Relational Parasitism

Recent events in my life have caused me to reflect on relationships. More specifically, on MY relationships. I’m not speaking of marriage, boyfriend/girlfriend or even friendships per se but on relationships as a whole.

I woke up this morning to the realization that a relationship that I was in has become parasitic. What I mean by parasitic is that their needs and their wants have been met but alas mine were not. Is this a rant? possibly…is this bitching and whining? maybe. But it got me to thinking. Relationships, whether it be friend or lover, walk a fine line between symbiosis and parasitic.


1. Biology.
a. the living together of two dissimilar organisms, as in mutualism, commensalism, amensalism, or parasitism.
b. (formerly) mutualism ( def 1 ) .
2. Psychiatry. a relationship between two people in which each person is dependent upon and receives reinforcement, whether beneficial or detrimental, from the other.
3. Psychoanalysis. the relationship between an infant and its mother in which the infant is dependent on the mother both physically and emotionally.
4. any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc


1. Biology. a relation between organisms in which one lives as a parasite on another.
2. a parasitic mode of life or existence.

It wasn’t an angry realization. It was more of a light bulb moment. I realized that this person was fulfilling their needs, or more importantly I was fulfilling their needs while mine went unfulfilled. The contact, the conversations, the interactions were all fulfilling their needs. They were in essence feeding off of me. Instead of a mutual relationship where both “organisms” receive something from the exchange…I was left empty.

In nature, most parasitic relationships end with the host dying. Let me reiterate that statement. In nature, most parasitic relationships end with the HOST dying. If you find yourself in a parasitic relationship you should seriously consider letting go. Ending the relationship. Walking away.

Can a parasitic relationship be redeemed? Of course. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in LOVE. I believe in TRUE LOVE and the power it has to conquer all. The problem is within the parasite. The parasite has to change. Instead of feeding off the other person the parasite needs to begin to give back to the relationship. The parasite needs to reinforce the HOST or the host will DIE.

Can it be done? yes. Is it likely? therein lies my cynical perspective. I think it can be done but I don’t think it is very likely. (I’m not just speaking to my relationship but as a society as a whole). It reminds me of the saying “a leopard can’t change his spots” or the story about the scorpion and the frog/turtle crossing the river. “I can’t help it. It’s in my nature”.

Is this to say that these people are naturally parasitic? No. They may have become parasitic over time or the relationship may have just gotten to the point where they took more than they wanted to give. Are they always the parasite? No. I would imagine there are relationships where they are the HOST. And it may be that very relationship that is causing them to be a parasite in yours. They don’t have the “energy” for you because they are drained in another relationship.

Life is about balance. And we need to start taking control of ourselves, our energy, and our lives. We need to stop allowing relational parasites to feed off of us and start living again. A natural, healthy life of MUTUAL beneficial relational exchange.


What do you think? Do you have a relational parasite in your life? Do you think it is a fine line? Please leave a comment and let me know….

Be on the LOOKOUT for my debut novel coming October 15, 2013!!!

Posted in Life

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