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22 Feb

Emotional Roller Coaster: Are You Stuck in an Unhealthy Ride?

Roller coasters are supposed to be fun because of their high peaks and lows. But an emotional roller coaster isn’t fun. Is it time to step off?

I hated roller coasters when I was a little kid. Being a little ball of anxiousness, the thought that people would willingly and excitedly put themselves on a machine that has an opportunity to cause death, bring out fear, and make you feel out of control, felt more like the definition of what happens in the next life if you don’t behave yourself in this one = HELL.

But I have come around to love roller coasters. Why? I suppose it is because when I am on one, I know that it has been tested, designed, guaranteed to be safe, and reaches its destination in a controlled manner.

However, I’m not talking about those kind of roller coasters. I’m talking about the kind that our relationships take us on sometimes. Are you on one?

7 signs that you are on an emotional roller coaster

An emotional roller coaster can’t be controlled. It is like being strapped in and never allowed to leave something that makes you feel horrible, scares you, and makes you feel continually insecure.

If you are in a relationship that makes you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster, it isn’t only unhealthy, it rarely ends well. Eventually, the ride must end – it just has to.

At some point, one member of an emotionally turbulent roller coaster ride is going to wave the white flag and ask for the operator to stop so they can get off. Here are the signs that you’re on an emotional roller coaster.

#1 You love them and hate them all in one month, one day, or one week. The thing about a roller coaster is that it invokes extreme highs and lows. That is what makes it so exciting. When the highs and lows are emotional, however, it isn’t as much fun.

If you can experience passion to the degree that makes your toes tingle one minute and hatred to the point of wanting to find a weapon the next, that is not an emotionally good ride to be on. If you can’t ever just be okay, then it may be time to get off the ride.

#2 Security is fleeting. If there are times when you feel like you are right where you belong, and they are the best thing in your life, and then other times when you are looking through their phone to find out who they really are – that is an emotional roller coaster.

There is something about your relationship – or their behavior – that is driving continual insecurity. That is hard on you not only emotionally, but physically. You can’t live in a constant state of quicksand. If you never feel secure from one day to the next, then it may be time to end the ride.

#3 You feel more empty than you feel full. Sometimes we are attracted to people who aren’t good for us. If you are a pleaser, or someone who finds delight in finding the diamond in the rough, being with someone who has two different personalities can tear you up.

If you only feel full and satiated when they make you come alive, then you will forever and perpetually be on an emotional roller coaster. You have to have faith in yourself and know that your relationship should be about unconditional love.

If you feel loved only when they want you to *or pay attention to you*, it can make you feel like you are on a roller coaster of ups and downs.

#4 If you are their everything one minute but they can’t be bothered the next. If you are with someone who makes you feel like you are Cinderella one minute, but the minute another beauty walks by, it is like you never existed then, you will never feel like you are their priority or number one.

That will end up making you feel confused about where you stand. If they make you feel beautiful and ugly at will, then it is time to leave the amusement park behind. There is nothing amusing about it.

#5 You’re building a future, then you are asked to leave. If you are with someone who one day is working on your future, and then the next they are upset and asking you to leave, that is the worst ride ever.

Some people use manipulation to get the best of people. It is the push and pulls that keep you in line. If they are telling you that your future is bright one minute but that they want to you to leave the next, it may be time to cash in your tickets and use your money elsewhere.

#6 Self-doubt? There are sometimes when an emotional roller coaster has nothing to do with the relationship you are in, but rather your past experiences. If you are okay and in love one minute, but the next you are convincing yourself that it isn’t ever going to work, that is all about the ride you have created.

I am not saying that it is easy to let go, but if the ride is something you are imagining, then maybe imagine something more calming like a swing. If your self-doubt is at the heart of your emotional roller coaster, then only you can fix the ride to make it less anxiety-provoking.

#7 He loves me, he loves me not. If one day you think you are headed to the altar and they tell you that you are their number one, but the next, they’re putting on the brakes to slow things down, it can be very confusing.

Not having a plan for the future and constantly looking for signs about where your relationship is headed can be like living on an emotional roller coaster. Someone who can’t decide if they are ready to commit can be very hard to deal with. 

Roller coasters are fun, but only when you have paid the ticket and stood in line to purposely get on one. If you feel like you are being dragged onto the ride, it is exhausting. The only way to stop an emotional roller coaster is to step off alone.

If you continue to stay on the ride, then you must be gaining some benefit from it. So, you have to figure out for yourself how much more you can handle. It is time to let your partner know that there is nothing amusing about what you are doing together.

Only you can keep yourself stuck – there is only an imaginary strap holding you in. So, unstrap yourself, get off that emotional roller coaster and move along to the next ride.

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