By definition, an addiction or dependence is a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific behavior or activity, despite harmful consequences to the individual's health, mental state, or social life. People fall into many categories of addictions (alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, etc.) -- love addiction is one of the categories- and is a big one.

Love addiction is a toxic, obsessive, and unhealthy dependency to another person. Love addicts can become dependent to any person- a friend, parent, acquaintance, coworker, child, celebrities- just so long as the person/ object helps to provide an emotional escape from reality-- just as a alcohol, cocaine, or any other addiction would for an addict.

Most commonly- love addiction occurs in interpersonal love relationships.

The dependency to a person (the object- drug of choice) allows the love addict to feel alive; gain a sense of purpose; gain a sense of value; and help to increase a sense of self worth-- resulting in unhealthy behaviors, compulsions, and obsessions. If a love addict had any sense of purpose and self worth before becoming ‘hooked’, it dissolves once his or her obsession kicks in.

Like a heroin addict, love addicts abandon themselves as all their energy becomes preoccupied on their drug of choice; a fabricated love relationship.

Dispelling the falsehood that one actually becomes addicted to love—the truth is love addiction is not an addiction to real love. To the love-addicted, this truth can be quite astonishing. Why is this?

Because a love addict often feels there is love actually happening in an addictive relationship; it appears to have some level of intimacy, but in fact addictive relationships has very little, if any, love and intimacy going on. Real love is never addictive; and addiction is never love. Love addiction is an addiction to a pseudo love, or false love.

The addiction to love is in reality an addiction to a fantasy another person in the relationship. The fantasy feeds the obsession and powerful denial of the other person- and creating the illusion of true love, intimacy, and closeness. Healthy love in relationships has characteristics of genuine intimacy (emotional and physical), honesty, flexibility, trust, respect, safety, and authentic commitment- just to name a few.

The romantic “high” when a relationship begins, is created by the love addicts delusion and fabrication they “make up” about who their partner is and ignore who their partner really is-- this is what they become addicted to- their drug of choice. In the love addict’s delusion of love- their partner or potential partner becomes- “too good to be true”- their “Prince or Princess”- “the one I always dreamed about”- “soul mates”- “magical”- “perfect”. In their deep infatuation, the love addict never notices who their partner truly is.

Some people are surprised to hear that people can in fact become painfully addicted to a person in relationships in the same way they become addicted to drugs, alcohol, or other compulsive behaviors.

The truth is Love Addiction is recognized and treated as a real problem addiction that causes undue turmoil, confusion, emotional pain, and chaos in life and relationships. It is a serious and very real addiction— one should never minimize this as a ‘wishy-washy’ addiction. What makes love addiction so pervasive is that far too many people do not even recognize the obsessive toxic symptoms of love addiction as dysfunctional. And if they do, too often there is nowhere to turn for exceptional help, answers, and support.

The behavioral and emotional patterns of love addiction are emotionally ingrained --- you cannot will it away, wish it away; but you do have the power make positive changes by what choices you make from today onward. As an adult, you have ownership of every choice you make and you are in charge of your power for change, healing, and recovery.

Love addiction is real- to make a solid break from it involves real experienced help and support to heal, recover and gain the power to change the way you love in relationships (and the way you love yourself),

The goal of treatment is to help the love addict understand the thinking, feeling, and behaviors which has caused your love addiction, patterns and to learn how to develop satisfying, loving and healthy relationships in the future.

Author's Bio: 

Jim Hall, M.S., is a Love Addiction Specialist and founder of a popular recovery website,, 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

Jim authors several popular Books on love addiction and recovery, available on one of the best love addiction recovery websites- 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 Also on his website are free articles, tips, and other related information on love addiction, recovery and relationship issues: