Since you’re reading our blog (which is appreciated– by the way–) there’s a pretty good chance you are somewhere on the continuum we call the quest for love. The Art and Science of helping folks on that continuum is what we live for, so helping connect you with yours would be sublime. It would be an honor, in fact.
Most human beings thrive in connected, intimate relationships – of course – but some folks seem to need to be in a romantic relationship more than others. Of course all people feel lonely from time to time — sometimes even in the midst of a relationship — this is part of the human condition. However, some report feeling “empty” until they have a boyfriend or girlfriend, as though they are incomplete if not partnered. They find themselves unable to be happy on their own. Can you relate to this feeling?
If so, you might want to pause for an ” inner-mission” before chasing that next partnership, because you may be more “addicted” to love and the idea of love than merely desirous of a fulfilling partnership based on true, healthy connection with another person that builds over time — and you may be setting yourself up for perpetual disappointment.
If you think about your past relationships, including the “why’s” and “how’s” of their beginnings or their endings, do you see any patterns around the following:
- Getting involved and intimate too quickly, without actually knowing the person?
- Becoming overly “needy” or excessively jealous in the relationship?
- Compromising your own wants and needs and opinions to the extent that you “disappeared” over time to get or keep your partner’s love?
If so, you’ve exhibited some of the signs of a “love addict,” and should really put some focus on developing a stronger emotional core before leaping into another repeat performance, romantically speaking.
Of course, many of the behaviors associated with this type of unhealthy need to merge with another – pronto, or perpetually – are the very things celebrated in romantic comedies and torrid romances, which only reinforce such destructive thoughts and behavior patterns. “You complete me,” a la Jerry Maguire obsessiveness, for example.
Of course, tampering with someone’s idealistic (masochistic or sadistic, sometimes) romantic fantasies is tricky territory, we know. But we’re wading in here because just a little research on what a “love addict” actually is revealed more of a tendency toward said behaviors in ourselves and some of the people we know than we would otherwise have imagined. Ask yourself, for example, if any of the following apply (or have applied to you) in the past:
- You are very needy when it comes to relationships.
- You fall in love very easily and too quickly.
- When you are in love, you tend to see what you want to see. You distort reality (or make excuses for concerning behaviors) to quell anxiety and feed into your fantasies about the person you love.
- You have a high tolerance for suffering in relationships. You might be willing to suffer neglect, depression, loneliness, dishonesty—even abuse—to avoid the pain of separation anxiety (what you feel when you are not with someone you have bonded with).
- You have no impulse control when you are in love.
- You tend to change (or hide) your own life, interests, habits, hobbies and views to match those of your new love interest.
These are just a few “symptoms” which should give you pause… you can find more here. It’s important to be really honest with yourself here, because clarity about WHY you’re looking to be in a relationship can help you to better understand your motivations and — hopefully — set yourself up for more healthy connections if they’ve thus far eluded you. Whom you fall in love with, after all, should matter more than if you’re falling in love, so stepping back to ensure you choose the kinds of partners you truly deserve and can be happy with over time, may take time. That’s hard to do when you’re obsessed with finding love and any love will do.
After thinking about the list (and checking on the link), we’d love to hear your thoughts about love addiction. Like, could you currently be a love addict? Could you have been one at some point in your love life previously – and if so – what did you do to build your self-esteem and grow from such an empty-feeling place? Do you know someone else with this issue and, if so, how do you talk to them about it?
Where do you think this problem comes from for most people — popular culture? Their childhoods? Early dating experiences? And what are some of the ways you feel that this type of addiction could or should be handled?
Hey, all of us are somewhere on the search for love continuum together, right?
Love should be a choice. Not a helpless addiction.
Your Tawkify Team
Art by Eugenia Loli