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What is Love addiction

Is it love or is it obsession?

In the same way a drug addict becomes so obsessed by a need for the next fix, a person with Love addiction can become so obsessed by a lover that the relationship becomes the centre of there universe and there main or only source of happiness. They feel powerless to contemplate the end of there relationship no matter how poorly they may be treated.

People in healthy love relationships have mutual respect, reciprocal giving sharing and support and stable boundaries. Above all they have “a walk away point” beyond which a partners mistreatment of them will result in their own decision to end the relationship no matter how much they may love that partner.

 

People in healthy relationships are able to look at how they are being treated in the relationship and how the relationship makes them feel rather than just how much they love there partner.

 

The first hallmark of an addiction is the feeling of being driven towards something. The alcoholic or drug addict feels driven towards the addictive substance even when he knows it is bad for him. In the same way a love addict feels driven towards maintaining the relationship even when they know the relationship is bad for them.

 

The second hallmark of addiction is the panic one feels at the possible absence of the substance (person)

The third hallmark of addiction is the withdrawal symptoms. As bad as the panic is at the contemplation of a possible breakup, it cannot comapre to the devastation when the breakup actually happens. Just like a drug addict who goes cold turkey.

 

Love Addiction like any other physical or psychological addiction leaves those suffering from it feeling powerless to break free and at its mercy.

 

Fortunately Love addiction, again like any other physical or psychological addiction, frequently respond to individual therapy combined with 12 step self help programmes (like that originally developed by Alcoholics anonymous)

 

The Love addict cycle

1 The love addict is attracted to the seductiveness and apparent “power” of the love avoidant.
2 Feels “high” as the “fantasy” is triggered
3 Feels relief from pain of lonliness, emptiness, and not mattering to partner
4 Shows more neediness and denies reality of the love avoidant’s walls
5 Develops awareness of partners walls and behaviour outside the relationship and denial crumbles
6 Enters withdrawal
7 Obsesses about how to get love avoidant to return
8 Compulsively acts out obsessive plans
9 Repeats the cycle with the love avoidant if they return, or with a new partner