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How To Overcome A Love Addiction

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:

  1. Cling to unhealthy partners

  2. Choose partners who are emotionally unavailable

  3. Mistake sexual experiences as romantic compatibility 

  4. Inability to maintain relationships after newness has worn off

  5. Extremely fearful to upset partner, therefore place them on a pedestal

  6. Find it unbearable to be alone when not in a relationship

  7. Using sex as manipulation to “hook” a partner

  8. Constantly search for sexual encounters or new romantic partners to fulfill the void within

  9. Seek emotional comfort from a partner to feel alive

  10. Replay the fantasy of falling in love 

  11. Brooding over the pain of breaking up 

  12. Daily thoughts are consumed about your partner in an obsessive way

  13. Find it challenging to accept when a relationship is over

  14. Depend on the relationship as a sense of identity and purpose

  15. Do not have a life outside of the relationship

  16. Show neediness and dependency on your partner for validation

  17. Feeling unlovable or undesirable due to the lack of interaction with your partner

  18. Change your beliefs to be accepted by your partner 

  19. 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. 

The good news is you can overcome a love addiction like any other addiction. 

Are you ready for a healthy relationship? 

Here are 3 tools to overcome a relationship addiction: 

1.Journaling Your Emotions

Journaling is one of the most effective ways to process your emotions. It allows you to reflect on your experiences and unleash any built up emotion so you do not displace them onto your connection with a partner. The active handwriting motion is known to be therapeutic in the letting go process. Holding onto resentment, anger, frustration, or agony will only keep you from reaching your goal of healing. 

When journaling ask yourself these hard questions:

  1. How did I play a role in this relationship? 

  2. Am I a respectful partner? Does my partner respect my relationship values? 

  3. Do I seek the same type of unavailable partners? 

  4. How can I fully love and accept myself?

  5. What will help me feel okay being alone? 

  6. What purpose does the relationship serve if it is unstable? 

The more you are in tune with your emotions the better you will understand yourself and be able to manage them. Love addicts usually operate on emotion versus value which typically leads to highs and lows of their relationships. A healthy relationship is built on mutual alignment of values and the ability to be independent outside of the relationship while managing your emotional state.