Love Addiction

Love Addiction, as with any other compulsion, has to do with impulse control as it deals with relationships. Because of the “love” component of the addiction, people often do not comprehend the extreme seriousness of the situation. Hollywood, in fact, likes to poke fun of these situations in movies and sitcoms due to the fact that a true, monogamous relationship just isn’t that interesting. On the other hand, Cinderella-type relationships are fodder upon which most major movies are based. But, no matter how insignificant Hollywood tries to make it, love addiction is nothing to laugh at as it progressively effects the addicted person as well as their significant other.

A love addiction is where individuals become addicted to the feeling of being in love. With this, they typically have emotional needs that are unfulfilled that they try and satisfy with romance or other relationships. However, ironically for these people, they always seem to arrange relationships with those individuals who are unable to embrace their advances, or are love avoidant.

Most of the time a love addiction is not taken seriously because somebody suffering from this affliction often times does not realize that they’re addicted to love. But, might as well face it, this ignorance could very well be related to a form of obsessive compulsive disorder OCD) or depression. The most quantifying symptom of love addiction is the desire to be in a relationship. However, an individual suffering from this type of addiction may exhibit mostly shy and introverted behavior and they even be devoid of self-confidence and have a very poor self-image.

Some say a love addiction is exactly like being strung out on a drug, but in this case, the feelings of euphoria are produced by hormone-generated fantasies about another individual and these feelings of “love” are what the victim is addicted to. Others subscribe that people susceptible to an addiction to love fill a need of excitement in their lives with something larger than they are. Their thinking becomes delusional as they begin to fantasize about a person they desire.

Also, many believe that a love addiction is not only one of the most difficult addictions to identify, but also to recover from because it is so blatantly sold and so effortlessly masked in today's society. That said, at least with addictions that involve gambling or drugs, the activities are easily identified and the outcomes fairly straight forward. However, this does not seem to be the case with an addiction to love, where the delusional thinking and destructive behaviors are mostly in the mind of the addict and not automatically seen in their outward behavior.

“Love addiction is our reliance on someone outside ourselves in an attempt to get unmet needs fulfilled, to avoid fear or emotional pain, to solve problems, and to maintain our balance”.   Sadly, the paradox proves that a love addiction is our meager attempt to gain control of our lives, but then we lose control by giving over power to someone other than ourselves.  Being addicted to love is often times connected to feelings of "not being enough" or "never having enough". A love addiction can also be a type of indifference in that we don’t solve our own problems directly, but endeavor to manipulate other people so they will take care of us. Hence, take care of our problems.

Love addiction commonly involves a structure of recurrent relationships that often times ignites with a strong passion, but which peters out somewhat quickly. A distinction of this is the involvement in long-term relationships with drastic highs and lows, thus stimulating a similar range of emotions that are found in short-term relationships. Typically, these relationships are offset, with many, simultaneous relationships that take place at differing stages within a unique pattern. “As the pattern continues, the negative impact that the "low cycles" have on a person's esteem becomes greater and greater. Of course, this then causes a more definitive need for a new relationship (or new commitment to an ongoing relationship)”.


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