If you don’t see your worth, you’ll always choose people who don’t see it either. When your self esteem rises, your life follows. -Mandy Hale (Photo credit: deeplifequote)
What is Love Addiction?
Love addiction is a compulsive, chronic craving and/or pursuit of romantic loveÂ in an effort to get our sense of security and worth from another person. During infatuation we believe we have that security only to be disappointed and empty again once the intensity fades. The negative consequences can be severe and yet the love addict continues to hang on to the belief that true love with fix everything.
The most difficult love addicts to help are those who actually develop committed relationships with two or more people at the same time. This ensures double the amount of ‘love’. They really believe that the only problem they have is deciding who would be the best choice.
The causes of love addiction are fairly easy to identify: inadequate or inconsistent nurturing, low self esteem, absence of positive role models for committed relationships and indoctrination with cultural images of perfect romantic love and happily ever after endings.
Here are few truths about Love Addiction:
What is most likely to happen if you have not processed and grown from your painful experiences:-
1. If you are looking for the opposite of the last one, just remember that the opposite of Sick is Sick. When we rebound, we go to the other extreme and end up in the same place.
2. Your new “friend” will be your next lover and it will turn out the same way the last one did.
3. Just saying you will go slowly doesn’t work when hormonesÂ kick in and infatuation starts making the decisions. Infatuated love is blind.
Truth is: Wherever you go, there you are- with the same attitudes and the same ways of dealing with the world and others.
The problem is your pattern of behaviour, not who you are with.
Some initial steps for breaking the love addiction pattern:
1. STOP what you are doing and stand back to observe your own behaviour. Take an inventory of your dysfunctional patterns in your current and past relationships. Write it down. Be honest without blaming anyone else for your choices. Unless you are in a committed relationship, do not engage in any potentially romantic interactions for at least 6 months. That includes no texting, emailing, online datingÂ sites, hook ups, introductions by well intentioned friends and family.
2. As you do your inventory look for the common themes in your relationships. Does there appear to be a similarity between your childhoodÂ experiences and your choices as an adult? If so, it is no accident!
3. If you are not in a relationship right now, consider getting professional help with your self evaluation before you begin your search again. If you are in a relationship, unless you are being abused, don’t make any decisions or demands until you look at yourself honestly.
4. Ask yourself how life would be if you took responsibility for your own happiness, successes and failures and loved yourself the way you want to be loved.
5. Make a plan and follow through on a daily basis. You will be lonely, sad and frustrated at times but in the end you will have the most valuable gift of all. You will know and love yourself. Only then can you choose well and have the real, albeit imperfect relationship you deserve.
6. As an act of love that will last a life time, accept yourself and the one you love AS IS. It may not come with a big red bow but it is one thing you can be sure everyone wants.
Take this test to find out if you are addicted to love:
If you can answer yes to more than ten of the following questions, you are probably a loveÂ addict.
1. ___ ___ You are very needy when it comes to relationships.
2. ___ ___ You fall in love very easily and too quickly.
3. ___ ___ When you fall in love, you canâ€™t stop fantasizingâ€”even to do important things.
4. ___ ___ Sometimes, when you are lonely and looking for companionship, you lower your
standards and settle for less than you want or deserve.
5. ___ ___ When you are in a relationship, you tend to smother your partner.
6. ___ ___ More than once, you have gotten involved with someone who is unable to
commitâ€” hoping he or she will change.
7. ___ ___ Once you have bonded with someone, you canâ€™t let go.
8. ___ ___ When you are attracted to someone, you will ignore all the warning signs that this
person is not good for you.
9. ___ ___ Initial attraction is more important to you than anything else when it comes to
falling in love and choosing a partner. Falling in love over time does not appealÂ to you and is not an option.
10. ___ ___ When you are in love, you trust people who are not trustworthy. The rest of the
time you have a hard time trusting people.
11. ___ ___ When a relationship ends, you feel your life is over and more than once you have
thought about suicide because of a failed relationship.
12. ___ ___ You take on more than your share of responsibility for the survival of aÂ relationship.
13. ___ ___ Love and relationships are the only things that interest you.
14. ___ ___ In some of your relationships you were the only one in love.
15. ___ ___ You are overwhelmed with loneliness when you are not in love or in a
16. ___ ___ You cannot stand being alone. You do not enjoy your own company.
17 ___ ___ More than once, you have gotten involved with the wrong person to avoid beingÂ lonely.
18. ___ ___ You are terrified of never finding someone to love.
19. ___ ___ You feel inadequate if you are not in a relationship.
20. ___ ___ You cannot say no when you are in love or if your partner threatens to leave you.
21. ___ ___ You try very hard to be who your partner wants you to be. You will do anything
to please him or herâ€”even abandon yourself (sacrifice what you want, need andÂ value).
22. ___ ___ When you are in love, you only see what you want to see. You distort reality to
quell anxiety and feed your fantasies.
23. ___ ___ You have a high tolerance for suffering in relationships. You are willing to suffer
neglect, depression, loneliness, dishonestyâ€”even abuseâ€”to avoid the pain ofÂ separationÂ anxiety (what you feel when you are not with someone you haveÂ bonded with).
24. ___ ___ More than once, you have carried a torch for someone and it was agonizing.
25. ___ ___ You love romance. You have had more than one romantic interest at a time even
when it involved dishonesty.
26. ___ ___ You have stayed with an abusive person.
27. ___ ___ Fantasies about someone you love, even if he or she is unavailable, are more
important to you than meeting someone who is available.
28. ___ ___ You are terrified of being abandoned. Even the slightest rejection feels like Â abandonment and it makes you feel horrible.
29. ___ ___ You chase after people who have rejected you and try desperately to change theirÂ minds.
30. ___ ___ When you are in love, you are overly possessive and jealous.
31. ___ ___ More than once, you have neglected family or friends because of your relationship.
32. ___ ___ You have no impulse control when you are in love.
33. ___ ___ You feel an overwhelming need to check up on someone you are in love with.
34. ___ ___ More than once, you have spied on someone you are in love with.
35. ___ ___ You pursue someone you are in love with even if he or she is with another person.
36. ___ ___ If you are part of a love triangle (three people), you believe all is fair in love andÂ war. You do not walk away.
37. ___ ___ Love is the most important thing in the world to you.
38. ___ ___ Even if you are not in a relationship, you still fantasize about love all the timeâ€”either someone you once loved or the perfect person who is going to come intoÂ your life someday.
39. ___ ___ As far back as you can remember, you have been preoccupied with love and romantic fantasies.
40 ___ ___ You feel powerless when you fall in loveâ€”as if you are in some kind of trance orÂ under a spell. You lose your ability to make wise choices.
Total ______ yesÂ ______ no
Â© Love Addicts Anonymous Â (love addiction questionnaire)