Love Addiction / Love Avoidance
Love can be a Battlefield. Declare Independence on Addiction to Love
Our media is dominated by the idea of the perfect love story. Romance novels, romantic comedy movies, teen dramas, popular music; some are quaint and cute, others emotional or even tragic. But all feature idealized love as their core plot device.
It’s no surprise that many of us grow up with unrealistic expectations about love and romance that eventually lead to heartache and disappointment.
But what happens when this idea of perfect, idealized true love becomes an obsession? Can someone actually become addicted to love? The answer is yes.
For most people love and attraction are a natural part of life. Most of us can differentiate between an idealized Hollywood romance and reality. But for love addicts, love becomes a source of addictive emotional highs that distort the real nature of a relationship.
An addiction to love may not initially seem dangerous … but it’s a very serious mental and emotional affliction that interferes with a person’s ability to establish healthy, genuine relationships.
As with any addictive substance, those addicted to love can become paranoid, and defensive and even experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Love addicts have highly unrealistic romantic expectations that put unfair pressure on their partners. They are terrified of being abandoned and will do anything to prevent it.
Many love addicts experienced a lack of nurturing and love during childhood.
Literally starved for the nurturing they didn’t receive as children, they search to fill the emptiness left by their parents’ neglect. For them, even a highly abusive relationship is better than being alone.
When a child’s emotional needs are neglected they feel unwanted and unloved. This establishes a powerful lie in the child’s mind that can eventually lead to becoming dependent on love.
They feel they’re unworthy of being loved, and the only way to make the pain go away is to find someone who will give them all of the attention they were denied as children.
This kind of expectation places impossible responsibility on the partner of a love addict.
Realizing that their emotional pain and feelings of worthlessness don’t go away with their partner’s affections, but still terrified of being abandoned, the love addict can become resentful of their partner.
The early days of a love addict’s relationships are euphoric and happy. The addicted person feels like they have met their true love, that they are destined to be with them. The fantasy creates a surge of endorphins–a literal high from love.
But as the relationship progresses, the idealized romantic dream becomes a nightmare. Coming down from their high, they become emotionally needy, clinging to their partner.
Overwhelmed by the responsibility and pressure placed on them, the love addict’s partner begins separating themselves from the relationship.
Unable to accept reality, the love addict holds onto fantasy for as long as possible, unwilling to face the fact that their partner is moving away from them.
When the truth finally becomes impossible to ignore, they’ll begin a downward spiral of emotions. Feelings of hopelessness, abandonment, depression and panic are common.
Tormented by loneliness, the abandoned love addict will seek a new partner to heal their emotional wounds, thus beginning the cycle again.
The need to be loved at all costs is a serious mental condition that begins in childhood when you’re denied the nurturing, support and affection of a loving family. If left untreated, this addiction can have the same devastating effects as chemical dependency, alcoholism or sexual addiction.
Love addiction is often connected with co-dependency, sexual addiction and abusive relationships, as well as various mental and emotional illnesses.
If you feel you’re plagued by fears of abandonment, difficulty functioning without a romantic partner, and repeatedly resorting to desperate measures in order to ensure that your partner does not leave you, you can experience relief by talking with a professional therapist.
Don’t despair. There are treatment options available which can help you to recognize the experiences which caused your addiction to develop… and help you learn to cope with your loneliness and heartache.
You’re not alone. Don’t try to resolve your heartache alone.
Contact us today. We’ll help you find solutions.
Love Avoidance: Conquer Your Fear of Intimacy and be Fulfilled
Are you afraid to love and be loved? Do you feel overwhelmed by your partner’s emotional needs, and find yourself turning to things like work, alcohol, pornography, or infidelity to detach yourself from them?
Or maybe you feel smothered by your partners attention, wishing for more time alone, feeling obligated to give the time you give, and eager to find solace afterward?
Many musicians have built their careers on expressing the hurt and pain they’ve received from love lost or rejected. Shakespeare’s tragic plays reveal the sinister side of love gone wrong: jealousy, emotional torment, murder, and death.
And yet we all strive for the very thing which often brings us so much pain. The chance to find genuine connection with others, be it friendship, romance or the bond between a parent and child. We hunger for these connections and yearn to achieve them.
But for some, the pain is too much to bear. When fear of rejection, betrayal and loss overshadows the possibility of the happiness and joy that love can bring, you may find yourself desperate to avoid intimate relationships.
Love avoidants are often people who have suffered great losses and pain in their lives. Terrified of experiencing the same emotional trauma again, they take great measures to detach themselves emotionally from others.
If you are love avoidant, you might not actively avoid love itself. Love avoidants do form relationships, but are unable to allow themselves to be vulnerable with their partners. The love avoidant person is often unconscious of this behavior.
Fearful of becoming too attached or vulnerable, a love avoidant may balk at the thought of commitment, leading them to run when they start getting too close to another person.
If they manage to stay in a relationship, they may feel that something is not right or lacking, and be filled with a sense of resentment towards their partner, when their own resistance to intimacy is a major problem.
The partner of someone who is love avoidant may be at a loss to understand why their mate is becoming emotionally distant…and this often leads to conflict.
While the love avoidant may form addictions as they try to keep themselves detached–work, substance abuse, sexual affairs etc–their spouse might have no idea what triggered this behavior and begin to blame themselves.
Love avoidants often inexplicably attract love addicts. Initially the relationship may work, with the love addict showering attention and love on the love avoidant, causing them to feel accepted and cared for.
As the love addict begins bonding themselves to their partner, clinging to them for support, the love avoidant partner will inevitably begin distancing themselves, walling off their emotions from their partner.
While love addicts require constant emotional reassurance and attention as proof of a loving relationship, the love avoidant person often feels that their love is proven simply by supporting their partner on an economic and physical level.
For the emotionally avoidant person, love becomes an obligation. When their partner expresses distress over the lack of emotional intimacy in the relationship, a love avoidant person may become overwhelmed, turning to pornography, substance abuse, or workaholism as a distraction from their frustration.
If it is difficult for you to be emotionally intimate with other people, if you are terrified of commitment, or feel smothered … or love your partner but find yourself compulsively drawing away from them and seeking distraction, you may be love avoidant.
The origin of this behavior is often rooted in traumatic childhood experiences which caused significant emotional damage to the individual. Almost always the cycle of avoidance can be traced back to a destructive relationship with a parent.
Through our program, you can learn to recognize how your early relationships hurt you, making it difficult to trust people and become emotionally bonded with loved ones in your adult life.
By realizing how the pattern of avoidance began, you can put a stop to the destructive cycle that has robbed you of fulfillment. You really can become vulnerable, receptive, and responsive, and enjoy the benefits of a trusting and lasting love relationship.
Contact us today and begin the change you need in your life.