"Change occurs when one becomes what he/she is, not when he/she tries to become what he is not"
Love addicts tend to "love" others in maladaptive, compulsive, and self defeating ways that result in a diminished capacity of healthy or loving relationships with another person and the "self". Love addicts can become obsessed and dependent to any type of person. Most commonly-- love addicts become dependent to romantic love relationships. The type of person they typically draw in relationships is the emotionally unavailable Love Avoidant; (also see The Nine Love Addict Types).
Maladaptive Messages, Beliefs, Distortions from Childhood
Love addicts tend to carry over unhealthy learned-adaptations and abandonment issues into their adult lives and relationships. They generally have a deep sense of being unlovable, unworthy, and less than, and therefore need a person in a relationship to feel alive, valued, and worthy.
When most people first begin a romantic relationship and fall in love, it is normal to feel some passion, euphoria, and excitement. There is that glitter in the eye, that new smile, and the hope of a happy future with the new person. Chemicals in the brain are enhanced when love is new--these are our "happy chemicals"-- the dopamine neurotransmitter. In a normal healthy process of falling in love, there is a core component of "reality".
In their fantasy, reality is greatly distorted when attachment to another person occurs. They disconnect all logic rational and replace it with distortions and denial. Reality is thrown out and delusion is thrown in. The romantic "high" they feel when falling for another is created by a fantasy of their partner and what the future will bring with their new "King Savior" or "Princess-Wonder Woman".
In their infatuation, the love addict never notices who their partner truly is. Love addicts 'make-up' who they want their partner to be, and ignore who their partner really is. The obsession to a person (their object- drug of choice) allows the love addict to feel alive, have a sense of purpose, and gain a sense of meaning and self-worth in the world. If the love addict had any purpose or sense of self before the relationship, it is lost in the dependency to the fantasy.
As the relationship continues on and reality starts setting in, love addicts become angry and resentful because of their partner's failure to meet expectations (expectations that are impossible for any person to meet). The partner's unavailability and increased avoidance, triggers anxiety and feelings of abandonment which causes them to smother and demand more and more as they try to get that euphoric feeling back (or a feeling of normalcy) and the toxic dance begins between the two.
As the love addict desperately tries to get the partners attention, the partner further creates distance by focusing outside the relationship (other addictions or compulsive behavior's for the avoidant addict are common), and the love addicts denial slowly begins to crumble. It is like the cocaine addict losing his supply of the drug--withdrawal symptoms begin to set in, and reality becomes more present. But even when it becomes crystal clear that the relationship is going nowhere, the love addict will fight with every nook and cranny to avoid the inevitable reality of their partner's disengagement and often intolerable behaviors.
For love addicts to recover from this problem involves treatment of the core issues. For example, healing the shame and low self-worth, unhealthy boundaries, breaking the toxic relationship patterns; and changing unhealthy beliefs about what relationships are really supposed to look like. Seek help from a helping professional who specializes in helping people with love addiction. Consider getting help from Jim Hall, MS - Love Addiction Specialist; see Love Addiction Recovery Coaching.
BREAK YOUR LOVE ADDICTION WITH THESE STEPS:
Love Addiction / Love Avoidance: Book