As a reformed codependency queen, I have become all too familiar with the one they call the energy leech. I’ve met him in a few different forms. He always starts off charming. He’s vivacious and charismatic and adventurous and totally faking it. You learn this all too late, after you’ve already invested time, love, money, and a shit ton of effort only to feel used, abused and then eventually abandoned when you can no longer give them the energy they crave. Luckily for you (and unlucky for me), it’s taken me a few leech encounters to learn my lesson. Through these redundant experiences, I noticed a few traits that seemed to overlap when dealing with these emotional bloodsuckers.
1. You start dating immediately after meeting
Energy leeches aren’t stupid. They try to hook you before you have time to understand who they really are. This means they will jump into a relationship as fast as possible and attempt to sweep you off your feet. For a moment, you may think you finally found prince charming when in reality he’s just another toad in a mask.
2. He moves in by staying the night and never leaving
Energy leeches typically drain the bank account as well as your emotional energy so don’t be surprised when you suddenly have a new roommate without ever agreeing to it. They are usually a delight to have around the house at first, doing the dishes and cooking for you, until you start realizing you’re the only one paying the bills. They get comfortable squatting and do less and less around the house until you find yourself doing the chores and picking up the bill.
3. He wants to do EVERYTHING with you
One thing an energy leech can’t stand is giving you space to recharge with some alone time. They project their own hatred of being alone onto you. At first, it might be kind of nice having a buddy tag along while running minuscule errands but you really begin to appreciate alone time when you don’t have any for a while.
4. He wants to know what you’re doing and who you’re with at all times
Whether it’s due to jealousy, trust issues, or his controlling nature, the energy leech must know what you’re doing and who you are doing it with or there will be hell to pay. This characteristic comes out later on in the relationships once they feel their hooks have been planted. It gradually gets worse throughout the course of the relationship, especially if they feel you start to pull away.
5.He makes you feel guilty for doing things without him
The leech is a master manipulator. He is a professional at making you feel guilty for wanting to hang out with your friends or go to a work event without him. You will find yourself apologizing and avoiding situations to appease them or avoid an argument. He will try to convince you it is because he loves spending time with you but this is 100% about control.
6. You feel like their problems are always your problems
If you find yourself constantly immersed in your partner’s problems to the point where you don’t have time to focus on your own, you are most likely dating an energy leech. They will repeatedly put you in situations where you have to bail them out. There is also a level of codependency in women attracted to this type of man. The need to “fix him” is a common issue women face in the dating world which magnetizes energy leeches to them.
7. You walk on eggshells around them to keep the peace
Once you begin seeing the leech’s true nature, 9 out of 10 times you’ve already fallen for them. Thus you begin to walk on eggshells to avoid the topics that trigger their irrational behavior. You avoid hanging out with certain people or start sneaking around. Your anxiety remains heightened when you’re around them and you stay in a fight-or-flight mental state.
Being in a relationship with an energy leech for prolonged periods of time can lead to chronic anxiety and depression, unhealthy weight loss/gain, and disillusionment from your true self. You become a shell of who you are meant to be because you are too busy trying to be what they want.
End the cycle, rip the bandaid. It will only get harder the longer you wait.
You can’t save them. Stop trying and save yourself.