Robert Palmer may have made Love Addiction look glamourous but to the real Love Addict it’s anything but.
Love addiction seems so romantic, doesn’t it. One just can’t live without you. One can’t breathe the air of life without your sweet sweetness wafting through the air. One can’t sleep without driving by your house; showing up unannounced at your workplace or making a court date with regards to that restraining order you took out on him. Is stalking his way of showing you affection? Or have you ever stalked someone for their affection – calling it loyalty or devotion? Have you ever loved someone so much that it hurt? Have you ever wondered why loving someone so hurts so much?
Love addiction as defined by Wikipedia is “a human behavior in which people become addicted to the feeling of being in love. Love addicts can take on many different behaviors. Love addiction is common; however, most love addicts do not realize they are addicted to love. Love addiction can be treated with various recovery techniques, most of which are similar to recovery from other addictions such as sex addiction and alcoholism, through group meetings and support groups.”
Love addiction centers around fantasy – and the fantasy centers around creating one magic person. This magic person can be anyone who strikes a chord, makes a connection or weaves his/her way into the Love Addict’s heart – a heart that fears rejection above all else. This rejection makes the Love Addict disregard or ignore behaviors of the one magic person. The magic person is an illusion – a flesh and bone hope that the Love Addict creates for thrills, chills and the sheer feeling of being in love. In the book, Obsessive Love by Susan Forward, Margaret, a love addict, talks about her preoccupation with Phil saying, “I can’t believe I did all those things. The phone calls, the drive-bys, the letters, the tantrums, the threats….it just wasn’t me. But it took me so long to him out of my head. The way he looked, the way he smelled, the way he touched me…he drove me crazy.”
Sound familiar? Love addiction in a nutshell will make you nuts. I know because I am one – a recovering one. For me, my love addiction was born out of feelings of inadequacy, abandonment and that I was never good enough. The funny thing about feelings is if you feel them too much they become a reality. I attracted unavailable, uncommitted, uninterested men because I felt like I was less-than-good-enough. If you think you’re less you will find less than you think.
The tragedy about being a love addict is that we tend to fall prey to the worst kind of people. Our need to be needed is so strong that it supersedes (and frankly drop-kicks) any common sense to the curb. You wake up in a haze of fantasy realizing that the honeymoon isn’t only over, it never began in the first place. That A-ha moment can lead some Love Addicts to suicide – love withdrawal can be as powerful as heroin withdrawal depending on the individual.
I will be focusing a lot of attention on Love Addiction because I feel that’s important to spread the word. If you are picking up what I’m putting down here – don’t worry. You are not alone. There are support groups, books and loads of information on how to survive love addiction – but first I think it’s important to know if you have one. Click here to take the quiz.