Monday, May 31, 2010

Yes, I know it is a horrid clihee, but here I come with a song text. ANd quite a bad one in a way too, well at least simple. But still, I had a little someting that I enjoyed
Who knows, maybe you will too?
~ Aasa

I've had so many lives Since I was a child And I
realise How many times I've died I'm not that kind of
guy Sometimes I feel shy I think I can fly Closer to the
sky No ones telling you how to live your
life But it's a setup until you're
fed up This world is not so kind People trap your
It's so hard to find Someone to admire

I… I sleep much better at night I feel closer to the light Now I'm gonna
try To improve my life No ones telling you how to live your
life But it's a setup until you're
fed up It's no good when you're
misunderstood But why should I care? What the
world thinks of me Won't let a stranger
Give me a social disease

Nobody, nobody knows meNobody knows meNobody knows meLike you know me

Won't let a stranger
Give me a social disease

I don't want no lies I don't watch TV I don't waste my time Won't read a magazine

Nobodynobodynobodynobody knows meNobody knows meNobody knows meLike you know me

Its no fun but the damage is done Don't want your social disease
Don't want your social disease

Nobody knows meNobody knows meNobody knows me
Don't want your social disease

Saturday, May 15, 2010

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remeber to say no, it it will slide quickly trough
- Aasa

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Casanova complex

Recognize yourself in parts of the below description? :
Other forms of love and sex addiction
Positive redefinition. Find an other way of living by transforming your fears
Other articles I have written on the same theme:
- The high flyer
- The dance of the vounded souls

- The Phantom / The Dracul / The shadow

The Casanova:
- Escape through pleasure

Contrary to popular belief, people with the Casanova complex isn't necessarily compulsively drawn to sex, even though some of them might be highly sexually driven--the Casanova Complex is in its core about feeling good and escaping subconscious pain; it is about admiration, thrill and seduction, and this can be both physically or just emotionally. It is also not, as often thought, only men who suffer from this, it is just as common for women.

A Casanovas trademark is to pull you in very close to them at the start of your acquaintance. A Casanova will describe themselves as "good at reaching intimacy fast". And you might get exhilarated by the attention they give you in the beginning. It is like the sun is shining upon you. Though, suddenly, that sun is gone, and you ask yourself what happened, or what you did wrong. The answer is, you did nothing wrong. The typical Casanova pull you close and then later, push you away, this is their pattern. In their presence you will either feel adored and admired or devalued and dejected. And this might also be the inner reality of the Casanova. Some types have a inflated ego, feeling superior and strong. They feel fearless and invincible, and they do not feel empathy or deeper care for others. The other kind is the more neurotic one, having a quite codependent life, and inner fears they need to escape. But both have in common one thing, they both have a deeper conflict from within that fuels their actions, and which they are oftentimes not even aware of themselves: The Casanova cannot feel passionate/dramatic yearning for someone unless they are (to different degrees) out of reach (physically or emotionally). A person who's present, loving and available doesn't trigger the difficult emotions they learned as a child, which were about loving an unavailable parent.

Normally they act out of the impulses they get, which are the more "shallow feelings" their inner conflict produce: if they leave something it is because they feel boredom, they simply get tired of it, or just feel its interest and shine fade. In this they only feel the surface of their own conflict.
But deeply, the root to their need to seduce is their strong desire to be seen, to feel love, desire, connection and lust for somebody else. They yearn for that form of connection, as they longed for that unavailable parent as a child. They also often feel empty without these feelings of attraction and "love" present in their life; If they are simply alone, a void in their feelings might surface, their deeper feeling of emptiness. This is why Casanovas tend to more or less always have something going, either just longing and dreaming, a flirt, a fling, a relationship, or any other thing to keep them busy and away from their inner conflict. Their frantic need to remain attached is created by a lifetime of avoiding their own difficult feelings. If they have codependent features, they may also be obsessed with rescuing compulsions , but efforts to escape their core pain/emptiness will eventually be transferred to the need of rescuing somebody else, if you stay available to them.

