- Mental Health
Addicted to Love
Do you know someone that seems to be “in love with the idea of being in love?” They constantly chase the “true love” fantasy over and over again with less than wonderful results. Often, such people find themselves taken advantage of and eventually, quite bitter, hurt or afraid. You are not alone! To some degree, many women display the characteristics associated with love addiction. Society seems to help perpetuate an idea that women will be “saved by a prince charming.” Love in the movies, television, music and books paint a perfect picture of romance that has little to do with reality. While most people learn from experience that real love involves trust and respect, love addicts struggle to find appropriate boundaries in relationships. Specifically, love addicts fall in love very quickly, ignore negative characteristics of their partner and experience withdrawal when a relationship ends.
Signs of Love Addiction
Love addicts tend to fall in love very quickly. Once an initial attraction has been established, a love addict is completely hooked. They are convinced they are in love when in fact they are in a state of heightened infatuation.
No One is Perfect
Every person has flaws but when someone is in the cycle of love addiction they are unable to see beyond someone’s good traits. No matter how hurtful or harmful his or her partner might be, a love addict has trouble seeing the truth. Even with the urging of others, a love addict may struggle to let go.
When a relationship finally does end, love addicts experience severe withdrawals that might include depression, anger, and even suicidal thoughts or actions. That time is signified by an obsession for the lost relationship coupled with grief.
There is Hope
If you or someone you know suffers from the vicious cycle of love addiction, there is hope. You are not alone. In fact there numerous support groups, books and even treatment centers dedicated to aiding in the recovery of love addicts. Recovery from love addiction involves abstaining from relationships until you are able to put them in proper balance, developing a strong relationship with yourself and seeking help.
Take Time Alone
Taking time to abstain from relationships will give you the time and space to begin addressing your own needs. Often in addictive relationships, people are left exhausted and depleted from giving too much of themselves. Time alone will offer the opportunity to refocus without distraction.
Getting to Know You
What do you like to do? What makes you happy? These answers usually go unanswered when too much time is spent focused on a person. Spend time exploring your own interests and you will start to discover your own likes and dislikes. This is a start in the right direction for developing self-esteem.
Help is Near
There are many therapists that focus on the treatment of love addiction. Check your local listing for a qualified therapist that suits or needs. Many self-help groups are also available in most areas. Alternative options include books and online communities.
I have struggled with relationships all my life. Most recently, it was revealed to me, through seeking help, that I have been pursuing relationships vigorously since 7 years old. Reading, writing and meditating have helped me see that at 7 years old I felt unwanted by my parents and began looking for affection in “boys.” Today I know that my parents did the best they could and so did I.
I have found that taking time for me, developing my own interests and seeking help have put me on the path to change. I enjoy a fulfilling career, hobbies and many wonderful, supportive friends and family members.
As we journey through life, it is easy to fall victim to sick patterns without even noticing it! Taking time to stop, look and listen is an opportunity to see one's self. If there is work to be done, do not be afraid to do it! You are not alone.
Books On Love Love Addiction
Sites for Love Addicts
- Recovery is Here. | Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
This is a site associated with the 12 Step Program Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
- Love Recovery
Includes useful articles and referals for professional help.
- Love Addicts Anonymous
A fellowship for men and women to recover from unhealthy dependency on love.
- Love Addiction Recovery and Healing
Online Love Addiction Help. This site includes a great database full of helpful articles that can help you identify love addiction and start to recover.
- :: It\'s All About Love ::
This site includes several questionnaires to help identify love addiction.
Are you a love addict?
Have you ever experienced feelings of obsession over a relationship? What worked for you? Feel free to share. It just might help someone.