What Is Love Addiction?
“Love is a drug” (not only a good song but also a powerful statement)
We all know how powerful the feeling is when you’re in Love – the “high”, the “buzz” – It’s contagious and feels great.
But this feeling has an extreme form that’s pathologic – it’s called Love Addiction.
One definition of love addiction: “when one person loves another with compulsive intensity and in ways that are not to the best interest of either person”
Another description: “Someone who is dependent on, enmeshed with, and compulsively focused on taking care of another person.” (p. melody)
Love addicted patients describe difficulties with being “lost in my own fantasy world”, “I literally follow the person everywhere”, “I can’t feel anything unless I’m thinking about him”.
Love addicts often don’t have the skill set to engage in emotionally intimate relationships and they usually have difficulties with boundaries. A love addiction can have serious negative mental consequences and can benefit from behavioral addiction treatment.
Do you have difficulties with dating and relationships?
Many people are having a hard time connecting with others because they are stuck in the same old bad habits, patterns and defenses.
In order to become more effective in relationships, we have to understand ourselves – our brains, our habits, our defenses, “why we pick certain people” and “why we do what we do”.
Our childhood experiences, specifically our level of emotional attachment and level of drama while growing up, can directly influence our choice of romantic partners and friends in our adult lives. Our early experiences can also alter the way we deal with anxiety, conflict, love, sex, finances, during our present relationships.
Men and women have different brains, different experiences and different ways of looking at the world.
Men are not just “women with a lot of hair”.
Women are not just “really emotional men”.
Because our genders are different structurally, functionally and emotionally, we can enhance our ability to develop good relationships by understanding the differences between men and women as well as understanding our own specific brain, our experiences and ultimately our own “owners manual” or “blueprint”.
Men tend to focus on one thing at a time (stepping over the dirty laundry to get a sandwich) which helps them to get things done. They need time to transition from one focus to another.
Women tend to be more integrated in their environment (it might even speak to them) and they can spread their energy (diffuse focus) by being receptive and doing many things at once.
You can see how easy it is for men to expect women to have a single focus and get frustrated when they don’t.
And how women might expect men to be more aware in their environment and get frustrated when they’re not.
This is just a simple example. There are many more distinct differences that, when recognized, can help an individual or couple to navigate more effectively in the dating & relationship world.