Love addiction may not seem dangerous to some – but for people who develop this process addiction, it can cause a great deal of pain and suffering to themselves and others. The disorder is characterised by an extreme preoccupation with love, usually in the context of romantic relationships or intense friendships.
Typically, love addicts form emotional attachments to love avoidants – people who are incapable of, or unwilling to, return their affections. Love addicts usually have high expectations of a love object as they first get to know them. This usually ends in extreme sadness, anger or feelings of abandonment, when the relationship fails or when the fantasy of a love relationship shatters.
Addiction rehab, counselling and trauma therapy are all effective treatments for love addiction. Depending on individual circumstances, including the severity and consequences of the addictive patterns, there are residential and non-residential treatment programmes. Please contact UKAT to discuss rehab for love addiction.
20 Questions to Ask Yourself about Love Addiction
- Is it very hard or impossible to control your thoughts about love, usually about a specific person (love object)?
- Do you spend a lot of time and energy seeking information about a love object – going to places they hang out or getting to know their friends, for example?
- Do you feel most attracted to people who are unavailable or distant? For example, this could be people who are married, live abroad, celebrity figures or people who have rejected your affections.
- Do you fantasise about potential romantic partners – imagining specific scenarios where you are together?
- Do you seek a high or an escape in love relationships – whether they are imagined or real?
- In getting to know a romantic partner, does your behaviour feel secretive?
- Do you idealise romantic partners – either before a relationship begins or when you first start dating or get together?
- Do you quickly lose your sense of identity in a new relationship – for example, mirroring your romantic partner’s interests, rather than enjoying activities you like?
- Does it feel unbearable when you start to see things you don’t like about a love object?
- Do you use your love for a partner, or their perceived love for you, to excuse or justify bad behaviour in a relationship – such as bullying, verbal aggression or physical violence?
- Do you feel very uncomfortable, lonely or unworthy if you’re not in a relationship or pursuing a love object?
- Do friendships feel very inferior to love relationships? Do you drop friends when you’re attracted to someone or in a new relationship?
- Do feel a compulsive need to talk about a love object or romantic partner? This can include going round in circles in conversations with friends, trying to make sense of their communication (or lack of communication) with you?
- Do you compulsively check your phone, email or social media for messages or updates from a love object?
- Do you feel extreme disappointment or sadness, when there is no contact or unsatisfactory responses from a love object?
- Have you ever had thoughts of, or attempted, self-harm or suicide, particularly when a relationship hasn’t worked out, or a love object has turned you down?
- Do all other activities pale in comparison to love?
- Is it hard or impossible to concentrate on your work or studies, when you find a new love object or start a new relationship?
- Do feel sick, very emotional, withdrawn or depressed, when a love object disappears from your life or rejects your advances?
- Do you feel anger towards love objects, or intense self-loathing, when love relationships don’t work out?
If you identify strongly with these questions, then please get in touch with UKAT to talk about how we can help you recover from love addiction. You can call or message us at any time of the day or night.