While the desire to love and be loved is perfectly normal, the intoxicating feeling of being “in love” can be addictive for some individuals. If you’ve ever been in love, you know how powerful it can be. Suddenly your world is completely turned upside down. You feel an excitement – an energy, if you will – that makes everything seem new and wonderful. Some people describe it as feeling like they were walking on air. It’s natural to want this euphoric feeling to last forever.
Of course, most people realize that the wonderful initial feeling of new love doesn’t (and can’t) last forever. In healthy long-term relationships, the initial love gradually gives way to a more mature love – one that is perhaps less intoxicating and euphoric, but ultimately much more fulfilling and stable. For those prone to love addiction, however, the loss of that initial euphoria is akin to the crash that drug addicts feel when their drug of choice wears off. They crave the “high” and begin the search for another fix. Love addicts are no different, which is why they often go from one relationship to the next once the initial high wears off.
Types of love Addict
Typical love addict
The Typical Love Addict illustrates, on the whole, the most common and recognized love addict type there is, demonstrating the most predictable relational patterns for the majority of people who fall into addictive relationships. Time and again they become preoccupied and obsessed with attaining or keeping a the perfect person, "Soul mate", who will make their lives meaningful; and give them unconditional love/positive regard they are so desperate for. In their obsession, fantasy and denial they quickly fall into and become infatuated in relationships.
Essentially their identity is formed only through their relationship with their partner. Because of impaired boundaries- they are in constant pursuit to merge with their partner; therefore, they become clingy and smother their partners. They take all focus off the themselves (escaping) while throwing themselves into their partners life. They try to earn love and attention that will guarantee they will not be left, abandoned,and alone. one of their greatestfears.
Romantic love addict
Romantic Love Addicts are "romantic junkies" and relationship "hoppers"... they compulsively hop from one infatuated relationship to another in an attempt to keep their supply (dependency/addiction) going. Initially, they often believe they're in love with a person they start a relationship with, but they don't truly fall in love. Romantic Love Addicts are addicted to the fantasy created in their minds- and have false hopes (unrealistic expectation) that one day they will find the right one who somehow will keep the "rush", passion, and intensity going all the time; which is an impossible task for anyone.
Anorexic love addict
The Anorexic Love Addict compulsively decides to avoid intimacy. the AVOIDANCE of giving or receiving sexual or emotional intimate contact. Their emotional state becomes a rigid and compulsive avoidance of relationships. The Anorexic Love Addict falls victim to in an obsessive state in which the physical, mental, and emotional task of avoiding romantic relationships rule one's life. Again and again (sometimes it may be just one painful experience) they experience the painful grief and withdrawal symptoms when a relationship.
They come to a point where they are tired of feeling let down and betrayed and decide, "No more relationships." In their distorted perception- the experience of feeling betrayed, abandoned and rejected again and again is too much to take. Anorexic Love Addict types move from one emotional polar extreme to the other with no in-between. Their reality becomes either all black-or all white (either desperate for love, or desperate to keep away love). Even if the Non-Romantic love addict is in a committed relationship or married- they can become emotionally attached, dependent upon and addicted to someone outside without romantic or sexual intentions- including someone of the same sex.
Non-Romantic Love Addict
The Non-Romantic Love Addict becomes obsessed to another person but has nothing to do with love and romance. They can become obsessively addicted to anyone-- an acquaintance, friend, priest, teacher, co-worker, child, or celebrity.
Avoidant Love Addict
The Avoidant Love Addict type is the partner Typical Love Addicts most commonly and repeatedly fall for in relationships. They become dependent on their partners neediness and are only attracted to people who they can control. They rely on feeling empowered from a person who looks up to them, worships them, puts them up on a pedestal, which provides a kind of narcissistic supply. Traits of narcissism-- being wanted, needed, and worshiped is their drug. It is why they are attracted to love addict partners in relationships.
The sense of having control in relationships is very important- and control feeds their grandiosity and sense of being entitled. Feeling power, and therefore, control over their needy love addict partner- provides them a source of self-worth and meaning in their own lives. Moreover, it keeps them from potential intimately connecting and being vulnerable in relationships, which is often one of their greatest fears.
