Love Addiction is just like any other compulsion except that it has to do with relationships. Because of the ‘love’ part of the addiction, people often don’t understand the dangerous gravity of the situation. In fact, Hollywood tends to make light of this problem in sitcoms and movies because a true-love relationship just isn’t marketable. Glorified love is the stuff upon which movies are created! But no matter how comical Hollywood makes it, love addiction is no laughing matter to the addicted person or their partner.
A person who is excessively attached to another person most likely carried those habits over from past relationships. The conditions in such past relationships left the person feeling inadequate or mentally and/or physically abused. Romantic relationships are not the only type that cause such habits to develop; they can also stem from any of the following conditions: lack of nurturing or attention during childhood, isolation or detachment from family, hidden pain, early abandonment, unrecognized early needs, fears of rejection, pain, and lack of love or hope.
A love addict has a fear of change. They will attach themselves to another person as to obtain that person’s identity for themselves. Having a very low self-esteem and lacking self-identity, the person chooses a mate or friend they would like to become. Crimes of passion, murder, suicides, and stalking, bloom out of these relationships. Homosexuality is another byproduct of this problem, as it’s easier to take on the identity of someone of the same sex. A love addict also has the need to control the relationship. They will use sex to get their own way or in exchange for love. He or she confuses sex for love.
When a person tries to break up with a love addict, the situation becomes very intense and could result in stalking. The break-up adds to the addicts already overloaded emotional system. The love addict is not afraid to be as outlandish in actions as possible.
Love Addiction – The Characteristics
The following are some of the obvious traits of this addiction:
- Is unable to trust in relationships
- Has an inner rage over lack of nurturing in childhood
- Battles with depression
- Tolerates high-risk behavior
- Has other addictive or compulsive behaviors
- Questions values and life all the time
- Has a frantic personality
- Denies problems
- Confuses wants as needs
- Replaces ended relationships immediately
Love Addiction – What’s does it leave in its wake? Addicts tend to stifle any self-development because they feel only a need to obtain what their partner has obtained. Unrealistic hopes and dreams tend to shatter their relationships quickly and because of this pattern of disappointment, fear and dependency are resident emotions. As soon as possible after a breakup, the addict will find another partner to avoid self-dependence; or they may dwell in the remains of a lost relationship even to the point of stalking the person that left. Instead of honesty and self-integrity, the addict is destructive to a loving partnership.
Psychological imbalances and childhood problems that are magnified to a point of self-destruction need professional counseling. It is necessary to free the addict to love in a healthy relationship.
Falling is love is a wonderful and exciting thing - but can occasionally turn into an addiction. Love addiction, or the physical and psychological dependence on the feeling of falling in love, can wreak havoc in a person's life - and ultimately create serious relationship problems.
Do you have a Love Addiction?
So how can you tell if you are in fact experiencing love addiction? Moving from relationship to relationship - seeking out extreme passion and relationships filled with turmoil - are all characteristics of a love addiction. These relationships are typically intense and exciting, but brief.
Contrast this with a person who does not have this addiction and you'll typically see someone who finds pleasure in the passion of a new relationship, but who later adapts and continues the relationship once the butterflies settle down.
The continual quest for excitement and novelty often causes numerous relationship problems.
Here are a few characteristics of a love addiction
- His or her relationships involve instant intimacy, or love at first sight.
- The goal in these relationships is to win another person over, or make them fall in love with you. All behaviors and thoughts in the relationship are centered around this goal.
- There are unrealistic expectations and perceptions of the partner - glorifying them and obsessing over them constantly.
- These relationships are often obsessive, passionate, and jealous affairs. There is never a chance to feel at ease or comfortable with your partner.
- At the end of these relationships, feelings of intense disappointment, sadness and depression may develop.
- An individual's past is sprinkled with numerous and frequent relationship problems.
The Cycle of Love Addiction
When a person has love addiction, he or she is typically not aware that they are in fact an addict. They believe that the person they are currently with is "the one" and that they will be together for the rest of their lives. This delusion often causes the person to experience a "high" which provides them with comfort and relief. When the relationship inevitably ends, the love addict feels depressed and immediately looks for someone new so they can "fall in love" again. Love addiction causes a cycle of highs and lows, and the repeated lows in which the individual is not "in love" or in a relationship may cause a drastic drop in the person's self-esteem and self-worth. The love addict, much like an alcoholic or other addict, constantly strives to be in the "high" phase of the addiction cycle. They will sacrifice everything - including their own needs - to obtain this high.
Love Addiction and Relationship Problems
A love addiction inevitably causes relationship problems. Forming a healthy, stable relationship is not easy for an individual with a love addiction. Often, married addicts will seek out multiple relationships, as the stable relationship with their spouse is not enough to obtain the "high" they are looking for. An addict who attempts to form a lasting relationship will often be disappointed once the intense passion naturally subsides as the relationship develops. This is why they frequently seek out new liaisons. This of course causes multiple relationship problems, and is the reason why individuals with a true love addiction create such pain and suffering in those around them.
How to Get Help for a Love Addiction
If you're suffering from a love addiction, of if you're having relationship problems with a love addict you're involved with, there are resources available to help you. Speaking to a Relationship Coach can be especially helpful in starting the process of recovery.
Love Addiction – What is Love to you?
The most beautiful expression of that kind of love which we all seek is found in the Bible -- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Here, the Bible elegantly defines love in this way: ”Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.”
Find out who God is and you will find that true relationship you’ve searched for your whole life. Once that is settled, He will give you just the right person with whom to have a healthy, heart-based love.
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Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You Love
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