Love addiction is a psychological addiction where the addict becomes addicted to the feeling of being in love. The cause of love addiction is thought to stem from unmet needs the addict had as a child and is a maladaptive way an individual may try to get those needs met. Love addiction is different than sex addiction. Typically by being dependent on others. However it is important to remember that the love addict is not addicted to a person but to the feeling of being in love itself.
The love addict feels they need love in in order to gain a sense of identity and self worth. If a love addicts feelings are not reciprocated by the object of their desire or the relationship ends they may become vengeful, the love addict has problems with self control which means that their relationships with usually be unhealthy and often co-dependent.
Love addicts will often try to form relationships with love avoidant partners. This means forming relationships with emotionally unavailable people, this causes dependency and dysfunction and often such relationships can be abusive to either or both parties.
Some symptoms and signs of love addiction include:
- falling in love very quickly and easily
- finding it difficult to let go of people
- being very needy in relationships
- mistaking intensity for intimacy
- using relationships to numb emotional pain
- feeling worthless without a relationship
These are just some of the signs of love addiction, for a fully comprehensive view please look at:
Help I think I’m a love addict!
If you recognize that you are suffering from love addiction, it’s time to get help. Like any addiction the problem will become progressively worse over time without treatment. Love addiction is becoming increasingly recognized in the UK and USA and many residential treatment facilities have programmes designed to support recovery from love addiction.
It is also a good idea to start going to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLA) you can find out about meetings here:
Some great books which discuss recovery from love addiction are “Is it love or addiction” by Brenda Scheaffer and “Facing Love Addiction” by Pia Mellody.