Abusive Love Addict
The Abusive Love Addict is an individual who, in relationships, employs both emotional and physical abuse, violence and intimidation. Abusive Love Addicts virtually always attract ''Typical Love Addicts'' willing to tolerate callous and spiteful acts against them. They exhibit the same elements of the emotionally unavailable type, the ''Avoidant Love Addict''- but with the added element of becoming abusive. Their goal is to keep their partner in prison, emotionally and physically. They feel empowered and secured when they control their partner.
Battered Love Addict
Battered Love Addicts are love addict types who routinely tolerate and stay in relationships with ''Abusive Love Addict'' partners just Woman and men who fall into abusive relationships are virtually always dependent at some level to their partner despite the harm they receive. Battered Love Addicts are much more often than not, females; however, there are a small percentage of males are of this type as well.
Sex And Love Addict
The Sex and Love Addict type display the uniform patterns of the Typical Love Addict, but the additional characteristic is the Sex and Love Addict type also is highly preoccupied with sex and sexual fantasies with only ONE particular person, usually a romantic partner. They aren't in love with their partner so much as they are in love with the sexual acts with their partner.
The Sex and Love Addict rarely seeks sex outside of a romantic relationship (unlike pure Sex Addicts).The sexual obsession to one partner becomes a significant driving force for staying in a relationship. Like most love addicts- they will tolerate misery and pain in a relationship, however, they do it solely for maintaining sexual intimacy with that one person. It is not love that's the problem- but choices the Parental love Addict Types make in the name of love.
Parental Love Addict
The Parental Love Addict type is unlike other love addict types given that romance is not involved. This type is a parent who loves too much, not a romantic partner, but their own child. The Parental Love Addict becomes dependent on, and reliant to, one or more of their children to escape their feelings of inner emptiness and impaired sense of self. They become enmeshed in their childrens daily lives. They see their children as extensions of themselves. Intensely over involved with their children, they have a great need to make their children anything that makes them (the parent) feel secure.
They want their children to like them at the cost of providing healthy parenting. They placate, give too much, and do too much leaving the child feeling inadequate or invalid, even suffocated. They can't see that their children are doing badly while claiming to do good. They violate the boundaries of their child frequently. They share too much information, vent, or manipulate a child for the gain of only themselves.
Common Traits of Love Addicts
While each love addict is different, there are several characteristics that love addicts often possess. These include:
• Feelings of worthlessness and / or emptiness when alone
• Lacks a strong sense of purpose or direction
• Regards sexual attraction as “love”
• Regards romance as a need rather than a desire
• Appears to “fall in love” easily and frequently
• Goes to great lengths to avoid abandonment or rejection
• A pattern or serial dating or serial relationships
• Often has very dramatic and intense relationships that tend to fizzle out quickly
• Difficulties with trust in relationships
• Periods of depression and melancholy
• Tendencies towards other types of addictions or compulsions
• The tendency to deny that there is a problem
• Uses relationships to avoid underlying emotional pain
• Is consumed or obsessed with finding love when not in a relationship (e.g., “always on the prowl”)
• Tends to be overly pleasing or controlling
• Needs a relationship to feel happy and / or whole
• Can’t tolerate being alone (i.e., not in a relationship) for any length of time
• Lacks a strong sense of personal identity
• Quickly becomes depressed or despairing when a relationship ends
• Has a hard time differentiating desires versus real needs
• Confuses sex with love
• May appears very “together” even though he / she is not
Consequences of Love Addiction
Like any addiction, love addiction can lead to many negative consequences. It can create serious problems in one’s relationship with friends and family, cause a decline in job performance leading to job loss, and result in severe bouts of anxiety and / or depression. Some love addicts develop other addictions in order to self-medicate their emotional pain, especially when they are between relationships or trying to cope with rejection or the end of a relationship. In extreme cases, love addiction may lead to stalking behaviour, self-harm, violence, suicide, and even homicide.