The deeper conflict:

There are many fascets in the deeper conflict of the Casanova. I will try to describe some of them here. One part, that is the total opposite of the feelings of desire and love are their fears. This might be the fears of being abandoned or rejected. (They often carry deep wounds of being rejected either physically or emotionally in early childhood.) Or it might be the strong fear of loosing their freedom. They will always insist on their freedom, and be subconsciously terrified that you will take it away from them. Being committed might to them feel like being"tied down". It stirs their subconscious fear of loosing themselves. On an unknown level they feel like they will be forced, get bored, or even die. They can commit, and sometimes they even want to commit, but they can normally only commit when their object of desire is still out of reach in some way. Then their hidden fears will not arise, and they are can still play out their old pattern of battling and fighting for the closeness they fear so much.

The fear for deep closeness and commitment also has to them an old subconscious association with a feeling of being consumed by their loved one or by their own feelings. As a child they longed for this symbiosis with the parent, which they also at times felt. But this was also coupled with a total feeling of loss of control and their own identity; the feeling of disappearing into the other person and the other person being in control of them. This is also one of their oldest memories of loosing freedom.
And paradoxically enough, this is often also what a Casanova feels when they fall "fall in love". They borrow the other persons identity, and the borders between themselves and their object of desire are washed out; they loose themselves in the other person. This basically also happens because they have no strong limits, and the memory of the old merge with the parent is still there, driving them. And even though they may appear to have strong personalities, they have no really strong feeling of a self and don`t really at the core know who they are, so as a result they melt into the other person.
This ambivalence is what also fuels them. The need for desire, closeness and love, and the fear of being devoured if those needs are met. So they keep pushing and pulling, getting close and moving away. It is an endless circle of wanting and escaping.
If your relationship ends with a Casanova, no matter the form it had, they immediate need to replace you, to continue the circle. This is how they avoid their fears to resurface when feeling left alone. The Casanova's middle name is Rebound.

A key and trigger to the Casanovas fears, if allowed being felt, (and something they always therefore avoid it), is boredom. Boredom to a Casanova is a red flag and one of their main enemies. It can nearly feel to them like a small death. Boredom, stillness, stability, routine and commitment brings up all the feelings of fear they are so good at, and have made a life-style out of escaping. But since they mostly feel things at the surface, and don`t allow them to enter deeply, the only thing they might feel when these fears are triggered is restlessness, emptiness, nervousness, longing or a need to move on to somewhere or somebody else, to search for the next stimulating experience. And this continues their endless circle.

The behaviors described above are compensatory behaviors that help one defend against inner fragility and usually take the form in various addictions and/or compulsions that undermine even the most sound relationship dynamics. Attachment ambivalence consistently derails their ability to maintain deep, meaningful ties. These individuals often feel that even though they might be quite emotional and sensitive on the surface level, deep down they don`t really care about anything. And they don`t really need anyone.
This impairment stems from childhood self-esteem concerns, that make it virtually impossible for them to be emotionally naked or genuine with a partner who's actually available; the abandonment risk that's triggered is way too frightening. Bottom line, if a person isn't comfortable with themself, how could they possibly be centered and straight with You?!

Casanova traits can also include impulsivity, lack of empathy and borders, poor self-worth, inability to hold difficult emotions or self-soothe, splitting (love you/hate you), rebound relationships, OCD or anxiety issues, addictive behavior (over eating, sex or love addiction, general pleasure addictions) an incapacity to want you--unless they can't have you, narcissism, grandiosity(I am the best, most unique, totally different etc), selective memory/recall, black or white thinking, control (avoiding all control or overly controlling) and codependency issues, etc.

All these conflicting feelings are part of what produces their, to others, highly confusing behavior.
I must again underline the fact that most of these conflicting feelings are oftentimes totally subconscious and the Casanova is living happily unaware of them, only giving into the impulses they make that surface to their consciousness. (Except, as I mentioned, in circumstances when boredom or rejection might make them surface.)

