Being in love can be a beautiful and life-changing experience for both people involved. But when someone is addicted to love, they may show this emotion in an unhealthy way.
What Is Love Addiction?
Love addiction causes an individual to develop an obsessive and unhealthy fixation on another person or other people. While love addiction is most common among love interests and romantic relationships, it can happen in other types of relationships as well such as parent-child relationships, sibling relationships and friendships).
Someone who is addicted to love is likely to have unrealistic expectations and standards of what the emotion should be and should look like. Because of this, a person with a love addiction may find it difficult to develop and maintain healthy relationships. They may also begin to display unhealthy behaviors and impulses in relationships that are out of their control.
Why can some of us easily maintain healthy romantic or familial relationships, while others become dangerously fixated on their partners or loved ones? Some individuals are more likely to develop love addictions than others, depending on their personal history and biology.
Risk Factors & Causes of Love Addiction
Love addiction and unhealthy behaviors in relationships may stem from a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Below are some potential causes of love addiction:
- Childhood trauma
- Trying to fill emotional voids
- History of physical or sexual abuse
- Previous abandonment issues
- Past traumatic relationships
- Genetics and family history
- Low self-esteem issues
- Substance abuse problems
Of course, these are not the only reasons that someone may become addicted to love. Someone can deal with serious trauma or difficult relationships in their lives but still have the ability to take care of themselves first. So how do we really know when someone is just dedicated and in love, verses when someone has an unhealthy addiction to love?
9 Signs That Someone Is Addicted to Love
Do you think that you or someone you know might be addicted to love? There are many signs and behaviors that may signify a love addiction or similar issues.
Here are some signs that someone may have a love addiction:
- Calling or texting another person constantly
- Stalking or displaying other obsessive behaviors
- Prioritizing romantic relationships over all others
- Always having a partner or significant other
- Becoming obsessed when their affection isn’t reciprocated
- Being with people who clearly aren’t good for them
- Never leaving unhealthy or toxic relationships
- Making poor decisions, like quitting their job, because of their partner
- Letting their partner control their life and thoughts
If you or somebody you care about is showing signs of a love addiction, it may be time to seek some professional help. Getting treatment for love addiction can help individuals develop healthier habits & form successful and mutually beneficial relationships in the future.
How to Manage & Treat Love Addiction
Since love addiction is not recognized in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Health Disorders, it can be very difficult to identify, diagnose, and treat. However, there are treatment options available. If you think that you or somebody you’re close to has a love addiction, start by talking to a doctor that you are comfortable with. The doctor is likely to refer you to a psychotherapist, who will conduct a series of tests to rule out other disorders and diagnose a love addiction.
During treatment for love addiction, individuals may receive a prescription for antidepressants or mood stabilizers. This could help to regulate their emotions and treat any mental health issues. They may also participate in one-on-one counseling, couples therapy, and support groups.
With proper treatment, people with love addictions can eventually unlearn unhealthy behaviors and develop much healthier ones. They will also learn how to be alone and not rely on having a romantic partner to be happy. Treatment gives individuals with love addictions the opportunity to invest in themselves, their hobbies, and their passions to have a fulfilling life regardless of whether or not they are in a romantic relationship.