First of all…
What is love addiction?
Love addiction is not actually a biochemical addiction. But, it is a type of psychological codependency, whereby one MUST fulfill the fundamental need for self worth, external validation or security through another person. This is fairly common, because it results from attachment bond traumas in childhood.
For example, when a parent a child bonded with disappears or becomes emotionally distant, neglectful or abusive, an attachment trauma occurs. It also happens when there was no stable bond from the start of life.
Besides the inescapable, burning need to have someone “complete you,” love addiction also increases a person’s risk of abuse, because they let their boundaries down; ultimately, the need for security lies in letting another person in.
Someone with love addiction has to pursue relationships, and will lower their standards when they become single. Even when not single, they may fantasize about past or potential relationships. This is because they find that every relationship gives them a fleeting high and never the sense of security and self completion they’re looking for.
The media practically normalizes love addiction…
How often does the character in a movie find a rebound or start having one night stands after a breakup? This type of codependent behavior is virtually normalized by the movie and music industries. Perhaps it reflects how common love addiction actually is.
There’s no “official diagnosis” for love addiction. But…
Some signs that one may have love addiction are:
- You find it really difficult to be single, or even to be alone for very long in your own company.
- Giving more than you probably should to someone, especially early on in a relationship, out of a need to take the relationship deeper very quickly.
- Difficulty handling confrontation from a romantic partner; the need to be “right” in their eyes.
- You did not feel seen for who you are by your parents. You often felt neglected or questioned your parents’ love.
- You feel like when you find your soulmate you’ll be complete, because two halves make one whole.
- Your ideal romantic partner can identify with your current and past struggles.
- You often struggle with loneliness.
- You feel anxious when you don’t spend enough time around people who show you love and affection.
- You often go through “make up and break up” cycles with a romantic partner.
- You feel energized alive again when pursuing or entering a new relationship, and/or when making up with your partner after a fight or break.
- You’re willing to be with someone you know isn’t so great for you, because it’s better than being alone.
- If the other person goes on a trip or you have a physical separation for some reason, you experience anxiety.
- Finding it difficult or impossible to leave a relationship; making excuses to stay in a toxic relationship.
- Difficulty maintaining relationship stability once the newness of a romantic relationship fades off.
- Lining up “back up” relationships or creating profiles on dating apps whenever there’s a conflict with your partner.
Clearly, many of these indicate boundary issues that make a love addict very vulnerable to entering and staying in toxic relationships. They are more prone to enter a relationship with someone who’s emotionally unavailable, such as a narcissist or a person with another Cluster B personality disorder. This is a threat to their mental health, and, potentially even a threat to safety.
A love addict’s healing journey is to reverse engineer their addiction and gain it from within themselves — the results may surprise them.
If you’re a love addict…
You have so much energy to give. That means…
You have so much to fuel yourself with. Once you rewire yourself so all this is funneled right back to yourself…. wow!
You become unstoppable. You definitely become more enlightened, and can do anything with your life by channeling your energy consciously.
What’s it going to take?
It takes several conscious realizations, and reprogramming the subconscious mind to reflect them. Here are the realizations:
- One person can only meet so many of your needs, and 1 person can’t handle them all.
- Obsessing over who your partner will be doesn’t matter when what you’re looking for is an internal (emotional) satisfaction.
- You won’t find a healthy match until you truly know yourself and have healthy boundaries.
- Your feeling of emptiness is not because you lack worth, but because of childhood attachment trauma.
- You “fill the emptiness” by developing your relationship with yourself, which was likely suppressed in you as a child by people who wanted to create you in their image.
- We all crave connection, because we are all connected; but we must connect with our higher selves to truly experience this beyond the level of illusion.
- Your relationship with yourself is the most intimate relationship you will ever experience. Only you can love yourself in the most “special way.”
- You’re a powerhouse of love with so much to give; giving this energy to yourself makes you unstoppable.
If you’re struggling with patterns of codependency, you may have experienced narcissistic abuse as a child and possibly beyond childhood as well. If you read my story and it resonates with you, you may be interested in my Narcissistic Abuse Recovery class and coaching hybrid program; this is where I do my greatest healing work for people who have grown up in narcissistic households or experienced abuse by a narcissist at any point in life.
I would love to hear your thoughts about love addiction in the comments below.