Love Addiction: The Definition and Explanation

What Does it Mean to Have a Love Addiction?

Having a love addiction is a concept that is quite foreign to most people. They will often confuse it with sex addiction. However, the two are actually very different. The desire to love and be loved is perfectly normal, and it's something that everyone has. However, when there are euphoric feelings associated with being in love, that is a problem. Love can be very addictive for some people, and it can take various forms.

Love Addiction Information

Many people are struggling with love addictions without even knowing it. They may go from relationship to relationship, always seeking those thrills, but never feeling fulfilled. Perhaps you have been feeling the same way in your own life.

At Northpoint Washington, we want you to know that we understand love addiction. If you feel that you may be suffering from it, we want to help you. However, the first thing you should consider doing is learning as much about love addiction as you can. Only then will you be able to understand yourself and your behaviors more clearly.

We'd like to invite you to read on about the power of love addiction. If you are a love addict, you'll recognize many of your own behaviors here. It's important for you to know that if you do have an addiction to love, you can get help for this problem.

What is Love Addiction, Exactly?

Love is a powerful emotion all on its own. Excitement, energy, and joy abound at every turn. Of course, these experiences and feelings don't last forever. Eventually, those new feelings give way to more mature ones. This is a hallmark of a healthy, long-term relationship. However, for someone who is addicted to love, they thrive on those initial feelings of euphoria. In many ways, this is very similar to what a drug addict feels when he or she gets high.

Once those feelings of euphoria begin to fade, the individual usually begins seeking another relationship. Love addicts find it very hard to stay in a relationship without the euphoric happiness. That is their “drug of choice.” This addiction is a process addiction, which means that it doesn't involve drugs or alcohol, but behaviors. These behaviors can be just as dangerous and detrimental to one's life.

Of course there are other ways that love addiction can be demonstrated as well. It doesn't always have to apply to romantic relationships with other people. In some cases, it can apply to friends, children, religious figures or even movie stars.

Regardless of who the victim is in the love addiction, it is a serious problem that needs attention. If left untreated, the love addict is liable to become very hurt in the end. Serious consequences can result from an ignored love addiction.

Various Types of Love Addictions Explained

There are several different types of love addictions. They are all somewhat similar to each other. However, this is mostly because of the fact that there is an ongoing addiction cycle present. People will frequently try to stop these addictive behaviors, but they're usually not able to without help.

The different types of love addictions include:

Obsessed Love Addicts

These individuals find it impossible to let someone they love go. It doesn't matter if their partner becomes distant, doesn't communicate, or becomes unloving. In some cases, the individual can even begin to become abusing. The love addict will hold on, despite the costs.

Codependent Love Addicts

Many love addicts fall under the heading of codependent love addicts. They have low self-esteem, and the behave in predictable ways. They are very insecure, and they fight to hold on to people through codependent behaviors. They may enable, rescue and control them. They may even accept abuse or neglect. They will do anything to take care of their partners.

Relationship Addicts

Relationship addicts no longer feel any love for their partners, but they can't let them go. They are extremely unhappy in their relationships. Sometimes this can affect their physical and emotional wellbeing. They're afraid of being alone and changing.

Narcissistic Love Addicts

Narcissistic love addicts frequently keep their love addictions a secret. On the outside, they appear to be only in it for themselves. They don't seem to care about the partner at all. They use dominance and control to get what they want out of a relationship. However, if they partner tries to leave, the love addiction will come to the surface. The individual may resort to violence in an attempt to hold on.

Ambivalent Love Addicts

Most ambivalent love addicts actually suffer from avoidant personality disorder. They can let go, but they struggle to move forward. They crave love, but they are afraid of intimacy. This combination is very difficult, and it is demonstrated in a number of forms. These include:

  • Torch Bearers: These individuals obsess about people who are not available to them. They frequently participate in fantasies and illusions.
  • Saboteurs: These individuals will destroy relationships as soon as they become serious. They are very afraid of becoming intimate with other people.
  • Seductive Withholders: These people will initiate sex and companionship. However, they will withhold these things if they feel anxious. They are available one minute, and unavailable the next minute. Repeating this behavior is a sign of this condition.
  • Romance Addicts: These people are frequently with more than one partner. They can be confused with being sex addicts. The difference is that romance addicts will bond with their partners. Their goal is to avoid bonding deeply with just one partner.

It is not uncommon for people to exhibit characteristics of one or more of the above. Combination love addictions are typical.

