While there are many commonalities amongst love addicts, there are also many differences from one to the next. Some cling for dear life while others are aloof and controlling. Some love addicts go quickly from one affair to the next, while others prefer frequent one night stands without letting anyone get too close. Following are several love addict personas. If you’re a love addict, you will likely find yourself identifying with one of them.
Dana Danger Girl – This addict prefers frequent one-night stands with strangers over anything that might even begin to resemble genuine intimacy. She is charming and seductive, and knows how to play up her sensuality to get what she wants. She may frequent bars or spend hours online in adult chat rooms or dating sites, always on the prowl for her next fix. Once she finds him, she quickly hooks up. Dana Danger Girl loves the high she gets from both the instant gratification and the risky interactions. Dana is more likely to suffer from sexual addiction than love addiction, although she may have both. The consequences of her behavior are often quite serious.
Serial Serena – This love addict quickly loses interest in a man after the initial excitement wears off. She loves the thrill of the chase and rushes into each new relationship. She displays a façade of sincerity, but her short-lived relationships are typically superficial. Genuine intimacy and the possibility of abandonment terrify her so she controls the situation by keeping each new partner at arm’s length. Once they no longer excite her, she moves on to the next one, leaving a wake of confusion and broken hearts.
Sarah Soccer Mom – This love addict has one affair after another. She is similar to Serial Serena in some ways, except that she does allow herself to quickly bond with each new partner. The closeness they share is based on romance and sexual passion rather than genuine intimacy. In an attempt to avoid commitment, Sarah Soccer Mom breaks off each affair just when the other person starts to get too close for comfort. Since she can’t stand being alone (or feeling alone in her unhappy marriage), she looks for a new romantic liaison as soon as one ends. Her serial affairs can be very destructive, both for her and each of her partners.
Aloof Alicia – Aloof Alicia is really a narcissistic love addict. She is charming, seductive, dominant, controlling – and extremely self-absorbed. Her partners are nothing more than objects for her to use for enjoyment, status, and stimulation. To the casual observer, Aloof Alicia appears confident and in control, with an “I can take you or leave you” attitude about relationships. However, her true colors start to show if her partner decides to leave or even appears to be pulling away. Her defense against the underlying panic and anger that she feels is either to become extremely cold and aloof, or to become enraged. If she loses interest in her partner, she will quickly and coldly discard him as if he never meant anything at all. Former partners of this type of love addict are often left hurt and confused; wondering what went wrong and never getting any type of closure as Aloof Alicia quickly moves on to the next “shiny object”.
Saboteur Sally – Saboteur Sally keeps her partners at arm’s length. She is terrified of commitment because she can’t bear the thought of anyone getting too close to her. As soon as someone does, she will do something to sabotage the relationship. For example, she may attempt to embarrass her partner, no-show for a date, or intentionally start fights. Once she succeeds at destroying the relationship, she looks for the next one. Much of her saboteur behavior occurs at a subconscious or unconscious level. It will be nearly impossible for her to change until it is brought to her conscious awareness.
Obsessive Olivia – This type of love addict spends significant amounts of time obsessing about her partner, who is not available to her. She may obsess quietly, vividly fantasizing about her lover, or she may pursue him relentlessly. She is driven by powerful feelings of unrequited love. In extreme cases, Obsessive Olivia can become a dangerous stalker.
Tenacious Tessa – This is a particularly sad type of love addict. She is tenacious to a fault, although for the wrong reasons. She is no longer in love and may even be completely miserable in her relationship, yet she holds on tight because she is terrified of being alone. Even if her partner is abusing her, Tenacious Tessa will stay in the relationship. She may hate him, but cannot tolerate the thought of him leaving her.
Codependent Crystal – This type of love addict also can’t tolerate the thought of being alone. She is often drawn to troubled men. She thrives on rescuing, enabling, and taking care of her partner. She uses passive-aggressive behaviors to control the relationship. Her low self-esteem and desperate need to be needed makes her vulnerable to men who are abusive and / or neglectful.
Regardless of the persona, every love addict uses relationships to fill a void within her. Unfortunately, she will never be satisfied because no one else can ever really fill that void. It is something she must learn to do herself if she is to ever recover from this powerful addiction.