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Love Addiction

Updated on August 23, 2013

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 at First Sight

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.

Tragic Endings

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.

Personal Experience

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.

Are you a love addict?

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Your Experience

Have you ever experienced feelings of obsession over a relationship? What worked for you? Feel free to share. It just might help someone.

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    • KrystalD profile image
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      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks Susan :)

    • profile image

      Susan Peabody 5 years ago

      Very nice article. Bravo!

      Susan Peabody

    • KrystalD profile image
      Author

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Congrats! Recovery is a beautiful process :) It sounds as if you are getting the help you need. I am grateful you found this useful.

    • profile image

      Bootlegdove 5 years ago

      Gratitude for this hub is my response! Just discovered at age 59 that I had a love addiction. I am getting out of my second marriage. It was not worth it to be in love with love. Never even knew it. Took the third and final try to get out. The women's shelter has been a blessing sent from God! s Truly! They are helping me rehabilitate my life and finances and self-esteem! All that pain I suffered was worth it as I know now that there is lots and lots of light at the end of the tunnel! Letting go feels so good!!!!!

    • KrystalD profile image
      Author

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Lori, This place looks incredible! Thanks for sharing this information :)

    • profile image

      Lori Jean 5 years ago

      Five Sisters Ranch is a certified residential treatment facility opened last year exclusively for women who are seeking treatment for Love Addiction. http://www.fivesistersranch.com/

    • KrystalD profile image
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      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks John!

    • KrystalD profile image
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      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      bizwin, The question of the ages! Why is love easier for some? I suppose how we raise our children may play a role here. I think the examples they see of true lasting love are vital. I have to say, I saw none. My best examples were TV, movies, books and music and clearly that is unrealistic. Maturing and letting go of those old ideas has been pretty painful. Hopefully with more awareness, people can get the help they need.

    • KrystalD profile image
      Author

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Cabutouristspot, The person is either going to fall in love truly and let the fantasy go or they will have a hrad time staying and dealing with reality. I think if your motives are to love this person and you want it to continue, you two can continue to work on the relationship. She may need help depending on how fixated she is on the fantasy.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great hub, you make some really good points.

    • bizwin profile image

      Christabel Evans 5 years ago from England, UK

      This is well written and you touched all the important point that needs addressing when it comes to love addiction. This thing happens all the time to some people, and then you see other people that takes their time in falling in love and they always come out winners. But the other group keeps getting hurt because they want to be loved by the wrong person. Thanks for sharing this.

    • cebutouristspot profile image

      cebutouristspot 5 years ago from Cebu

      @KrystalD interest topic. Could I ask you what one can expect when having a relationship with someone who have love addiction problem ? I mean even if you love them back relationship is not always a fantasy there are often times that a relationship will take some turn.

    • KrystalD profile image
      Author

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      @NightFlower-It's amazing how we all have to learn our own lessons. Some people can take the advice and some just can't. I do think experience is the best teacher, pain and all.

      @KateWest-Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      @L.L.Woodard-I was at a self reflective place when i wrote this. It is hard having whatever individual issues we all have but it really helps me to share it and to connect with others. No one wants to feel alone and I always hope that my openess can help someone else.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      This is insightful information. The manner in which you've written this hub, including your personal experience with love addiction, helps the reader to be able to identify this obsession in herself or someone she knows.

      Voted up and SHARED.

    • KateWest profile image

      KateWest 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Very well said, thank you!

    • NightFlower profile image

      NightFlower 5 years ago

      Yes Yes YES...Preach!!!! I know many but one is a dear friend and I'm telling you I spent two years trying deter her from going forward with this person whom she complained about, cried about every DAY. What does she do..? marries him. Did you hear what I said lol...MARRIES HIM. A month after marrying him she went to meet another man. At that point I was done talking about it, didn't want to hear another word because it donned on me she'd rather be with somebody bad than alone. Then i heard her give an experience later in a conversation with a group of women, that from 14 years of age she has always felt like she needed a boyfriend. I wished I had known that earlier and saved all of my breathe. I liked boys at 14 too but I was being a teenager and having my fun but then you know so many teenage girls want to be "adult" so fast instead of taking advantage of being young and single, able to mingle. They invite unnecessary pain into their lives way too early...at that age I just couldn't be bothered but my heart goes out to those who think they should be. Po thangs!

    • KrystalD profile image
      Author

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you leilani. I appreciate the recommendation and I was definitely check into this book.

    • profile image

      leilani 5 years ago

      Krystal, thanks for the good article and sharing your story. There's a new book that I think is the best one yet about love addiction. It's called LOVE ADDICT: SEX, ROMANCE AND OTHER DANGEROUS DRUGS by Ethlie Ann Vare (HCI Books, 2011.) It really helped me understand the psychology and the chemistry behind these behaviors, and explains how to recover. It's witty and wise. You'll like it.

    • KrystalD profile image
      Author

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      @ Justiceluvjones, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      @ Debra Verville, I think many people have no clue why the do what they do. I hope my hub helps someone.

      @ intimatealtern, I agree that both men and women can suffer from co-dependency and love addiction. Co-dependency if very prevalent in our society and tends to be directly linked to our family life. These are big issue and people have the tough job of navigating through all the damage. But there is hope. That is the very good news.

    • intimatealtern profile image

      intimatealtern 5 years ago

      I've known so many women and even men who are co-dependent and also love addicts. Perhaps, it stems from some unmet need in chilhood that carries through into adulthood. This was a thought provoking and helpful article.

      http://www.intimatealternatives.com

    • Debra Verville profile image

      Debra Verville 5 years ago from USA

      This article helps those who may not understand why they do what they do. It is so very helpful to have this information available. Keep up the great writing. Even if one person is helped to understand what this is about then something good has been accomplished.

    • JusticeluvJones profile image

      JusticeluvJones 5 years ago

      Hi, I love your article! Follow me @ Justiceluvjones!