What is an Addiction to Love?
Being addicted to love means having on overwhelming need for adoration, attention, recognition and even physical touch. This is coupled with the initial rush of having these needs met by an individual or “new kid on the block so to speak.” The deep emptiness that the individual holds is now being filled, which gives a great sense of relief, and this is not unlike any other type of addiction pattern.
Chasing a new target becomes the drug of choice used to medicate that which we do not know how to address or overcome ourselves by truly loving, supportive means.
Unfortunately this initial high is short lived, as those intensity of feelings cannot be maintained, what was once the greatest love story ever quickly descends into a horror movie of co-dependency, insecurities, controlling type behaviour, emotional, mental or even physical abuse patterns, constant bickering and fighting, and of course the barrage of text messages or calls.
What is happening here is the demand within the individual that is no longer being met at the level that is required to give them relief, so desperate and demanding type behaviour begins to surface. This type of behaviour incites feelings of guilt and unworthiness in both individuals. Unfortunately this sort of relationship can be very difficult to break away from.
So what is love?
The question here really needs to be – “was this really love in the first place or something else?” From what my understanding of what love is, it is certainly something else! I understand love to be a gentle and unimposing way of being, that is compassionate and deeply caring and accepting of others. Love is who we are not something we do or get from someone else. Love is an expression that we share. Love is complete and full and totally without need.
How to overcome this addiction?
To overcome this pattern we need to start with honesty. By being truly honest with ourselves it will direct us to finding true answers and ultimately true healing. I feel it is important to get some support, someone we feel we can trust and open up to; a professional and experienced therapist is geared to provide the kind of support needed here and is one of the best ways to go.
Any type of addiction has a pattern that needs to be identified and broken and replaced with new more loving ways of being. The bottom line here is to overcome your addiction to love you must start to love yourself first, where there is no self-love there is an emptiness and this is what drives the addiction.
There are many reasons for the lack of self-love but is usually comes from not being loved, respected and met for who we truly are from a very young age, we then hold onto these hurts, shut down, create false beliefs about ourselves and decide that all people cannot be trusted, the world cannot be trusted. We stop expressing from the love that we are deep down, we instead express from our hurts and live in protection and simply do not live in a loving way with ourselves or others.
So right there creates a deep well that must be filled, so if it cannot be filled with true love anything else will do that gives a sense relief, even if short lived, so we confuse what gives a relief as being the answer, thinking it is love which it surely is not in this case. Take the time to build your relationship with self one that it is solid and true, and based on love, then we can go forward and build that with another.
Kate Chorley is an experienced psychotherapist and couples counsellor, to find out more contact here or phone 0402134097