Love Addiction – The causes – The signs and impacts of Love Addiction
When talking about love, we usually think of positive emotions and experiences. Love addiction, however, is the complete opposite. While it may seem to an outsider as though love addicts are just seeking love, they’re actually more interested in the feeling of being in a new relationship, rather than being in a healthy, loving relationship. Love addicts are usually codependent – this is what drives their need to be in a relationship or intimate with someone at all times, but it’s extremely unhealthy.
The causes of Love Addiction
It’s hard to pinpoint what causes love addictions for each individual addict, as there are so many ways the addiction could begin. However, most believe the addiction usually stems from traumatic early life experiences such as abandonment or childhood abuse. These experiences sadly lead people to lack the self-confidence needed to build healthy relationships, whether romantic or platonic. Love addicts are often labelled as “clingy” as they become more and more desperate to maintain these already unhealthy relationships for fear of being rejected or abandoned due to the fact that some may never have experienced love as a child.
The signs and impacts of Love Addiction
One of the most obvious signs of a love addiction is that the addict will fall in love easily and constantly crave being in a relationship as they feel they are too vulnerable and unable to cope alone. Sex is often used as a coping mechanism when an addict isn’t in a relationship, as it helps them feel less lonely. Addicts will have sex with multiple different people in order to feel as though they are in a relationship and can sometimes mistake meaningless sex for love, leading them to feel they need to keep the person they are sleeping with around, so when the person they have slept with leaves, the addict may be left feeling unnecessarily used and abandoned.
An addict might also unintentionally be prone to putting themselves and others in danger by returning to a relationship which was unhappy, unhealthy and sometimes in the worst case scenario, abusive in order to save themselves from the vulnerability of not being in a relationship.
How Love Addiction can be treated
Whilst at the moment, there are no ways to treat someone for a love addiction specifically, doctors and therapists believe that cognitive behavioral therapy (which is usually used to treat drug addictions) is a useful treatment. CBT allows therapists to help addicts resolve their problems by helping them understand what caused them to become addicted in the first place, whilst also showing them ways in which they can adapt certain behaviours they may have picked up due to the addiction into more positive ones.
An online form of CBT known as computer-assisted cognitive-behavioral therapy is also sometimes offered to patients who are either unable to find transport to see a face-to-face therapist or to those who live in areas where there are no local therapists available.