Love addiction is a real thing. When you fall in love, it can feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s the best feeling anyone could ever experience. Having someone there for you through thick and thin can make you feel safe and understood. Love is one of the things that can give meaning to someone’s life. Most people are in a continuous search for true love. Some find what they are looking for early in their life. Some have to wait a little longer. For some, true love gets away. But some people jump from one relationship to another not because they are looking for the right one. They do it because they are addicted to love. In essence, they suffer from love addiction.
Love addiction is a subject not taken seriously enough in today’s society. Most people dismiss it or don’t even know it’s a thing. But this addiction is as real as it gets, and it can drastically affect your life and wellbeing. But, like any other addiction, you can work towards curing it. As long as you work towards getting better, you can learn to break this vicious cycle. So, here are six signs of love addiction and how to stop chasing partners.
What Is Love Addiction?
Love addiction is a behavioral issue that causes someone to develop an unhealthy obsession with a partner or love interest. This pattern usually develops in a romantic relationship, although it can also occur in platonic relationships from time to time.
People who develop love addiction are usually afraid of being alone or rejected. Still, oxymoronically, they are also the people who never seem to hold on to a relationship. They get wary of real emotional connections, and they are more attracted to the chase. They like falling in love. But relationships don’t seem to last long past the honeymoon phase. They spend time “hunting” for the one, or so they think. They display unhealthy behaviors.
These people can develop the most toxic obsessions with people who show them even the tiniest sign of attention. And when they do eventually end up in relationships, they feel like they need to be in control of everything all the time. They don’t know how to engage with a partner healthily. That’s because they don’t clearly understand what boundaries are and why they are essential. They don’t build their relationships on trust and understanding. Their relationships receive fuel from desire and a love of the chase.
Although it doesn’t involve any substances, this addiction is also based on a person’s desire to feel the rush of endorphins. And, when the relationship becomes “boring,” and that need for endorphins isn’t fulfilled, they jump on to the next one. If you suffer from love addiction, you will never find yourself truly happy and content with someone. You will never be able to settle down, and your relationships will be toxic and emotionally draining. If you discover the addiction and accept that you need to work through it, you will finally find true love.
7 Signs of Love Addiction
Watch for these red flags that may indicate you’re in a toxic union.
1. Always Switching Partners May Reveal A Love Addiction
It’s normal to switch some partners throughout your lifetime. But these people don’t just end relationships because they don’t work anymore. They either get bored or get dumped.
Because they aren’t interested in having stability, they don’t value their qualities in a relationship. For them, a partner who has a stable job and is kind to them isn’t enough sometimes. They need thrill, excitement, passion. All those seem like they’d have their place in a relationship, but you should never build a relationship based on just those qualities. Those qualities are fleeting. In a long-term relationship, you will sometimes have to deal with some off days.
But, because sunshine and rainbows are all that love-addicted people desire, they will only stay in a relationship as long as the honeymoon phase is still going strong. They give up on the relationship and start searching for a new rush when that fades away. And that’s in the best-case scenario when it comes to love addiction. Unfortunately, these addicts tend to be so toxic that they get dumped in many cases.
2. Controlling Behaviors
For love-addicted people, falling in love is like a drug. They need it if they want to feel happy and complete. So, when they find someone who can offer them that, they try to cling to them as hard as possible. And, they don’t know how else to make sure their partner will never leave them besides engaging in controlling behaviors.
They are the people who always need to know where their partner is, what they are doing, who they are with. They will bombard you with tons of texts and calls, and they always need to be in touch with you. These behaviors create toxic relationships that can take over your whole life.
If you feel anxious or try to dictate what your partner is doing, chances are you suffer from love addiction. In that case, you should try setting some boundaries and giving the other person the space they need.
3. People Who Have a Love Addiction Often Have Past Trauma
Like all other addictions, this addiction doesn’t form out of anywhere. In most cases, it’s a behavior that a person develops due to traumatic experiences they have lived through.
Usually, people abandoned or neglected as kids develop separation anxiety. This can fuel the love addiction, as they constantly need to feel desired. Or, it might be that they feel like they aren’t in control of their life, so they try to control someone else’s. Low self-esteem can also be a factor, as relationships make these people feel worthy.
When your past influences your idea of how relationships should look, chances are you won’t be able to solve that alone. If you feel like you have some unresolved trauma, reach out to a psychologist and get the help you need. If you heal the root issues, you will be one step closer to getting rid of the addiction.
If you are struggling with love addiction, chances are you are displaying co-dependent behaviors. This behavior is often learned, and it’s a condition that doesn’t allow you to have healthy relationships.
This behavioral condition often makes people settle for relationships in which they are abused or mistreated. These relationships are one-sided and fuelled by the victim’s need to “fix” their partner. The people affected by co-dependency usually go into survivor mode. They develop toxic coping mechanisms. They don’t share their problems with family and friends. Nor do they stand up for themselves. They lose their sense of self and focus their energy on their partner.
But, love-addicted people can also be the perpetrator. They can also be the ones who display abusive behaviors. They make their partners display co-dependent behaviors. Ironically, they don’t intend to be offensive. They become that way because of their trust issues and trauma. So, if you find yourself in any of these cases as a victim or abuser, you need to change something about yourself. Try to break out of those toxic relationships and force yourself to be alone for at least a couple of months.
5. They Can’t Spend Time Alone
Love addiction can affect all areas of someone’s life. It doesn’t just lead to an unhealthy relationship, but it makes it impossible for the addict to be alone. Whenever they are alone, they feel neglected, and they experience symptoms similar to withdrawal.
If they aren’t with their loved ones, they need to be surrounded by people. They have a constant need for attention. At the same time, some love-dependent people isolate themselves whenever they are with someone. But, as soon as they are single again, they will try to return to the friendships they have given up on to be in that relationship. And, as soon as they go through with a breakup, they start searching for a new relationship. They can’t be happy and content when they are single.
If you think you might be addicted to love, ask yourself how much time can you last as a single person? Is it just a couple of weeks until you start feeling like something’s missing? If that’s the case, you need to work on loving yourself and learning to be happy regardless of your relationship status.
6. Love Addiction May Cause You To Avoid Intimacy
Even though someone who has a love addiction needs to be in relationships all the time, they still stray away from creating meaningful relationships. They focus on keeping things light and fun to avoid the struggles and sacrifices that come with an actual bond.
Even though they are obsessed with their partner, they still refuse to open up and trust the other person. They are scared of emotional intimacy, which would mean showing who they are. They are afraid of being abandoned and have low self-esteem. Thus, they choose to be more guarded. They can control the narrative as long as they do not open up. They can act perfectly and show their partner the best possible version of themselves. This is a defense mechanism.
If you know that you avoid having deep, meaningful interactions with your partner at all costs, that might be because you have a love addiction. Try to work on your fears and force yourself to open up little by little.