Romantic fantasies and “intriguing.”
Longing and reunions. Secrets and lies.
Unhealthy attachments yield wreckage.
Love addiction is a pattern of seeking and maintaining relationships despite negative social, financial, physical or psychological consequences.
Love addicts tend to chase the feelings of “falling in love.” Love-addicted relationships are often all-consuming, making it difficult for a love addict to concentrate on the other areas of life. Extreme jealousy and enmeshment can make love addicts’ relationships a wild ride—often punctuated by euphoric reunions after a rocky patch.
Love addiction is also referred to as “romance addiction” or “relationship addiction.” Some love addicts are serial monogamists—ending one relationship to jump into the next, frequently with some messy overlap. Other love addicts pine over their “one true love,” and neglect entering new relationships due to their preoccupation with the failed love.
When love addicts have affairs outside their primary relationship, a fantasy-based “high” propels the affair. Affair partners selectively reveal themselves to one another, offering seductive and calculated portrayals of the “true self.” Dependency upon fantasy and idealization leaves untreated love addicts incapable of sustaining romantic relationships when the excitement wanes. There’s an ongoing chase to keep the excitement going (e.g. upping the “drama” through arguments, withdrawing, spying/stalking, increased risk-taking) or a complete abandonment of the relationship in favor of a shiny new one.
Love Addiction Therapy in the East Bay
Love addiction issues can be successfully addressed in psychotherapy. It’s important to find a therapist with specialized training in this area. Effective treatment provides clients:
- Immediate tools to handle problematic and painful behaviors.
- Personalized understanding of how love-addicted behaviors develop and persist.
- Awareness of specific, unique purposes these behaviors serve in one’s life.
- Development of increased self-esteem and healthier coping mechanisms.
- Access to more authentic emotional and romantic intimacy.
Click here to request an appointment or get more information about treatment.