There is much controversy around the idea of “love addiction” One of the fastest growing 12 step fellowships is “Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA).” Robert Palmer said it best when he wrote a song “might as well face it, you’re addicted to love.”
If one has a history of childhood sexual abuse, the inability to trust another human being is
Healthy love typically shows up in healthy attached relationships. These relationships are characterized by genuine intimacy (emotional, physical, spiritual), honesty, trust, respect, safety, healthy communication, and commitment
Like any addiction, love addiction may l had to emotional isolation, trouble at work or school, financial challenges, declining physical and/or emotional health, and a loss of interest in hobbies or socializing with friends.
Some characteristics of love addiction include emotional highs such as intense passion or lust, and emotional lows, such as heartbreak or painful feelings of rejection from one’s partner.
Just as in other addictions, the love addict seeks rewards from the reward center of the brain that enhances neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and endorphin.
Recovery for a love addict may include first establishing a healthy attachment to oneself; then to healthy relationships.
Characteristics of a love addict:
- Feeling a constant need to be in a relationship
- Committing to and falling in love with a partner without really knowing them
- Constantly moving from one relationship to another in search of love
- Never feeling satisfied within a relationship
- Becoming obsessed with and overly reliant on a partner
- Staying in an abusive relationship for the sake of being in a relationship
- Suffering from severe depression and destructive behaviours after breaking up with a partner
- Making personal sacrifices in order to please a partner
- Neglecting their own needs and needs of family in order to be with a partner
- Isolating from friends, neglecting personal responsibilities and finances when with a partner
- Being jealous and possessive when a partner talks to, or spends time with other people.