I think I’m addicted to my bad boyfriend.

Could I be addicted to a person?

“Jake” and I have been dating on and off for years. He is not, to say the least, a good boyfriend. I haven’t always been the best girlfriend. We are so on-again, off-again that I’ve gotten mad at him for cheating on me, then remembered that we aren’t even together anymore. Sometimes Jake will disappear for weeks, then all of a sudden he’ll come back, and even though I swear I’m never going to see him again, I fall back into the same old thing. Most recently he broke up with me, found out I had started seeing someone else, and showed up at my house begging me to break up with my new boyfriend and take him back. Of course, I did. Now I’m thinking it was a mistake because Jake is starting to act like his old self again.

I know that he’s not good for me. I know it’s never going to end well, and that we’re not going to get married or have kids or live happily ever after. But I just can’t stay away. Every time I think I’m over him, I see him again and I remember how cute he is, and how much fun we have together, and boom. Do I have to just accept the fact that I’m addicted to Jake, and move on with my life the best that I can?

The way you feel about Jake is the way I feel about cake. And technically, a girl can’t be addicted to cake.

So no, you’re not addicted to your crappy boyfriend. What you are addicted to is the drama, the attention, the excitement, and the convenience of it all. If you’re so busy dealing with unpredictable, dickish old Jake, then you don’t have to deal with an actual relationship that’s going to require you to make a little effort. It’s pretty easy to go out on a date with someone and spend the whole night thinking, “Well, if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay, because I’ll always have Jake.”

The best way for me to not overdo it on cake is to just not allow myself near cake. I’m fine…I’m fine…I’m fine…and then one birthday party and you’ll find me in the corner, covered in frosting, laughing crazily and eating cake by the fistful. But the longer I’m away from it, I get some perspective: it’s not good for me. There are other, better things to eat—things that nourish my soul and my body instead of just satisfying a fleeting emotional need.

You might need therapy to help you figure out why you think you don’t deserve a better boyfriend. Or you might just need some time away from Jake. He’s not even good cake. He’s like the kind you get at the cashier at 7-11.

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