Love addiction is characterized by compulsive behaviors surrounding romance, sexuality and relationships. These behaviors result in harmful consequences for the addicted person. Love addiction can result in divorce, loss of one’s career and legal problems. It can also impact your physical and emotional health. A love addiction treatment center can help you focus on healthy relationships and improved coping skills to help manage your life.
Love addiction can manifest in different ways. Some people engage in the unhealthy pursuit of “perfect love.” For many, love addiction is a coping mechanism. Addicted individuals escape into fantasy rather than tolerating an imperfect reality.
Diagnosing Love Addiction and Co-Occurring Conditions
Love addiction can be described as an impulse control disorder that is part of a family of process addictions. It often involves self-destructive behaviors in pursuit of love and attention. It is common for the addicted person to have a dual diagnosis. Often, they may need further help from a sexual addiction treatment center or porn addiction treatment program. Love addiction treatment at The Ranch typically begins with a complete medical and psychological assessment. This allows us to identify and treat any co-occurring mental health disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment may include:
- Drug addiction or alcoholism treatment
- Mental health treatment for issues like depression or bipolar disorder
- Eating disorder treatment
- Other process or behavioral addiction treatment
Taking a Break From Toxic Relationships
Recovering love addicts need to take time for themselves. Some of the goals of love addiction treatment include building healthy relationships and setting appropriate boundaries. During love addiction treatment, it is best to abstain from romantic or sexual relationships for a specified time. This break helps you focus on recovery.
Exploring Trauma in Love Addiction Treatment
It is important to assess and begin to treat childhood trauma. The underlying causes of love addiction are complex and often rooted in early life experiences. The most prominent contributing factors are:
- Childhood neglect or abandonment
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
As a result of insecure attachments in childhood, people addicted to love may lack confidence and a sense of self. They engage in behaviors that activate the reward system of the brain, making it difficult to stop. At the Ranch’s love addiction treatment center, you’ll learn new coping skills. You’ll also develop tools to avoid some of the classic patterns of love addiction, including:
- Living in a constant state of fantasy, or being unable to see relationships as they are
- Hunting for love and people to be in a relationship with
- Engaging in dangerous romances with toxic partners
- Using sexual activity as a way to hold on to relationships
- Acting out of desperation and fear of being alone
- Becoming clingy
- Reenacting trauma in relationships
Learning to Love Yourself
An important aspect of treatment for recovering love addicts is learning skills for healthier love lives. But they must also learn that they do not need romantic or sexual relationships to survive. This is especially important for women, who are conditioned to believe that a relationship completes them. But it is true for male love addicts as well. In love addiction treatment, you will learn new behaviors to replace old patterns. For example, you will:
- Learn to spend time with others without rushing into a romance
- Work on repairing relationships with friends and family
- Connect with loved ones in a healthier way
Types of Therapies
The Ranch is known for its wide range of evidence-based and alternative treatment options. Our compassionate treatment team will help you embrace your authentic self. This way, you can discover mature and authentic love. During therapy, clients may discover they are continually attracted to partners who reinforce the pain they experienced in early childhood. These types of insights are an essential part of breaking the addictive cycle. Love addiction treatment also involves building self-esteem and developing healthy relationship patterns and coping skills. Types of therapies may include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Family therapy programs
- Mindfulness practices
- Shame reduction methods
- Equine-assisted therapy
There is also group therapy with people who share similar experiences and issues. You may also attend 12-step support groups such as Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. Everyone learns from one another’s experiences.
Building a Sense of Self
Some people crave a relationship so badly that they will accept problematic behaviors from a prospective mate. This leads some love addicts to engage in addictive behaviors with people who are addicts or abusers. They may experience sexual abuse or repeatedly fall in love with drug addicts. This exposes the love addict to another level of negative consequences. In our love addiction treatment center, you will learn to choose yourself first. You’ll discover how to protect yourself from unhealthy or toxic partners. And you will learn to enhance your sense of self so that you can make wiser, more self-loving choices moving forward.
How to Get Started with Love Addiction Recovery
At The Center for Relationship and Sexual Recovery at The Ranch, we use a blend of traditional and experiential therapies. Our approach includes separate treatment programs for men and women. In this safe, supportive environment, we help clients uncover, accept and move beyond their obsessions with romance and fantasy. We also use a variety of trauma-focused therapies to address co-occurring issues such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders. Get started today: 1.844.876.7680