Love addicts are known to become hooked and obsessed on another person in relationships. Love addicts tend to share core issues of damaged self esteem, boundaries; symptoms of rescue/care taking and unrealistic relational expectations, and they have in common noxious relational patterns. However, love addicts don‘t necessarily look the same all the time.

In my personal and professional experiences over the years as a recovered love addict and now, therapist and love addiction expert, I‘ve come to
recognize nine different love addict types- each characteristically unique from the
other.

The nine Love Addict Types include:
1. Typical Love Addict
2. Romantic Love Addict
3. Anorexic Love Addict
4. Non-Romantic Love Addict
5. Avoidant Love Addict
6. Abusive Love Addict
7. Battered Love Addict
8. Sex and Love Addict
9. Parent Love Addict

1. TYPICAL LOVE ADDICT

The Typical Love Addict is the most commonly recognized love addict type. They display the most predictable relational patterns for the majority of people who fall into addictive relationships.

Time and again they become preoccupied and obsessed with attaining or keeping the perfect person, "Soul mate", "Superman" or "Wonder Woman" who will make their lives meaningful; give them unconditional love/positive regard they are so desperate for.

They create fantasies of who they want their partner to be instead of seeing their partner for who they really are. Essentially their identity is formed only through their relationship with their partner.

Because of impaired boundaries-, they become clingy and smothering as they lose all focus of their own needs and wants (escaping) while they form a new self-identity through their partners life. Having a distorted sense of themselves (not seeing themselves as valuable and worhty, they try to earn love and attention that will guarantee they will not be left, abandoned, and alone.

2. ROMANTIC LOVE ADDICT

Romantic Love Addicts are "romantic junkies" and relationship "hoppers"... they compulsively hop from one infatuated relationship to another in an attempt to keep their supply (dependency/addiction) going. Initially, they often believe they're in love with a person they start a relationship with, but they don't truly fall in love.

Romantic Love Addicts are addicted to the fantasy created in their minds- and have false hopes (unrealistic expectation) that one day they will find the right one who somehow will keep the initial romantic "rush", passion, and intensity going all the time; which is an impossible task for anyone.

3. ANOREXIC LOVE ADDICT

The Anorexic Love Addict compulsively avoids relationships/intimacy. They come to a point where they are tired of feeling let down and betrayed and decide, "No more relationships." In their distorted perception- the experience of feeling betrayed, abandoned and rejected again and again is too much to take.They rigidly avoid giving or receiving emotional intimate contact.

The Anorexic Love Addict falls victim to in an obsessive state in which the physical, mental, and emotional task of avoiding romantic relationships rule one's life. Their reality becomes either all black-or all white (either desperate for love, or desperate to avoid love.

4. NON-ROMANTIC LOVE ADDICT

The Non-Romantic Love Addict becomes obsessed to another person but has nothing to do with 'love', romance, or sexual passion. They can become obsessively addicted to anyone-- an acquaintance, friend, priest, teacher, co-worker, child, or celebrity.

Even if the Non-Romantic love addict is in a committed relationship or married- they can become emotionally attached, dependent upon and addicted to someone outside without romantic or sexual intentions- including someone of the same sex.

5. AVOIDANT LOVE ADDICT

The Avoidant Love Addict type is the partner Typical Love Addicts most commonly and repeatedly fall for in relationships. They become dependent on their partners neediness and are only attracted to people who they can control.

They rely on feeling empowered from a person who looks up to them, worships them, puts them up on a pedestal, which provides a kind of narcissistic supply. Traits of narcissism-- being wanted, needed, and worshiped is their drug.

It is why they are attracted to love addict partners in relationships. The sense of having control in relationships is very important- and control feeds their grandiosity and sense of being entitled.

Feeling power, and therefore, control over their needy love addict partner- provides them a source of self-worth and meaning in their own lives. Moreover, it keeps them from intimately connecting and being vulnerable in relationships, which is often one of their greatest fears.

6. ABUSIVE LOVE ADDICT

The Abusive Love Addict is an individual who, in relationships, employs both emotional and physical abuse, violence and intimidation. Abusive Love Addicts virtually always attract Typical/Battered Love Addicts willing to tolerate callous and spiteful acts against them.

Their goal is to keep their partner in prison, emotionally and physically. They exhibit the same elements of the emotionally Avoidant Love Addict- but with the added element of controlling their partner with abusive acts.

7. BATTERED LOVE ADDICT
Battered Love Addicts are love addict who routinely become dependent on a controlling partner where they tolerate physical and/or emotional abuse; and have great difficulty leaving relationships with their abusive partner- often the Abusive Love Addict.

8. SEX AND LOVE ADDICT

The Sex and Love Addict type display the uniform patterns of a Typical Love Addict, but the additional characteristic is the Sex and Love Addict type also is highly preoccupied with sex and sexual fantasies with only ONE particular person, usually their romantic partner; or ex partner.

They aren't in love with their partner so much as they are in love with the sexual acts with their partner. Like most love addicts- they will tolerate misery and pain in a relationship, however, they do it solely for maintaining sexual intimacy with that one person.

9. PARENTAL LOVE ADDICT

The Parental Love Addict type is unlike other love addict types given that romance is not involved. This type is a parent who loves too much, not a romantic partner, but their own child. The Parental Love Addict becomes dependent on, enmeshed and reliant to, one or more of their children to fill an inner void, escape feelings of emptiness or impaired sense of self.

They become overly enmeshed controlling of one or more of their children’s lives. They see their children as extensions of themselves. Intensely over involved with their children, they for example, may feel a great desire to have the "perfect" child to give them (the parent) of feeling secure, important, or valuable.

It is not that parental love addicts don’t love their children-- but loving a child through emotional dependency is very unhealthy and, unfortunately, this kind of love only hurts a child’s emotional development.

Author's Bio: 

Jim Hall, M.S., is a Love Addiction Expert, Author on Love Addiction and Recovering. He 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.
http://loveaddictionhelp.com/surviving_withdrawal

- The Love Addict in Love Addiction
http://loveaddictionhelp.com/about_book

- Gateway to Recovery
http://loveaddictionhelp.com/ebooks

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/