Love addiction is a compulsive, chronic craving and pursuit of romantic love in an effort to get our sense of security and worth from another person. During infatuation we believe we have that security only to be disappointed and empty again once the intensity fades. The negative consequences can be severe and yet the love addict continues to hang on to the belief that true love will fix everything.
Signs You Are Addicted to Love: Early Experiences
The causes of love addiction are fairly easy to identify: inadequate or inconsistent nurturing, low self-esteem, absence of positive role models for committed relationships and indoctrination with cultural images of perfect romantic love and happily ever after endings – like those of Disney fairy tales.
Unfortunately, knowing why you are addicted to love isn’t much help. Having the information or insight cannot change the unconscious drive to attach yourself to another at all costs.
5 Signs You Are Addicted to Love: The Questions
Are you addicted to love? If you answer yes to 2 or more of the following questions, it’s time to examine the possibility that you are more enamored with the idea of love rather than being in love with someone in a genuine way.
1. Did you once think that if only someone loved you in that “special way” you would be happy for the rest of your life? Do you expect your lover to make you feel loved and lovable?
2. Have you ever tried to talk yourself into loving someone you weren’t particularly fond of because you needed the love NOW? Another way to ask it is: Have you felt the need to do a total makeover on your partner early on in your relationship rather than admit that he/she wasn’t right for you?
3. Have you stayed in a bad relationship or repeatedly returned to an ex-partner because you couldn’t stand to be alone?
4. When you are in a committed relationship do you wonder if you chose the RIGHT one or fantasize about a lover from your past, thinking you should have kept him or her and then you would be happier?
5. Are you able to take the time necessary to heal and do a thorough post mortem on a failed relationship before running out to find a new “friend” which quickly becomes a rebound lover?
Signs You Are Addicted to Love: The Ugly
For love addicts, love is all-consuming and obsessive; it’s inhibited and therefore lacks true intimacy. The love addict avoids risk or change and is manipulative – striking deals to keep their partner involved with them in some way. The person with love addiction is dependent and parasitic and demands their loved one’s devotion.
If you recognize any of these that you are addicted to love, there is help available in the form of therapy and support groups. Taking the time to look at your insecurities and putting in the work to spend time with yourself in order to cultivate your self-esteem will prepare for a healthy , happy relationship. Until then, though, it’s just like any other addiction – you will keep repeating the same patterns in your relationships and being in constant search of the “perfect” partner and relationship.
If you or a loved one is struggling with love addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.