

It is not on sale and if it is there is a special warning attached to it that this item will soon sell out. The item oozes adrenaline and desirability. With sweaty trembling fingers you reach for your credit card, even if this item is a bit “out of your league” financially. You follow me so far? Just when you are about to click “buy” you change your mind and decide to wait a bit longer, your finances in mind making you have a bit of a guilty conscience. After having a few rounds around the house pretending to be busy you go back to the computer,credit hard in hand, determined. It’s now or never. In absolute horror you realize that your shoe size is sold out. You cannot believe how it slipped through your fingers just like that. No pair of shoes will ever look that perfect.

But please do realize. Just like shoes, the one that got away’s irresistible charm is his unavailability. It’s the missed opportunity and the non existent scenario. And in case you tell yourself it was you that “pushed the person away”, this is not true either. You don’t need to push a person away for them to want to stay away from you. It is perfectly normal and it happens every day.

All this might sound harsh and unfair but dear friend one thing is for sure: You are a million times better off tonight eating peanut butter off your tv remote, I can promise you that.

And if your hopeless romanticism still doesn’t allow you to find peace in your heart, don’t lose faith. You will always have Paris.