The Truth About Love Addiction
Author: Shernide Delva
Love can be an addiction?
If you are like me, you probably had trouble initially believing that it is possible to actually be addicted to love. I mean love is love right? We joke and say that we are addicted to our significant others because they are on our minds all the time, but it is hard to really understand what true love addiction actually is.
One article go deep into what it means to be a love addict. Love addicts live in a chaotic world desperate and fearful of being alone or rejected. Often, love addicts search endlessly for that special person, someone who can make the addict feel whole. However, even after they have numerous opportunities for truly intimate experiences, they tend to only fall for those they *think* they want. They are more attracted to “falling in love” than being in a peaceful healthy relationship.
As a result they spend the bulk of their time searching for “the one.” Love addiction varies significantly from person to person so it is difficult to truly identify what symptoms makes a person a love addict or not, but understanding some of the signs will help you determine if you have a problem.
Signs of Love Addiction
The rush of love can bring about the bonding necessary to sustain an intimate attachment. Feelings of love help you determine if you are compatible with another person. Love addicts, however, are addicted to this initial rush of love so they struggle to develop past the honey-moon phase.
In relationships, after the initial lust, love addicts eventually begin to feel:
Outside of a relationship, love addicts feel:
These feelings make love addicts difficult to be with in relationships. They want to experience the high of “falling in love” again and end the relationship after those feelings begin to wear off. Feelings of love addiction can vary from obsessive to very close off. Love addicts begin to detest their intense feelings and avoid relationships all together often retreating to unhealthy solutions to rid themselves of feelings of loneliness and lack of intimacy.
Typical signs of love addiction include:
- Mistaking intense sexual experiences for love
- Constantly craving and searching for new romantic relationships
- Feeling desperate and alone outside of a relationship
- Finding it unbearable to be alone
- Choosing partners that are detached or emotionally unavailable
- Choosing partners who demand a great deal of attention but do not return your needs for emotional or physical attention
- Giving up interests, beliefs of friendships to maximize time in the relationship
- Using sex, seduction, and manipulation to “hook” or hold on to a partner
- Using anonymous sex, porn, or compulsive masturbation to feel self-sufficient, therefore avoiding all relationships.
- Repeatedly returning to painful unmanageable relationships despite promises to oneself or others to not do so
While all relationships may show some of the signs above, love addiction is a consistent pattern of one or more of the signs listed. The pattern results in ongoing and eventually escalating negative consequences. Love addicts use their intensely stimulating romantic experiences to (temporarily) fix themselves, however overtime the opposite occurs. Fortunately, love addicts can get the help they need in therapy and through 12-step self-help programs like SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous).
Just like any addiction, love addicts do go through a withdrawal when they embark on the process of recovery. Some signs of withdrawal from sex and love addiction include:
The Experience of Withdrawal
Just like any addiction, love addicts do go through a withdrawal when they embark on the process of recovery. The withdrawal is different from some drug withdrawal but also very similar in many ways. Some signs of withdrawal from sex and love addiction include:
- Desperation and fear
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- General self-doubt
- Switching to a new addiction
- Questioning if help is needed
- Depression or fear
- Suicidal thoughts
- Desire to isolate
- Obsessive thinking
- Preoccupation with fantasy
Treatment is possible and there are many treatment centers that help patients combat love addiction. Don’t be afraid to seek help today. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.