- Gender and Relationships
Love Addiction: Characteristics and Signs of a Love Addict
Many people don’t know a person can be addicted to love. It is a fact many people don’t know it exists. Many are accustomed to addictions of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes including sex.
Love addiction can be likened to sex addiction. A sex addict is a person who feels the need and desire to do sex. It doesn’t matter to the sex addict who he/she ‘sleeps’ with as long as his/her sexual pleasure is satisfied. If sexual intercourse is hard to get by or doesn’t fulfill, the addict will resort to watching pornographic materials, fantasizing or masturbating.
What is love addiction? In reality, it is hard to define this type of addiction. By nature we are all lovers and need to be loved. There is nothing wrong with wanting to love or to be loved. The human existence has been able to survive for long due to love that has bound people together. This is what is referred to as general love or Agape love; the normal love for people irrespective of their race, language or religion.
There is the second type of love which is specific loves. These are loves which are directed to specific people for different reasons. There is the parental love and romantic love to name a few.
You cannot force someone to love you neither can you force yourself to love someone. A love addict wants to be loved which we have seen is a normal thing. The problem lies with the addict wanting to be loved even when it is clear the person she wants to love her doesn’t love her. Her life is spent searching for a person to love her so she can feel she is loved. There is something compelling her to fall in love with people who in most cases are out of her league. The most important thing to the love addict is to feel a sense of belongingness or security. When she falls in love, the love she has for her partner is not real love but a fantasized one.
As noted above it is very hard to define love addiction. You can think of love addiction as love that has cross-bordered the love itself. Love in itself is fulfilling and it will show itself. However, if you force yourself to love someone or someone to love you or something is pushing you to love someone; then it is not true love.
Ann Smith of Healthy Connections notes it is very difficult to define this addiction. She says, “Love addiction is a little harder to define simply because by nature we are all addicted to love – meaning we want it, seek it and have a hard time not thinking about it. We need attachment to survive and we instinctively seek connection, especially romantic connection. There is nothing dysfunctional about wanting love.” She explains love addiction is “…a compulsive, chronic craving and/or pursuit of romantic love in an effort to get our sense of security and worth from another person. The negative consequences can be severe and yet the love addict continues to hang on the belief that the love will fix everything.”
A love addict may think he is in love with someone when she falls in love but in reality it is not true love. The reason is because something is compelling her to love somebody not that it comes naturally from her heart. Even if the relationship she is in comes to an end, she will try to find another person to love her. All she wants is to be loved in order to fill what she lacked during her growing years. This is well noted by Good Drug Guide who term ‘love addiction’ as a bit misnomer. “Love addicts,” it states, “aren’t really in love with the person who is the object of their affection. Instead, the addiction surrounds a series of compulsive actions that the person is unable to stop.”
Characteristics of Love Addicts
Some of the below characteristics also serve as signs. Most of the following characteristics borders on love itself.
- She falls in love quickly and easily.
- She cannot help herself falling in love.
- In most instances, a love addict always falls in love with someone who isn’t committed in the relationship. More often than not, the love addict always hope the relationship will turn out better when in fact her partner is not in love with her.
- A love addict finds it hard to let go of her partner.
- The love addict fears being abandoned.
- A love addict falls in love with a wrong person for wrong reasons. Some of the reasons compelling the addict to fall in love include to feel a sense of security and not to feel lonely.
- In most of these relationships the love addict is the only one in love.
- A love addict falls in love with a person whom her eyes have initially set on. The addict doesn’t take time to get to know whether the person she has fallen in love with is right for her or not.
- A love addict foregoes the warning signs the person she has fallen in love isn’t the right person for her. Even if she knows the person is a playboy she will bypass the warning signal because she is afraid to remain alone - not in a relationship meaning she will not be loved which is the most important thing she’s seeking after.
- Even if her ex is in another relationship, the sex addict will pursue her ex in order to win his love for her.
- She always agrees to whatever her partner tells her. She fears being dumped.
- She does all she can to please her partner at the expense of herself. She’ll sacrifice her needs and wants in order to cater for the needs and wants of her partner.
- She always stalks her partner to ensure he doesn’t flirt with other ladies and so on. If her partner is already an ex (and possibly in another relationship), she will stalk him. Most of her time is soent stalking.
- A love addict is jealous and possessive. It is normal to be jealous when you’re in a relationship and possessive. Nonetheless, in the case of a love addict it is jealous that has gone overboard including being too possessive.
- A love addict is always obsessed in finding a new love. If she is single she will spend most of her time pursuing love.
- Even if the partner is abusive (and possibly they don’t have children) the addict will still remain in the relationship.
- A love addict feels as if her world has come to an end when the relationship ends.
- A love addict is the one who is so much involved in ensuring the relationship doesn’t come to an end, even in situations where it’s evident the relationship cannot survive. She will do her best to fix the relationship including sacrificing her needs and wants for her partner’s needs and wants.