You and the Casanova:
- An endless circle

If you get entangled with a Casanova and only see the surface of what is happening, initially, you may be taken with their unique openness and vulnerability, which they oftentimes have to an abundance (at least as long as they haven`t won you over yet.) You might feel that it's refreshing to find a person who doesn't censor their feelings/thoughts, and seems emotionally accessible! It's incredible that this person appears so completely without guile, they almost instantly puts you at ease and inspires your trust.

Casanovas makes sure you know how grateful they are to have finally found you, because you're "like no other person" they have ever known. They are expert at fast intimacy, and draws you in early on. Their enthusiasm and glee seem authentic, and it is authentic, just only in the moment. And their enthusiasm is not really about you (although it certainly feels that way.) The Casanova falls in love with image they create of you in their mind, they adore it, they dream about it, they lust for it. You are the perfect person to them at this stage, and idealisation. This is what thrills them and gives them a deep feeling of pleasure, and they want nothing more than this. It is the thrill and feeling of love they have then that they do all this for. They feel totally alive through this fantasy that they create about you. Combined with the admiration and attention you feed back to them, they are high on your connection.

So maybe you feel that you're appreciated for your qualities and attributes, and admired/respected for the person you've become. Because the Casanovas are extremely attentive at first, and often wants to be with you constantly. They shower you with attention--which is like music to your soul. As this courtship picks up speed, you feel fortunate to have found such a considerate, loving, thoughtful partner--but just as you begin trusting that their pronouncements of love are genuine and start envisioning your future together, things change. As soon as a Casanovas senses you're really Theirs, they distance themselves, shuts down and/or finds fault with you. The chase is over, and also their thrill in it. What they sought in it is not there anymore. And if you don`t produce a new obstacles for them to climb, or create more distance for them to win over, and start the entire dance one more time, they will vanish. This Dr. Jekyll - Mr. Hyde split in behavior and demeanor is a dead giveaway that you're involved with a Casanova complex person.

So yes, "love" is blind. When you're with a Casanova, you'll see only what you want to see about this person--and you won't begin to wake up until they drop you on your head, and you're left with feelings of pain and feelings of rejection. Even then, a lot of people will still not leave the Casanova, in hope for "the good times" to return. These so-called "good times" will only return if you setup the theater stage for it to be played again, making yourself out of their reach. And then again as always, the moment you display devotion, they will put a fence between you, themselves and the possibility for real closeness.

So as I mentioned before, the chase itself is what is intoxicating for them, the attention they get and the admiration that is mirrored from their object of desire flows their deflated ego with a good, warm feeling. Their repressed low self-esteem or different fears is patched up by your attention and love. It is the conquest of you that drives them, the confirmation they feel of their worth when they win you over--outside of that, they get bored, because love itself is not their goal.
It never was, because they still have not experienced it for real. The Casanova only knows pseudo-love, and selfish love created for their own needs. These people are love-avoidant. It's not that they haven't wanted love, some of them even yearn for this more than anything--it's just that on an unconscious level they've never been able to trust it. You will not change this, no matter how much you adore them, or how 'safe' you make it for them emotionally, or how much you love them. They can only change themselves by breaking their pattern. And you are part of their pattern.

An important aspect of living close or having a relationship to a Casanova is their subconsciously ambivalent feelings, which might end up driving you crazy. The contradictions and mixed messages will just keep coming (because of their inner conflict). They are deeply confused about what they really want, so the mixed messages are more or less their trademark. Not because they want to confuse you, they just don`t really know themselves. And they subconsciously want so opposite things at the same time.

