Truths About Love Addiction From a Recovering Addict
If your fantasies about love get the best of you, you may be a love addict.
I confess: I have been guilty of letting fantasy over-ride reality one too many times, and because of the surreal thoughts that I was riding, many of my relationships have crashed and burned.
What Is Love Addiction?
Love addiction is like being hooked on a drug, but in this case, hormones induced by fantasizing about love are what the victim is addicted to. Because they feel the need to fill in the hum-drum of their lives with something more fulfilling, they begin to imagine "what ifs" with a person of their desire.
What Causes Love Addiction?
When a child is conditioned to have "crumbs of love" in either attention or caring, they can develop into what we call "love addicts" or "codependents" in their future relationships. The need to fill in the void of either an absent, aloof, narcissistic or deceased parent can cause some children to have fear of abandonment issues-- making them more needy, clingy or dangerously "hooked on love" as a source of comforting.
How do you cure a love addict?
One of the hardest steps for any love addict is realizing their behavior isn't healthy and does not reflect a truly loving relationship with equal balance of power or control on both sides. In many love addicted scenarios, the person of interest in a fantasy will be what's known as limerance: an immature form of love that is based more on infatuation than on real emotions. It usually requires that the person of desire is either off limits or is unattainable by the love addict. The only "cure" for being disposed as a love addict is to be aware of the unhealthy feelings of love, coming to terms with unresolved childhood issues, and becoming self-aware when faced with possible relapses into love addicted behavior.
Should Love Addicts Avoid Love?
No! Completely denying yourself love (a necessary emotion to be healthy as a human being), is another version of love addiction. In trying to avoid any relapse, some will fantasize or live out their need for attention/affection/care/nurturing from other sources: often from drugs, alcohol, excessive food consumption or other harmful behavior. The way to find healthy love is to have faith in yourself that you will avoid following the steps leading to love addiction. Some ways are to avoid a relapse are to:
- Live in the moment. Don't fantasize about "what ifs" for someone you are attracted to, dating, or have a relationship with.
- Avoid the need to know the whereabouts of your love interest. Keep a healthy amount of contact between you and don't seek validation through excessive contact.
- Have a fulfilling life outside of your relationship. No relationship can thrive if it is the entire UNIVERSE for one or both people in a couple.
- Love to feel pleasure for yourself, not to get it in return. A healthy person does not give love with an agenda of what to receive in return.
- Be aware of your needs. If your love interest can not provide the kind of love that you need, don't be too afraid to move on. Love is about feeling empowered even more in life, not about settling for the crumbs of attention.