Three Signs of Love Addiction
- Love Addicts assign a disproportionate amount of time, attention, and “value above themselves” to the person to whom they are addicted, and this focus often has an obsessive quality about it.
- Love Addicts have unrealistic expectations for unconditional positive regard from the other person in the relationship.
- Love Addicts neglect to care for or value themselves while they’re in the relationship.
The above is from an excellent book, “Facing Love Addiction” by Pia Mellody. I recommend it to anyone who suspects Love Addiction going on in their relationships.
When I first heard about Love Addiction, I thought it was somewhat bullshit, honestly. Relationships are intense. They’re sometimes turbulent. They can be passionate. Wasn’t that normal and healthy?
As I began to learn more about it and then later attended a professional conference about Sex and Love Addiction, I began to see how people differentiated between the regular intensity of a love relationship and what truly was “love addiction.”
Re-read the three signs above. Now let’s re-write it for a “normal” relationship.
- Healthy Lovers balance time alone with time with their partner. They value themselves as much as their loved one. They can think about something other than their relationship or their partner, often concentrating for long periods of time on other topics such as work or reading or a hobby.
- Healthy Lovers have realistic expectations of their partner, knowing that this waxes and wanes in a relationship; that people sometimes get upset and still like each other but that positive regard from someone is earned by good treatment, respect, and honesty in a relationship.
- Healthy Lovers care for and value themselves in a relationship, showing this in various ways like self-care, grooming, hobbies, time spent with friends and family, and taking time for themselves from time to time.
A Sense of Self is a struggle for a Love Addict
That sounds very different than the first three! It sounds like someone who is balanced and respectful of others as well as their own self. A sense of self as separate, valid, and worthy can be hard for people and even harder for someone who is a Love Addict.
Love Addicts tend to lose themselves in another person, often very, very quickly, even at the very beginning of a relationship. While most people fall in love over time, Love Addicts are attached at the hip almost immediately. And everything becomes about the other person – what he thinks or what she does or how wonderful she is.
To see if you’re a Love Addict, check out these 40 questions (yes, just 40!). I know that sounds like a lot, but they go pretty quickly.
If you qualify as a Love Addict and would like some help functioning better, being better balanced, read my article about How to get help for Love Addiction or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you live in Broward County / the Fort Lauderdale area, we can even work together.
Yours in health,