ADDICTED TO LOVE
"Love is all you need." For the
person addicted to love, this becomes more than a popular lyric.
It becomes literal truth. What is love addiction, and why are
some men and women addicted to love? How can the problem be
identified, and how can those addicted be helped?
A Psychological Addiction
Love addiction is a psychological addiction, a
result of unfulfilled childhood needs. Children whose needs
remain unrecognized may adjust by learning to limit their
expectations. This limitation process may take the form of
harmful ideas such as, "My needs don't count,"
"Getting close will hurt" and "I'm not worth
loving." Such ideas do not satisfy childhood needs, leaving
them still to be met later in life. As adults, addictive lovers
remain dependent upon others to care for them, protect them and
solve their problems.
Love addicts are characteristically familiar
with desperate hopes and seemingly unending fears. Fearing
rejection, fearing pain, fearing unfamiliar experiences, and
having no faith in their ability--or even their right--to inspire
love, they wait, wish, and hope for love, perhaps their least
Characteristics of Addictive
For addicts, love:
- Is all consuming and obsessive.
- Is inhibited.
- Avoids risk or change.
- Lacks true intimacy.
- Is manipulative, strikes deals.
- Is dependent and parasitic.
- Demands the loved one's devotion.
Effects of Love Addiction
Addictive love is obsessed with finding the
world in one lover. Their own growth and development having been
thwarted earlier in life, addicted lovers attach themselves to
their lover's identity. Often, this dependency results in their
drawing unearned pride from their lover's accomplishments.
Sometimes it leads to their demanding, for themselves, undeserved
recognition for their lover's achievements.
Fearful of change, addictive lovers will stifle
development of their own self, finding the ultimate security in
believing they can become indistinguishable from their mate.
Sometimes the fear of change is so great all individual
development of abilities, interests, and desires is suppressed.
Stagnation is a common characteristic of addictive love
The desperate need for security leads to
emotional scheming. Addictive lovers are inclined to think that
doing things for their mate will secure their love. The resulting
opportunities for disappointment and resentment are sufficient to
make such scheming futile. But addictive lovers are obsessed with
impossible needs and unrealistic expectations. Love demands
honesty and self-integrity. And it is a dynamic relationship,
itself cultivating growth and change in lovers. The dependent,
frightened attachments of love addicts are destructive to love.
Freedom from Love Addiction
If you discover you are in an addictive
relationship, you may want to seek professional assistance.
Specialized counseling is available for those dealing directly or
indirectly with this form of addiction.
Copyright © 1989, PARLAY INTERNATIONAL