Addicted to Attention and Intimacy? Takeaways from “Being Mary Jane”

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While watching “Being Mary Jane” this past Tuesday, the centralized topic on the episode was Mary Jane’s struggle with  her addiction to men. Her brother who is a recovering cocaine addict, points out her addictive symptoms as she tries to quiet him on his recent discover of her own indiscretions. Pointedly, his knowledge that Mary Jane is having an affair with a married man. He points out her wrongdoing. Mary Jane defends her actions by stating her lover’s profession of his love for her. Her brother proceeds in stating she possesses the symptoms of addiction: self-denial, risk taking, secrecy and solitude, excess consumption, sacrificing personal well-being, and later on she demonstrates her withdrawal symptoms as she attempts to rectify her situation but weakens for that fix of male attention and affection. Her addiction to seek comfort from a man overrides her common sense.

There should be introspection by us, women and men alike that engage in continuing unhealthy relationships for the sake of attention and affection. While our vice may not be drugs or alcohol per se, but a desperation of intimacy with the opposite sex. Do you crave that attention and/or intimacy, where you lower your standards in what you normally would accept from a mate?

Mary Jane completed a questionnaire where the outcome of her answers categorized her as a 100% addict. Questions posed were centered around engaging in actions that are deemed unhealthy and her willingness to participate in similar occurrences in the future, knowing the outcome does not provide a happy ending but a damaged heart.

Addiction to attention in my opinion is a pattern. This person always tends to seek love from a partner that is emotionally unavailable or is belonging to someone else. This is despite their knowledge that the person they are dealing with does not possess the required qualities to foster a health relationship, yet they still keep returning to that person or continue to attract the same type of people. The unavailable individual in returns that seeks a good time preys on these addicts.

There is no wrong in desiring to be in an intimate relationship and not wanting to be single forever. Most people seek to obtain a lifelong partner in their life. Dating responsibly and not compromising your standards to attain intimacy is healthy. However, when meeting the opposite sex becomes an obsession;  a gold star to happiness, where the person underscores their self-worth and lowers their standards of qualities that are desires from a mate, repetitively for a few hours of intimacy, is a problem.

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As humans, we experience disappointment and become unhappy.  It is natural seeking solace through people and things that provide comfort. This could be alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, food, chocolate, exercise, sex, and affection from a family member, partner or stranger. We all have experienced various spouts of addictive behavior. Some have experienced mild, shorter-termed addictions that are not detrimental to their lives in contrast to others whose life goals have been compromised. Some addictions are positive outlets, such as exercise.  Too much over-indulgence in any activity is habit-forming and could have repercussions. Many of us become aware of our pathway to self-destruction and nip it in the bud before it is too impactful on our lives. Some are unable to do so without seeking out help.

Addictive to attention is not necessarily a bad thing as long it is sought through healthy avenues. As humans we naturally seek approval and desire from the opposite sex. Consistently modifying your way of life to gain that rush of intimacy is counterproductive to your inner happiness and eventually leads to self-destruction.

Are You Addicted to Attention? Have You Compromised Your Standards and Goals, To Seek Attention From The Opposite Sex?

5 thoughts on “Addicted to Attention and Intimacy? Takeaways from “Being Mary Jane””

  1. Interesting. Glad to have happened upon this post today as this has been on my mind lately. Addictions and recovery, and what happens when maybe you’re addicted to something that isn’t typically classified as a normal addiction. Being addicted to people, love, affection. I’d argue that these people (lumping myself in there with them) aren’t addicted to intimacy because I’d argue that maybe they never really achieve it. They hope to – but maybe that’s what makes them continue down that path – because they never quite achieve the level of intimacy that they think they crave. Good post.

    1. Thank you! I agree with your comments. I was also doing soul-searching this weekend regarding this type of addiction. It is a continuous journey and the intimacy that we are striving for is not present, so we yearn to the best option for temporary satisfaction, despite whether or not it is good for us.

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