At first, if you really like this person, you might sweep this under the rug, and find ways to excuse them--but it get's tougher to feel like you're on solid ground when the rules keep changing all the time. For example; they might insists that you learn to sleep very close or entwined--but just as you get accustomed to it, you'll begin finding them on the farthest side of the bed. If you approach this subject, they'll scold you for not bringing it up sooner--and make it seem like your failing. Their push and pull when it comes to closeness is shown in most aspects and areas of their lives.

You may be a strong, well-established, successful person with a mind of your own, but the Casanova has an uncanny ability to wear you down until you're second-guessing and doubting yourself. Fairly soon after your romance takes flight, they could coax you to "open up" or let down your guard, and trust them more. Up to this point, their behaviors have been loving--but you've gone with your instincts so far, and it takes you awhile to let someone in really close.
A long-time friend eventually succumbed to the cajoling of such a male. The minute she dropped her armor and gave him access to her softer, vulnerable side, he got bored, phoned less, and found fault with her.

Casanova often has some subconscious self-worth issues, so their only way of gauging if a partner finds them worthy of their time or interest, is by noticing their early willingness for "intimacy" / emotional or sexual contact; That's their barometer. They'll cast aside any partner who views them as being deeply lovable or worthy of admiration and doesn`t offer the thrill they find in "being won over". Why should they take interest? They need the challenge to seduce and conquer.

Your typical Casanova lover is very sensitive on the surface--to well, just about everything. If you stay with this person on a long term, you might see them change a lot. If you actually mange to get them really close, their real and deeper conflicts will arise.
This doesn't mean they won't be sweet to you at times, or even generous. They thrill on this, but only if they need to win you over and gets the gratification of your attention from it. They are stuck in the need for seduction, in any form it comes.
This also shows in their committed relationships. In these situations their determination to please you wanes--unless they can keep seducing you, when your attention is diverted by something, or someone else. The Casanova kicks into high gear to win you over, only if there's threat of losing you. His grandiose ego can't tolerate competition, yet he thrives on it. The 'seduction phase' feels activating and heady--and (like all addictions) floods him with sensations of aliveness. He literally lives for these episodes, because he feels empty and dead inside, without them.

These are individuals in a lot of inner pain, they just don`t always know it themselves, or if they have a feeling of it, they don`t allow it to fully surface. They feel it in the flash of a moment of rejection, and this might just pull them into obsessing about the person who rejected them, avoiding the pain that surfaced by winning that person over.
Casanovas might be masters at avoiding conflict and pain, because instead they might also tend to pull themselves towards the good specter of feelings. And their ability to escape their own pain by living the Casanova lifestyle is tremendous. They fill their lives with thrills, seduction and amorous feelings. They always try to pull themselves away from the "bad" feelings and into the sphere where they always are happy and content. With a life of subconscious escape, they sometimes are not even aware of it themselves. But a Casanova will always come to a point in life where they really will feel the emptiness they have created and the void of meaning their life-style has made. And this might be, if they are willing to be open to it, their turning point, the opportunity to change. Don`t think you can rescue them. It is impossible for any other than themselves to do that. And only if they get aware of their own patterns, the healing might start. And never forget, if you feel like this fits you. These are people with great capacity for emotion, intimacy and connecting with others. They only have to battle their fears so they can actually access it in a healthy way instead of destructive. :-)

Hope you had some value of this article, and maybe it gave you a few insights to even avoid a toxic relationship, let go of somebody that is bad for you, or maybe even realize that you are living in a Casanova manner that it hurting your true ability to love. No matter what it might be, the best of luck to you! :-)
- Aasa


Much of the information in this article is taken from the book:
The Casanova Complex: Compulsive Lovers and Their Women

Did you recognize yourself in any of this? Then have a look at these links:
Positive redefinition. Find an other way of living by transforming your fears
Are you a love addict? Self test
Sex and love addicts anonymous
Addicted to "Love": Understanding Dependencies of the Heart : Romance, Relationships, and Sex
For you who have been a victim of a compusive lover:
The vounded woman by Linda Schierse Leonard
Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood
How to Break Your Addiction to a Person