It is often we hear about friends, lovers or even family members struggling with being addicted to street drugs, alcohol, pain medication, sex, work, retail goods, etc. In fact, addictions can come in many various forms and severity of cases.
Usually when someone has an addiction, it is an uncontrollable desire and urge to engage in an activity that often leads to self-destruction down the road.
But, what about an emotional or love addiction?
They often go undetected because they are much harder to recognize since there is not an addiction to a substance or materialistic good involved. In fact, going through a break-up, or falling deeply in love, is a very normal process. But, when a person consumes their life around a lover this is when it is no longer a healthy love, but a toxic love.
Things become unhealthy and enmeshed when you are co-dependent upon the emotions you feel for this person. You continuously search for the ultimate high, giving you an intense pleasure of ecstasy. The emotional sensation becomes an obsession and it feels as though your life is only meaningful when you experience the euphoria.
Here are some signs you may have a relationship addiction:
Cling to unhealthy partners
Choose partners who are emotionally unavailable
Mistake sexual experiences as romantic compatibility
Inability to maintain relationships after newness has worn off
Extremely fearful to upset partner, therefore place them on a pedestal
Find it unbearable to be alone when not in a relationship
Using sex as manipulation to “hook” a partner
Constantly search for sexual encounters or new romantic partners to fulfill the void within
Seek emotional comfort from a partner to feel alive
Replay the fantasy of falling in love
Brooding over the pain of breaking up
Daily thoughts are consumed about your partner in an obsessive way
Find it challenging to accept when a relationship is over
Depend on the relationship as a sense of identity and purpose
Do not have a life outside of the relationship
Show neediness and dependency on your partner for validation
Feeling unlovable or undesirable due to the lack of interaction with your partner
Change your beliefs to be accepted by your partner
Looking for the constant highs and lows
Those who typically experience a relationship addiction, often suffer from depression, low-self esteem, or childhood trauma. They use the relationship as an external source to feel better about the state of their internal self, only to feel worse when the relationship comes to an end. This often leads to a repetitive cycle of severe depression and feelings of emptiness.