When most people think of falling in love, they picture the love found in romance novels and rom-coms. But, in reality, not every love story is so beautiful. Especially for people with love addiction. People living with love addiction may have a more challenging experience with relationships as they may not understand how to manage or showcase emotions in healthy ways. So, what is love addiction, and is it something that’s keeping you from having healthy, intimate relationships?
What is Love Addiction?
Knowing the symptoms and effects of love addiction can help people who are living with this issue identify whether or not they are struggling with love addiction. And, get the help they need to overcome this issue and learn how to have meaningful, healthy relationships with their intimate partners. So, what is love addiction?
Love addiction is a type of dependence on love, acceptance, and relationships that involves codependent, fixated, and obsessive behaviors. This makes it hard for people with this type of addiction to maintain healthy and positive relationships with others. While love addiction can affect people’s intimate relationships, it can also affect platonic relationships such as friendships and familial relationships too.
Some of the Symptoms
People dealing with a love addiction often struggle with a number of symptoms regarding their personal relationships including:
- unrealistic expectations
- unreachable standards
- impulsive behaviors
- irrational thoughts
All of the symptoms that people struggling with love addiction may display are out of their control. So, affected individuals may find it difficult to maintain healthy and positive relationships with others due to their inability to control their thoughts, behaviors, and expectations.
The Causes of This Condition
People don’t develop love addiction and the symptoms of this condition out of the blue. There are often driving factors that play a part in how people manage their relationships. Some of the developmental factors that can contribute to this type of dependence include:
- low self-confidence
- a history of abusive relationships
- a past of neglect
- a family history of love addiction/relationship issues
- mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and drug abuse
Some Behaviors of Those Struggling
People with love addiction showcase behaviors in relationships that aren’t healthy or normal. Some of the signs that can help to identify this issue can include:
- crossing relationship boundaries by needing constant contact (for example, overly calling/texting)
- obsessing over relationships (for example, stalking)
- putting specific relationships over responsibilities like work or school
- staying in relationships with people who are abusive or toxic
- being easily controlled and manipulated by the other person in a relationship
- making rash and life-changing decisions to save a relationship or appease a partner
- jumping from relationship to relationship
- feeling overly attached to people who don’t feel the same way
Getting Help for Love Addiction
Getting a diagnosis for love addiction is challenging as the symptoms may differ from person to person. But, those who are struggling with the symptoms of the condition can get the help they need to learn how to identify the uncontrollable emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that come with this type of addiction. And, learn about how to utilize helpful coping skills that can assist with obtaining and maintaining healthy and meaningful relationships.
Willow Place for Women is a women’s only outpatient mental health treatment facility that helps women facing a number of mental health and relationship issues, including sex and love addiction. If you want to take control of the relationships in your life and have healthy standards and expectations for relationships, Willow Place can help.