Understanding Love Addiction. How do I know if I need help?

Love addiction also called romance addiction or relationship addiction is a term used to describe the preoccupation with falling in love or being in love. This preoccupation tends to become obsessive for the person who has it. They continually look to fall in love with the perfect lover who is going to take all the pain away.  They will finally feel like they are good enough, beautiful enough, and that applies will always be part of the process.

It is important to remember that “love addiction” is not part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders (DSM-5). There is no official diagnosis, but love addiction is a useful expression in describing a complex set of behaviors, feeling and moods centered around the overwhelming need to be in love and have the power feeling that comes with it.

The beginning phases of a new relationship cause a neurochemical rush that is part of a new romance. We often use words like “love-smitten” or “crush” on someone. The love addict is in constant pursuit of these feelings and once they stop or are interrupted they start the process again. They can’t move to the next phase of a relationship. Feelings of mutual connection, calmness, and attachment always seem to elude them.

What causes love addiction? For most, it comes from early childhood attachment wounds. They came from families where there was inconsistent or inadequate nurturing. With that comes a sense of low self-esteem and a cultural belief system around finding the one who finally brings the nurturing and love they have always been missing.

Are you wondering if you struggle with love addiction and could benefit from love addiction therapy?

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself.

  •    Do you easily and quickly fall in love, sometimes ignoring signs that he or she is not right for you?
  •    Are you embarrassed by your sexual behavior, often engaging in sex you are not comfortable with to keep your partner happy?
  •    Do you find that you can’t or don’t like being alone?
  •    When a relationship ends, do you try to hold on, even if he or she has moved on?
  •    Do you find yourself preoccupied with finding the ONE who will make you happy?
  •    Have you found yourself in empty sexual relationships and engaged in some risky behaviors sexually?
  •    When you first meet someone do you feel a “rush” of intoxicating energy when first fascinated with them?
  •    Are you losing relationships because of your sexual behavior?
  •    Do you get jealous quickly and feel like you need to check up on your partner?
  •    Do you find yourself putting up with abusive or bad behavior, or have a high threshold for suffering in your relationships?
  •    Do you act the way your partner wants you to act in the relationship, lose yourself a bit (or a lot)?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, you might want to take a closer look at your relationships and your behavior. There may even be a part of you that knows these repeated relationships are not healthy; that they are not suitable for you.

If you think you are struggling with love addiction and you would like to talk to a love addiction therapist, please give us a call.

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