Healthy Love: Do You Know What Love Addiction Is?

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chris n rihannaSome so-called relationships look like train wrecks waiting to happen. Unfortunately for some people, they can not keep their relationships private and instead, have to have them while they have the public’s attention. Although it may seem obvious to those observing a public relationship that the couple do not belong with each other, it may be that things are more complicated.

It is worth considering that when two people have serious problems in their relationship and it seems obvious that they should not be together, it could actually be that one or both of them are suffering from love addiction.

Love addiction is a psychological addiction, a result of unfulfilled childhood needs. Children whose needs remain unrecognized may adjust by learning to limit their expectations. This limitation process may take the form of core beliefs such as, “My needs don’t count,” “Getting close will hurt” and “I’m not lovable.” Such beliefs do not satisfy childhood needs, leaving them still to be met later in life. As adults, addictive lovers remain dependent upon others to care for them, protect them and solve their problems.

Those with love addiction are characteristically familiar with desperate hopes and seemingly unending fears. Fearing rejection, pain,  unfamiliar experiences, and having no faith in their ability–or even their right–to inspire love, they wait, wish, and hope for love, perhaps their least familiar experience.

According to Pia Melody author of Facing Love Addiction there is a distinct pattern of love addiction.  There is the love addict and love avoidant. Both of which do a distinct and toxic dance with each other in which the love addict pursues and wants the love avoidant to love them back, to be with them, to pay attention to them etc. and the love avoidant who is afraid of engulfment, turns away from the love addict. At times the love addict may then turn away, and the love avoidant turns back to chase them, but they are rarely facing each other, they are rarely in the same place, committed to the same relationship.

Characteristics of Love Addiction

  • Is all consuming and obsessive.
  • Is inhibited.
  • Avoids risk or change.
  • Lacks true intimacy.
  • Is manipulative, strikes deals.
  • Is dependent and submissive.
  • Demands the loved one’s devotion.

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