Do you find yourself falling in love often? Is there a part of you that loves love but hates intimacy? Have you ever felt unable to ‘live’ without someone? Or find yourself obsessed with a partner, regardless of their toxicity?
You might be experiencing a form of ‘love addiction’.
What is love addiction?
Normally love is seen as an overall positive and joyful experience. It’s hard to fathom that “too much” love can be a bad thing. Love addiction is categorized as being in love with the feelings of being in love. This can trigger compulsive behavior. It’s a deep, longing and craving for love. This is because we break down love for what it really is. We see a complex physiological process involving hormones, bodily chemicals, environmental factors, and neurotransmitters. It’s a perplexing combination of science, personality traits, and affection.
Those who are affected by love addiction seem to never get past the initial stages of falling in love. This provides a sense of purpose and meaning to someone’s “love”. The euphoria creates an emotional response that can be intoxicating, often worsening love addiction.
It explains why people who are addicted to love attract described ‘love-avoidant’ partners. We’ll discuss love-avoidants in another article. Both types of people can harbor feelings of abandonment and being controlled.
It feels like you must…
Love addiction is not classified as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). Even though it most certainly could appear in it. Once you closely look at the verbiage and actions surrounding love addiction, it would be classified alongside compulsive disorders.
Love addiction is a serious form of codependency. The shared relationship or idea of one is the sole, all consuming focus of the love addict’s attention. When this condition really gets out of hand the love addict will find themselves stalking, harassing, following, or even keeping a close monitor on their object of affection/obsession!
Are you or someone you know addicted to love?
Look at the 10 Signs of a Love Addict below:
As you may see now, there is no one way in which love addiction will present itself. It is different within each individual. The core of the disorder seems to come from a place of fear and helplessness. It often couples with other behavioral symptoms such as:
- Bouts of depression and/or anxiety, ADD, ADHD, addiction, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia
- Having multiple online dating profiles
- Constant searching for ‘the perfect partner’
- A strong fear of rejection
- Inability to keep important dates or obligations
- Feeling unsure about the purpose/direction of life
How to break the addiction?
Love addiction being so similar to drug and other behavioral addictions. The recovery to it is also the same. Effective treatment has been identified as:
- Group therapy
- Individual counseling
- Family counseling
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
- Self-esteem boosting activities
Don’t let a distorted view of love and how to receive or give it prevent you from loving in a healthy way. If you feel like this describes you or someone you know, we strongly suggest you seek help in breaking the love addiction pattern however you can.
You can start by visiting Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous online to find a group near you. And please remember, you are never scarce on love, infinite love always lies within you and never in someone else’s grasp.