10 Signs You Have a Problem With Love Addiction and Why You Should Do Something About It.
A wonderful part of the human experience is finding that close, intimate connection with another human being. Many parts of our society are built around stimulating that romantic connection and you can see this in film, in dining, in clubs, on TV, in books, magazines — basically everything. Love is essential to our happiness in life – not to mention a beautiful part of it. But what happens when a person develops an unhealthy relationship with love? It can lead to Love Addiction and the results can have quite the opposite effect on a person’s life and eventually lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and a never-ending parade of dysfunctional relationships.
This is the irony of Love Addiction, it isn’t that Love addicts are chasing the healthy aspects of Love, what they are really looking for, is for another person to complete them, and that inability to find fulfillment in the self, can lead to a whole host of problems that permeate all areas of a love addict’s life. What love addicts are really chasing are those intense feelings of falling in love. The early stage of romance called limerance, which creates an “urge to merge. ” The pain arises when a Lesbian mistakes this pull to merge as the true destination of their relationships.
If you are a woman who loves women and you find yourself struggling in your love relationships or you hop from one relationship to the next without ever feeling really fulfilled, you may be struggling with love addiction.
Here are the 10 Signs You Have a Problem With Love Addiction:
When you fall in love, you assign magical qualities to the woman you are falling in love with. You idealize her and become preoccupied with that idealization. It actually hurts to be away from her.
You feel a physical high when you fall in love as the brain releases love chemicals, called dopamine and oxytocin. These are all normal parts of falling in love but if you find yourself addicted to the initial feelings of falling in love, and seek out this feeling over and over, you may be a love addict.
You give away the store right from the get go. You fall in love quickly and let go of all your healthy boundaries. You become too trusting and get emotionally involved before getting to know her, neglecting to find out if you two are even compatible or not.
You look to your partner for constant validation and have unrealistic expectations of having your partner fulfill you on every level. Why is this a red flag? To be a truly healthy individual you need to be able to find self-acceptance and fulfillment within your self. You need to be able to self-regulate without counting on another to do that for you. Every person has childhood trauma and this trauma can manifest in seeking out validation from others.
You want to please your partner at all costs even if it starts to hurt your relationships with your friends, your family, your children and your job. The love addict can quite literally abandon and neglect her own life in order to please her partner.
You dive into your feelings for other women as a way to stave off deep feelings of unworthiness, emptiness, loneliness, sadness, grief, anger, guilt, shame and feeling unlovable. By avoiding these feelings you perpetuate them and put a great burden on your partner to fulfill these needs for you.
You can’t tolerate being alone. Some women jump from relationship to relationship without taking the time to figure out why the last one didn’t work. They pursue a new love interest after their last breakup and at all costs.
You have unrealistic expectations of your partner, pushing them to put you first in their life above all else. This absolute demonstration of love is the only way for your partner to prove to you that they truly love you. It is a grave mistake to expect your partner to abandon their own life. This will eventually lead to anger and resentment from your partner. Having an independent and healthy life of your own is the true path to develop deep and meaningful relationships with another person.
When your partner eventually disappoints you, (and they will) you take off in search of the next, real, true love, without doing the work of healing the reasons behind these endless and relentless high expectations of your partner.
And finally, the last way to tell you may be a love addict is you find yourself absorbed by romance and hold it as the ultimate goal of your love relationship. Being addicted to romance novels, romantic stories in film and television can literally put you in your own little bubble and end up keeping the one that you love…out.
There is Help for Love Addiction
If you feel you may be struggling with love addiction, there is help for you. There are helpful 12-step programs that address sex and love addiction specifically. They can help you connect with others dealing with the same issues. Being a part of a community is a great place to find much needed support. Read through my blog for other articles on healthy dating and other topics and resources on love and relationships. There are also many books you can read to give you more insight on this issue. Pick up a copy of my newly released book Lesbian Love Addiction; Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong, you can get deeper insight into love addiction specifically for lesbians here. Finally, you can look for a therapist who specializes in the treatment of Love Addiction and get some one-on-one help.
I want you to know that you are not alone in your struggle, there are many people out there who are dealing with these same issues and there are more and more helpful resources on the web. When you are ready to find a healthy love relationship, there is hope!
For a sneak peak of my new book, click here.
— Dr. Lauren Costine