Common Symptoms of Love Addicted Individuals

Love addiction is frequently mistaken for an intense sense of passion. However, by looking for a few different symptoms, you can identify a love addiction. These symptoms include:

  • Frequently mistaking intense sexual experiences for love.
  • Searching and craving a romantic relationship.
  • When in a relationship, feeling afraid of the other person's unhappiness.
  • Always striving to please the other person.
  • Feeling alone and desperate when not in a relationship.
  • Having problems maintaining relationships once the newness wears off.
  • Not being able to handle being alone.
  • Using sex and fantasy to help avoid loneliness when not in a relationship.
  • Choosing partners that are verbally or physically abusive.
  • Choosing partners that are emotionally unavailable.
  • Choosing partners who need to be taken care of.
  • Participating in activities that don't interest you in order to please a partner.
  • Giving up certain things to be sure your partner is happy.
  • Using sex to hold on to a partner.
  • Using sex or romance to tolerate difficult emotions or experiences.
  • Searching for romantic relationships at the expense of other things in your life.
  • Using anonymous sex or pornography as a way to avoid needing someone romantically.
  • Having problems with leaving an abusing relationship.
  • Returning to dangerous or painful relationships repeatedly.

Have you noticed any of the above behaviors in your own life? If you have, it's possible that you have a love addiction that need to be treated right away. Ignoring it is only going to make the situation worse.

Are You a Love Addict? Take a Quiz and Get Information

Perhaps after reading the above list of symptoms, you're starting to realize that you might be addicted to love. However, you're still not sure. It might be helpful for you to take a quiz that will give you some more insight into your behaviors in this area.

Answer the following questions honestly.

  • When you are in a relationship, are you really needy?
  • Do you fall in love very easily?
  • Do you think you fall in love very quickly?
  • Do you often fantasize when you fall in love? Even to the point of ignoring everything else in your life?
  • Do you ever lower your standards for relationships just because you're lonely?
  • Do you smother your partner when you're in a relationship?
  • Do you get involved with people who aren't able to commit to you?
  • Do you begin relationships with the goal of changing the other person?
  • After you've bonded with someone, do you find it impossible to let them go?
  • Do you tend to ignore warning signs about people if you're already attracted to them?
  • Do you find that the initial attraction of a person is more important to you than anything else?
  • Do you feel like your life is over after a relationship ends?
  • Do you work harder than the other person to ensure the relationship survives?
  • Are you only interested in love and relationships?
  • Do you not enjoy your own company?
  • Have you ever gotten involved with the wrong person in order to avoid being alone?
  • Does not being in a relationship make you feel inadequate?

If you answered yes to more than two or three of the above questions, you may have a love addiction. If you are a love addict, getting help should be your number one priority.

What Help is Available if You're Addicted to Love?

It can be quite a shock to find that you're addicted to love. You need to know what you can do to get the help you need. There are several different options you may want to consider.

There are many love addiction books that you can purchase if you're interested in self-help. These books can give you more information about your addiction. They can also teach you ways to change your behaviors.

Codependents Anonymous is a support group that is built on the premise of creating healthy relationships. This support group is excellent for those with love addictions.

Love Addicts Anonymous is another online support group that you may find to be very helpful for you.

You should also consider attending a love addiction rehab facility. Love addiction treatment is so important for anyone with a love addiction. If this problem is left untreated, it can lead to more severe issues.

You may find that you're suffering from a co-occurring disorder. Some examples may be an anxiety disorder, depression, or even a substance abuse disorder. The right treatment facility will treat all of your addictions and issues at the same time. These mental health problems frequently feed into each other. Unless they are all addressed together, relapses are very likely to occur.

Talking with an addiction treatment specialist can help you understand what type of treatment would be right for you. Please don't put off getting the help you need.

Love Addiction Treatment Offers Hope to Addicts

If you're suffering from a love addiction, you may not have realized it until now. The information you've read here has shed some light on your situation. You can't help but be very concerned about what you should do next.

Love addiction treatment is the best option for you if recovery is your goal. It's so important for you to learn as much as possible about your addiction. That means diving into your own behaviors and understanding them in detail. You may find that there are a number of reasons behind your love addiction issues. Maybe you have an undiagnosed mental health condition, or perhaps a substance abuse problems has led to love addiction. Many times, these co-occurring disorders go hand in hand. The most important thing you can do right now is to reach out for help.

At Northpoint Washington, we've had the pleasure of working with many love addicts. It's not an unknown addiction, and it's nothing for you to be ashamed of. However, it is crucial that you don't ignore it because it won't go away on its own. We can provide you with the targeted treatment you need to recover from your love addiction.

Are you ready to get help for your love addiction? If you are, we'd love the chance to talk with you about your options for treatment. Please contact us today.