Love Addiction is an unhealthy obsessive and dysfuntional dependency to another person in relationships. Love Addiction is finally being recognized as a serious problem and a serious addiction in the media and mental health professionals. Some have difficulty believing "love" can become an addiction. However, love addiction is as real, as painful, and sometimes as deadly as any other addiction (drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc.)- the chaos it causes can wreak havoc in people's lives.
Love addicts can become obsessed and addicted to any kind of person- friend, parent, acquaintance, co-worker, child, celebrities, etc.- however, their extreme dependency occurs more often in interpersonal, romantic relationships. More often than not- they tend to draw disengaged romantic partners who walk away from them-- these are Avoidants.
When people first begin a romantic relationship and fall in love, it is normal to feel a sense of euphoria and excitement. There is that glitter in the eye, new smile, and the hope of a happy future with the new person. The feel good chemicals flood the brain when love is new- these are our "happy chemicals" - the dopamine neurotransmitters. When healthy love occurs, these feelings and reality of a person and circumstance are in balance.
A key component of addiction is to escape or avoid reality- love addiction is no different.
When a love addict falls in love, euphoric feelings are intensified and mistaken for absolute reality. "If the chemistry is great, it must be true love, my soul mate has arrived", the love addict believes. However, healthy love has a core component of "reality" where healthy partners will not deny or filter out the reality of their partner (i.e. 'red flags').
When meeting someone, love addicts disconnect all logic and rational and replace it with distortions and denial. The romantic "high" they feel when a relationship begins, is created by a fantasy of their partner- which is what they become addicted to- their drug of choice.
In the love addict's delusion of love- the partner becomes- "too good to be true", "the one partner always dreamed about"- "soul mates"- "magical"- "perfect". In their infatuation, the love addict never notices who their partner truly is. Love addicts make up who they want their partner to be, usually the "one nagical person who will make them feel loved and accepted".
Their dependency to a person (their object- drug of choice) allows the love addict to feel alive, lovable, and gives them a sense of purpose, meaning and self worth in the world. If the love addict had any purpose or sense of self before the relationship, it is lost in the dependency on another person.
Love addicts depend on another person to fill emptiness and void in him/herself- that is an impossible task for anyone to do. Abandonment and rejection is what love addicts fear the most- fueling the obsession to connect with someone and tolerate painful-dyfunctional relationships.
In love addiction- fantasy, obsession, and denial of another person- creates the illusion of true love, intimacy, and closeness. The reality is, real love is non-existent. Being in an addictive relationship is painful, lonely, and baffling.
Relationships, love, and romance are important for all human beings and can enhance one's life, but when love is used as an addiction- in order to hide and escape from ourselves-- happy and fulfilling relationships are impossible.
The goal of recovery is to understand the thinking, feeling and behaviors which cause love addiction and learn how to develop satisfying, loving and healthy relationships. For love addicts, the core issues that need the most focus include dealing with internal shame and abandonment issues; understanding and improving self esteem; learning the skills of establishing healthy internal and external boundaries; reframing irrational beliefs on what healthy love relationships entail; improving feelings/emotional awareness and regulation, and dealing with any other addictions in addiction to the love addiction.
For a comprehensive understanding of addictive love relationships, the love addict, and their avoidant partners... you can go to
www.love addictionhelp.com and download my new eBook,
The LOVE ADDICT in Love Addiciton.
Jim Hall, M.S., is a Love Addiction Specialist and founder of a popular recovery website, www.loveaddictionhelp.com, a cutting-edge site for the love addict who want to recover and heal.
He is an Author on Love Addiction and Recovering. He also coaches Love Addicts how to recover, heal, and break their addiction to relationships, online at www.LoveAddictionHelp.com.
Jim authors several popular Books on love addiction and recovery, available on one of the best love addiction recovery websites- www.loveaddictionhelp.com. Or click on the links to learn about the books:
- Surviving Withdrawal: The Breakup Workbook for Love Addicts.
- The Love Addict in Love Addiction
- Gateway to Recovery
Jim is currently completing a Love Addiction Rehab Recovery Program series for love and relationship addiction which will soon be available on www.loveaddictionhelp.com. Also on his website are free articles, tips, and other related information on love addiction, recovery and relationship issues: http://www.loveaddictionhelp.com/