Those who are addicted to love live in a chaotic world of desperate need and emotional despair. Fearful of being alone or rejected, love addicts endlessly search for that special someone that will make them feel whole. Ironically, these individuals oftentimes have had numerous opportunities for the truly intimate experience they think they want. But they are much more strongly attracted to the intense experience of falling in love than they are to the peaceful intimacy of healthy relationships. As such, they spend much of their time hunting for the one. By being aware of the common indicators of love addiction, you can recognize the signs in yourself or someone you love if you develop one. To learn more about the signs of love addiction, contact the love addiction treatment center at The Ranch TN by calling 1.844.876.7680.
What Is Love Addiction?
If you are experiencing the signs of love addiction, you may base all of your life choices on the desire and search for this perfect relationship. So you focus on everything from wardrobe choices to endless hours at the gym, to engaging in hobbies and other activities that may or may not interest them, to how you involve others in conversations and social interactions.
For individuals who are truly seeking a long-term relationship, healthy romantic intensity, the exhilaration of first love is the catalyst that brings about the bonding necessary to sustain an intimate attachment. However, those who are addicted to love crave the rush of first romance. Their relationships never develop beyond this initial, emotionally elevated state. When they are in a relationship, they feel detached, unhappy, restless, irritable, and discontent because the rush has faded. When they are not in a relationship, they feel desperate, unworthy, and alone until they find a new potential mate and get to experience the high of falling in love once more.
Signs of Love Addiction
Typical signs of love addiction include:
- Mistaking intense sexual experiences and new romantic excitement for love
- Constantly craving and searching for a romantic relationship
- When in a relationship, being desperate to please and fearful of the other’s unhappiness
- When not in a relationship, feeling desperate and alone
- Inability to maintain an intimate relationship once the newness and excitement have worn off
- Finding it unbearable or emotionally difficult to be alone
- When not in a relationship, compulsively using sex and fantasy to fill the loneliness
- Choosing partners who are emotionally unavailable or verbally or physically abusive
- Choosing partners who demand a great deal of attention and caretaking but who do not meet, or even try to meet, your emotional or physical needs
- Participating in activities that don’t interest you or go against your personal values in order to keep or please a partner
- Giving up important interests, beliefs, or friendships to maximize time in the relationship or to please a romantic partner
- Using sex, seduction, and manipulation to hook or hold on to a partner
- Using sex or romantic intensity to tolerate difficult experiences or emotions
- Missing out on important family, career, or social experiences to search for a romantic or sexual relationship
- Using anonymous sex, porn, or compulsive masturbation to avoid needing someone, thereby avoiding all relationships
- Finding it difficult or impossible to leave unhealthy or abusive relationships despite repeated promises to oneself or others to do so
- Repeatedly returning to previously unmanageable or painful relationships despite promises to oneself or others to not do so
Do These Symptoms Always Indicate a Love Addiction?
All romantic relationships may exhibit some of the above signs, at least occasionally. However, with love addiction, there is a consistent pattern of one or more of the signs, resulting in ongoing and eventually escalating negative consequences. Much like those who are addicted to sex, these individuals are searching for something outside of themselves. This may be a person, relationship, or experience that provides them with the emotional and life stability they lack. In other words, they use their intensely stimulating romantic experiences to fix themselves temporarily and feel emotionally stable. Happily, like other process and substance addictions, there are treatment options. Ongoing help can be found in therapy (both individual and group) and 12-Step self-help programs like SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous).
Find Treatment at The Ranch TN
Like other process addictions, love addiction is a complex condition that can be hard to overcome without professional help. At The Ranch TN, we understand this unique struggle and provide specialized treatment options, based on your unique needs. For instance, we offer therapeutic options such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Equine-assisted therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
If you are struggling with love addiction, don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Contact us at 1.844.876.7680 today to learn more about love addiction treatment at The Ranch TN.