Are you clingy? You might have the parasite archetype!

The Belief
“True love is two hearts beating as one”

The Biology
The only species on Earth that we know is completely monogamous in all situations is Diplozoon paradoxum, a species of flat worm that lives within the gills of Asian and European freshwater fish. There is little to distinguish male from female in this parasitic species as at adolescence individuals fuse their genitals to a mate to which they remain connected until “death do them part”. If a suitable companion does not become available right away he/she will enter into a dormant state, putting life on hold as they wait for a happily ever after. Diplozoons can stay in this dormant state for several months while for waiting for love to show up which, in tape worm time, is an eternity. If a suitor fails to show up, he/she perishes. If a suitor does show up, though, and the two adjoin, they then develop gonads and mature into their innately codependent adult form where they are literally attached at the hip, literally cannot survive without each other, and two literally “become one”.

Tape Worm People
Tape worm people make up a large sector of the human community. Indeed, most people over the course of their life will either become a Tape Worm or will date a Tape Worm. Like the actual species, those of this archetype feel that life does not begin until they meet their perfect partner. They feel as though their life, before meeting that person, was on hold, meaningless, and/or dormant. They are extremely co-dependent and hold the belief that they cannot physically survive without their partner. When separated, Tape Worm people feel tremendous longing, even physical pain, and as such will go to great lengths to prevent their partners from engaging in activities that do not include them. Similarly, Tape Worms, upon entering a relationship, tend to “ditch” their friends as they are uninterested in participating in activities outside of the pairing.

There is a lot of stigma attached to Tape Worm people because, as parasites, they have the ability to drain life-force energy from those around them. They are often described as being “energy suckers,” “clingy,” and “suffocating.” Their embodiment of this archetype is usually the result of low self-esteem and a weak sense of self. It is therefore advisable that Tape Worm people partake in clubs, sports, and/or organisations without their partners as a way to develop a sense of individual identity. Most would also benefit from adopting the affirmation “whatever my partner is or isn’t doing, I am whole within myself”. In time most Tape Worms will exit this archetype and enter into the realm of a less parasitic but equally loyal and affectionate species such as the Bewick’s Swan or Emu.

The Tape Worm / Tape Worm Couple
The tape worm / tape worm pair believes in the romantic ideology of “two become one” and are described by others as being “attached at the hip.” They struggle to ever be apart and if separated, will experience a sensation of physical pain and debilitating longing. Tape Worm couples, over time, fuse their two identities together and come to describe all their likes and dislikes in terms of “We.” In wildlife biology we learn that a species is always better off for having a strong diversity in the gene pool. Relationships, too, are stronger for having a strong diversity within the pairing and Tape Worm couples, in particular, would benefit immensely by spending time apart on a regular basis to develop their own individual identities. If this is not possible (or if it is too painful), it is advisable that Tape worm Couples involve themselves in team or group activities where they can maintain their closeness to one other while forming relationships with other people and engaging in activities “outside the gill”.

The Tape Worm / Other Archetype Couple
Dating a tape worm can be an extremely challenging scenario because, as parasites, these people can be draining. Your tape worm partner will not be content with you engaging in any social activities that do not include them and because they do not have a strong sense of self, will often adopt your likes and dislikes as a subconscious attempt to meld into your form. In most scenarios, a Tape Worm will eventually develop into a new archetype but it is not advisable to wait around for this to happen because it is often through the demise of a relationship that a Tape Worm continues his/her evolution. To remedy a relationship with a Tape Worm you might seek couple’s counselling as a way to understand what life events brought forth this archetype and what you did or didn’t do to enable it.

Famous Tape Worms
Romeo & Juliet, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty (who entered into a dormant state while awaiting her perfect partner – this could be argued, however, as the dormancy was not her idea)

More on this:
Intro to Animal Archetypes
The Bowerbird Archetype
The Flying Fox Archetype

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