Everyone wants loving connections in their lives. But what happens when romantic relationships become more than just loving? Is it love or addiction? Love addiction is a real disorder with severe consequences if not adequately addressed. The signs of love addiction are nuanced and complex, making it hard to differentiate from healthy relationships. Fortunately, you can recognize and treat this potentially dangerous condition.
For the person who is vulnerable to addiction, loving connections can be a mixed bag of emotions. Can a person develop an addiction to love? The answer can probably be found by looking at the extremes a person may go to to meet their love needs. Early childhood experiences play a significant role in how we feel about love. Every person needs to feel that they are loved and valued to be happy. When these needs are not met in childhood, problems will begin. Fortunately, mental health treatment programs exist today to help people with these problems. Call 208.486.0130 to speak with someone from our caring and compassionate team about how we treat love addiction and how our love addiction treatment program can help you or a loved one.
Choosing the Wrong Partner
The child who was abandoned or neglected will become the adult who will choose emotionally unavailable people. The patterns they experienced in their early years may create feelings and behaviors that leave them feeling neglected. The unwanted child will later seek out relationships that match what they have already experienced. The negative thoughts of not feeling valued will override the possibility of finding someone who will give them the desired attention. Also, fears of abandonment can play out as behaviors that guarantee rejection.
No relationship can survive a partner who has deep fears and distrust. These negative patterns actually create rejection.
Recognizing Signs of Love Addiction
For those struggling with love addiction, fears of abandonment may cause obsession. Stalking behaviors are not only for mentally ill criminals. For example, the following behaviors are signs that someone is struggling with love addiction:
- Obsessive texting, calling, or emailing
- Following or tracking the partner’s whereabouts
- Difficulty concentrating on other areas of life due to obsession with another person
- Driving by the partner’s house, work, or other known spots
It is essential to seek help if you or someone you know might struggle with love addiction. A mental health professional can help people learn how to develop healthier relationships. Aggressively pursuing the object of your affection will only create more painful feelings and emptiness.
Avoiding Love and True Intimacy
For some, the thrill comes from avoiding true intimacy. Someone with a tendency toward addiction may seek intense feelings outside their relationships. This is usually played out with other addictions such as sex, substances, or gambling. Someone who avoids love may be avoiding feeling trapped in a relationship. The avoider does not want to be “trapped” in a relationship. They may have been forced to take care of their parents or tolerate an abusive situation out of a sense of duty. Childhood experiences like these can be overwhelming. For the avoider, relationships can feel like suffocation.
Love addiction takes hold when fantasy becomes an obsession. Love is not something you can project from your mind onto another person. The rush you feel with the chemical spikes is not loved either. We cannot expect others to love us if we don’t love ourselves. Love of self is the first step towards ending a love addiction. It may be time to seek out the support of a recovery group. As you change your inner world, your outer world will follow. You will become a love magnet as you become a healthy new you.
Develop Healthy Relationships with the Help of Northpoint Recovery
Northpoint Recovery is a private, highly specialized drug and alcohol detox and rehab treatment center in Southwestern Idaho. We specialize in helping adults, adolescents, and families affected by substance use who require inpatient and detox services. We accept most forms of insurance, credit cards, and private payment. Contact Northpoint Recovery today at 208.486.0130 to learn more about how we can help you learn how to treat love addiction and develop healthy relationships.