It takes a lot of strength and internal reflection to examine your relationships and seek out signs that you're a love addict. Most people with love addiction don't know what they are suffering from and it's only upon reading about the disease that symptoms and signs begin to make sense and patterns begin to emerge. Love addiction comes in many forms from short, passion-filled relationships that end quickly to long-term, overlapping relationships with extreme highs and lows. Just like any other addiction, love addiction is a compulsive behavior that the addict uses to soothe uncomfortable feelings despite negative consequences. There are multiple contributors to love addiction, including upbringing, heredity and DNA, but this article is designed to outline signs that you're a love addict so that you can decide for yourself whether or not to seek additional help or counseling.
1. You Believe That You Can Only Be Happy if Someone Loves You
You're nobody til somebody loves you, right? Many love addicts feel this way and it is the most basic of many signs you're a love addict. You feel incomplete as person without someone by your side that loves you and are unsure how to function as a single person. Your identity is lost in a relationship and you cannot happily go through the day to day activities of life without feeling empty or lonely.
2. You Frequently Stay in Bad Relationships
Because love addicts are genuinely afraid to be unattached, they will often stay in a relationship that is negative rather than being alone. You may justify staying with an emotionally, physically or financially abusive partner by telling yourself that being in a bad relationship is better than not having a relationship. Even if you gather the strength to leave your partner or he or she leaves you, you will often return or beg to be taken back to avoid the feelings of loneliness and despair.
3. You Are Unable to Take the Time to Heal after a Failed Relationship
Non-love addicts are equally saddened and heartbroken after the end of a relationship; the difference is that non-love addicts are able to take time for themselves and heal before jumping into a new partnership. If you are emotionally unable to take time for yourself and time to mend after a breakup, it is one of the biggest sign you're a love addict. The feelings of despair become overwhelming to the point of actively searching out a new relationship before you are fully over the previous one.
4. You Are Often Needy and Clingy in a Relationship
It is hard for you to feel loved without someone to tell you how amazing you are. If your partner is not available physically and emotionally to give you the devotion you are seeking, you become increasingly needy and clingy. You require more attention and more affection from your partner than a non-love addict and this will usually begin to drive them away, which only increases your neediness.
5. You Jump from Relationship to Relationship as the Infatuation Wears off
This is a different form of love addiction, referred to as romantic addiction or infatuation addiction. If you quickly get bored after the initial infatuation wanes and use it as an excuse to jump quickly into another, newer partnership this is a major sign that you may have this form of love addiction. It refers to being addicted to the large doses of "love hormones" that flood the brain at the start of a new romantic, relationship and is just a serious a form of love addiction.
6. Romantic Love is the Most Important Part of Your Life
Relationships with friends and family will suffer when you are in a romantic relationship, as that becomes the most important thing in your life. Even when you are not involved in a romantic pairing, the only thing that matters is becoming attached again so it is hard to concentrate and work and difficult to maintain personal growth and friendships. Nothing else is as important as finding or keeping love.
7. You Take More than Your Share of Responsibility in a Relationship
You may shower the source of your addiction with gifts, even if they go unappreciated. You do most of the work in your relationship, including planning trips, dates or elaborate surprises in an effort to get the same amount of attention returned. You take responsibility for all arguments, even if they are not your fault to avoid being abandoned. Unfortunately, love addicts often chose partners that are emotionally unavailable to return the affection and adoration.
Love addiction is a controversial topic and its existence is often debated. Do you believe it exists? Are you a love addict or do you know someone who shows all of these signs?