Stiletto Relationships (the Ones That Hurt so Good) ...

**"**Hurt so good.
Come on baby, make it hurt so good.
Sometimes love don't feel like it should.

You make it...hurt so good.**"**

(John Cougar Mellencamp lyrics)

In a Stiletto Relationship, what you feel is an addicting mix of love, lust, and pain.

Although you know on some level that "the mix" is toxic - and making you feel crazy - it's incredibly hard to get that person, and the relationship, out of your system.

Why is that?

One of my favorite theories about what makes these relationships so addicting - other than sexual chemistry - is that the "stiletto lover" we get drawn to taps into a dark, exhilarating part of us.

When that part of us gets liberated, an adrenalin rush comes along with any fear, or sense that we've lost control. And that adrenalin rush helps us forget temporarily about the pain that will inevitably follow. It can even trick us into believing that the relationship is getting healthier.

Another theory I have about Stiletto Relationships involves something from psychology called an "intermittent reinforcement schedule."

The basic idea is that if we consistently and predictably get what we want, we get bored, lose interest, and stop trying.

On the other hand, if we only get what we want sometimes (i.e., intermittently), we want it all the more, AND try harder to get it.

In matters of love and sex, humans respond strongly to an intermittent reinforcement schedule. This is especially true with a stiletto lover who causes us pain most of the time, but then unexpectedly "reinforces" us every once in a while with a moment of bliss.

In fact, people can wander around for decades, longing for - and idealizing - a former stiletto lover, based in large part on those moments of bliss.

~~~

So. What do you think.

With all that sexual chemistry, adrenalin rushing, unexpected moments of bliss, and HIGH DRAMA - can a person do anything constructive to get a painful Stiletto Relationship out of his/her system?

Or does it just have to run its course?

And is there a place in a happy, healthy relationship for a little bit of stiletto?...

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