Love Addiction

Love addiction is a compulsive, relational cycle that appears to be intimate and relational but is, in reality, too needy, vulnerable and dependent. The love addict tends to obsess and fantasize about the person they are addicted to; tends to neglect to care and value themselves in relationships and looks for unconditional positive regard and other-esteem from their partners. Love addicts consciously want intimacy, but can’t tolerate healthy closeness, so they must unconsciously choose a partner who cannot be intimate in a healthy way. Love addicts look for someone, usually a love avoidant to come in like a "knight in shining armor" and save them from themselves and love them forever. Love addicts are constantly seeking greater intensity in relationships and any distancing seems like a threat to their survival.

Love addicts have a tendency to become involved in brief, intense, romantic relationships. In longer-term relationships, the love addict will experience many highs and lows, negatively impacting both the addict and the object of their obsession. Love addicts spend a huge amount of time and energy focused on their relationships, whether they are fantasizing about the one they are in or the possibility of the next one.

Individuals who were raised in a less than nurturing environment will have a tendency to look for other self-esteem and constant security and approval from others. Therapy will examine the childhood relational trauma in addition to self-esteem, boundary, reality, dependency and moderation issues. Those of us who work with love addiction know that it is one of the most difficult addictions to treat. The first step is to help the love addict realize that love addiction is more about fantasy, shame and childhood trauma than it is about love.

Seth A. Weinstein, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor
Specializing in Addictions, Trauma and Codependency