What is more wonderful than falling in love? The delirious feeling of finding that special someone is written about in books and songs and movies. When you’re listening to music, you hear one song after another all about getting carried away with feelings of romantic love. Every day you see devoted couples on magazine covers and read about them in books. People who are happily in love seem to be everywhere. You are driven by the desire to have someone to love. It’s the most natural thing in the world to want to share your life with another human being. But for you it’s not just about sharing your life. Love is the center of your universe. When your desire to revolve your life around a relationship becomes practically the only thing that matters in your life, you may have a problem. This is one of the first telltale signs that may indicate you’re a love addict.
Loving the Wrong People
Another clear sign of love addiction is that you are so determined to be in a relationship that you don’t give any thought to whether the person you’re becoming involved with is an appropriate choice. For example, you may get involved with someone even though you know that he or she is an addict or can’t hold a job. You are often attracted to someone who is unavailable. He or she may be married or already involved. You may put a lot of effort into trying to win the attention and affection of a person who doesn’t give you much attention or affection in return. You ignore warning signs that this person is a bad choice. You may even be aware that you don’t particularly like the other person, but you feel that you would rather stay with him or her than be alone. On some level, you may be aware that you are settling for less than you want or deserve, but you may think that no one else would want you. Low self-esteem and love addiction often go together.
Losing Yourself in Love
Once you’re in a relationship, you may give so much of yourself that you get lost. You may make your partner feel smothered. You tend to stay in relationships way too long. You keep giving love to your partner, even when he or she is fairly indifferent. He or she forgets to call you or forgets to show up when you’re supposed to be getting together. You always make excuses for him or her. You may put up with verbal or physical abuse because you are so afraid to be alone. You may look the other way when you are neglected or ignored. When relationships end, you may be emotionally crippled and unable to pull yourself together after you have been rejected.
Loving Too Often
Another sign of love addiction is falling in love too often. True love is something that requires effort and dedication. A love addict is more interested in the initial exhilaration of falling in love. Each new person you date creates the same sense of eagerness and excitement because it isn’t really love you are feeling. You are in love with love, not with another person. You are thrilled with the initial attraction. You spend a lot of time fantasizing about the other person or about people you aren’t involved with. You may have more than one romantic interest at the same time. For you, love is like a drug. It’s something that makes you feel alive and excited, and you chase after the feeling like an addict chases after a fix. Like other forms of addiction, love addiction may cause you to neglect your family, friends and responsibilities. If you recognize yourself in these signs of love addiction, it’s time to make a change. One of the best places you can go to learn how to change your patterns is Al-Anon. You may also want to consider counseling. Recognizing these common signs of love addiction is the first step toward breaking the patterns that are causing you to end up feeling needy and unfulfilled. With help, you can heal from your addiction to love.