Love addiction is a disorder of emotional intimacy characterised by obsessive thoughts and compulsive acting out behaviours. Love addiction is not sex addiction. Love addicts act out in the relationship which include:
- clinging to the partner even though it is destructive
- avoiding love and/or intimacy with their partner
- moving from relationship to relationship, and/or
- not being able to cope with the relationship when it ends.
Love addicts spend a great deal of time and effort on a person to whom they are addicted. Love addicts value this person above themselves, and their focus on the other person is often obsessive.
Love addiction doesn’t necessarily pertain only to romantic or sexual relationships. It is possible for a person to relate as a love addict with their friends, children, sponsor, guru or religious figure, or even with a movie star, whom they have never met.
A love addict’s core fantasy is the expectation that someone else can solve their problems, provide unconditional positive regard at all times, and take care of them. When this unrealistic need isn’t met, love addicts may find themselves feeling resentful, and may create conflict in their relationships with others.
Some love addicts find that when not involved in a love-addicted relationship, they are able to care for themselves quite adequately. However, when they become involved, the love addict quickly finds that their self-care capacity steadily declines.
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