Love addicts live in a chaotic world filled with an often desperate need and emotional despair. They are fearful of being alone or being rejected- endlessly searching for the special one that will make them feel whole. Love addicts are strongly attracted to the intense experience of falling in love rather than the peaceful intimacy of healthy relationships. They spend much of their time hunting and seeking the special one- at the sacrifice of true intimacy. When love addicts are in a relationship and the rush dissipates they feel detached, unhappy, restless, irritable and discontent. Some signs of love addiction include
– mistaking an intense sexual experience for love.
– constantly searching or striving for a romantic relationship.
– trying desperately to please a partner in a relationship.
– feeling alone and incomplete unless they are in a relationship.
– giving up friendships, hobbies etc. to please a partner.
– choosing partners who demand a great deal of attention and care-taking but don’t meet emotional needs- (often find themselves in relationships with sex addicts therefore a co-dependency occurs).
It should be pointed out that there is a big difference between love addiction and sex addiction. Sex addicts want sex without love and somewhat eliminate the person. Its an obsession with the physical act of sex, whether solo or with a partner. Their desire goes beyond normal human desire to an obsession of the mind and a compulsion of the body that cannot be quelled until its fulfilled. Their behaviour is often risky and destructive. Love addicts want the love not just sex. Love addiction is vague and more nebulous than sex addiction. They are in love with being in love- more romanticism. They seek another person or relationship as an escape from life. The idea of love and protection is the high-A good example of a love addict is the protagonist in the movie Fatal Attraction. Both addictions can damage their lives in ways that rival drug or alcohol addiction. Both sex and love addiction are believed to come from a fear of abandonment, fear or trauma in someone’s past and manifests in an inability to cope with adult life in a functional and happy way. Both sex and love addictions seek a “reward or drug” from a place of urgency and deep psychological need. On line dating sites and Apps pose a big attraction for love addicts. Never before has it been so easy to access and connect with hundreds of people- location is no longer an issue. On line dating for a love addict is like a shopping mall of endless possibilities for love. They can window shop for unlimited hours waiting for someone to catch their eye. They can create a new persons for themselves to attract the perfect partner. Someone who is very shy can be gregarious and outgoing, increased confidence occurs when not face to face. Some recent studies have found that love addicts may be pre-disposed to on-line relationships as it gives the illusion of a real relationship without any substance. And serial daters can find a whole plethora of potential love mates. Relationships on line for love addicts tend to develop quickly and fall apart just as fast due to the intensity- they go from one relationship to another. The thrill of love is like a drug where they can get their fix via the internet where they can go from one relationship to another. It’s not just dating sites like eHarmony and RSVP but other social media such as Facebook where it allows them to scan profiles for potential partners. Love addicts get caught up with on-line dating in the endless search for the elusive partner. Even if a love addict is in a relationship they still peruse profiles- feeling there is something better out there for them. The internet is extremely alluring to a love addict. Seeing a therapist can help both love and sex addicts overcome the undesired behaviour. Identifying patterns and breaking patterns is the key to recovery. A willingness to adapt behaviour and re-programme the way they think, showing and discussing what normal healthy and rewarding relationships are like- are tools a Therapist will teach and discuss with sex and love addicts. Teaching skills to avoid old unwanted behaviour. A professional therapist can model what healthy love looks and feels like. In therapy often similarities may be drawn between a clients parents and past relationships allowing to clearly see the patterns. Both love and sex addicts can be helped by Therapy.