Am I Addicted To Love?

Posted by on 04 18 15 in Co-Occurring Issues | Comments Off on Am I Addicted To Love?

Many people learn that they are struggling with love addiction after they’ve gone through many phases of addictive behaviors. They may have a dealt with problems with alcohol addiction, substance abuse and other chemical dependencies. Quite often, people who have been through treatment programs and/or 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) still find themselves

struggling with some of the same core issues that led them to alcohol and substance dependency or abuse. Though they may be “clean and sober,” they still find themselves dealing with symptomatic moods such as anger, depression, resentment and others.

In the language of 12-step programs, they may still feel themselves wrestling with that “God-sized hole” in their lives. They may turn to sexual behaviors to self-soothe and may transfer their ideas about addiction onto their relationship to sex.

Sometimes their sexual “acting out” leads them to sexual recovery programs, and often what they find there is quite surprising: the sex and sexual acting out is not the root of the newly identified addiction. They find that what they’re struggling with is, in fact, an addiction to love.

Signs Of Love Addiction

Addicted To Love-Signs Love Addiction-www.LoveAddictionTreatment.comThere are several ways to perform personal detective work and attempt to differentiate, for yourself, whether the foundational issues that need addressing are sex-related or love/intimacy related. Often, it’s impossible to distinguish between the two, and some research argues that sex and love addiction share a great number of similarities.

For many years, scholars focused on the sexual aspect of these addictive behaviors, but in recent years, researchers have discovered and identified important differences between sex addiction and love addiction and have worked to establish modes of diagnosis that allow therapists, counselors and individuals searching for answers to identify exactly what’s going on, thereby allowing them to pursue a practical course of treatment and rehabilitation.

If you’re trying to find answers for yourself, here are some indicators that might mean your underlying challenges are related to love and intimacy as opposed to sex:

  • The belief that love/romance has magical potency
  • The belief that romantic relationships can solve and/or cure all of the obstacles in life
  • The belief that you can’t function without your romantic attachment or that your life makes no sense without your romantic attachment is impossible to shake
  • You pursue romantic connections—not necessarily sex connections—outside of your family or primary relationships
  • Your romantic relationships involve manipulative power games
  • Your need for romantic relationships increases over time
  • You are unable to stop seeking and/or engaging in romantic relationships
  • You spend an inordinate amount of time seeking out romantic relationships
  • Your pursuit of romantic liaisons negatively impacts your work life and social life and causes you to abandon your typical recreational pursuits

Seeking Help For Love Addiction

Love addiction can be a tough nut to crack. Many individuals take decades to peel back the layers of their personal issues to discover that at the root of their struggles are challenges related to love and intimacy. There are many theories as to the origin of love addictive behaviors.

Researchers theorize that there may be neurobiological origins, developmental origins related to childhood and adverse childhood experiences or that love addictive behaviors can be the result of underlying depression and anxiety. Even mainstream culture—romance novels, pop/love songs, films and television shows—can reinforce and even instigate behaviors that are similar to love addiction by romanticizing the extremes of longing for and needing to find “the one.”

Regardless of the origin or how it may manifest in your life, if you find yourself saying “yes, that’s me” to most of the items on the preceding bulleted list, it may be time to investigate the possibility that you have issues with love and intimacy. Thankfully, there are a number of avenues to recovery, from 12-step programs such as Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous to private in-patient treatment facilities. The most important thing to know is that there are people out there who can help, who’ve been through similar experiences, and that you are not alone.

Learn More About The Love Addict’s Cycle