Falling in love is a natural condition, as old as humanity. However, both men and women can suffer from too much of what should be a good thing. Psychologists identify a certain type of unhealthy dependency on love as love addiction.
There are a number of causes, but the bottom line is that people suffering from love addiction do not love from the heart, but with the mind. This is not to say that platonic relationships belong in this category. It’s that some people are so enamored with being in love, that they must be in a love relationship, no matter what the cost. Unfortunately, the cost is always emotional and sometimes physical.
Typically, people with love addiction are also quite insecure in their own self esteem. They may not feel adequate or worthy of love, yet are so starved for affection, they will nurture a most unhealthy relationship for the sake of love. Love addiction is not gender specific. Both men and women put up with gross abuse from their so-called love partner just in order to avoid being alone. Some go after a man or woman with money, even though they are not in love, reasoning that they can ‘learn’ to love someone who can provide the means for a stylish lifestyle.
In some cases, both parties are victims of the love addiction syndrome. Each has low self esteem, but brings something to the love table which they hope will keep the other entranced. Perhaps the man is lacking in looks, is domineering and desires control, while the woman is attractive, but with childhood abuse in her past that has damaged her emotionally. The man in this scenario derives satisfaction by having an attractive woman he can control. The woman falls prey to this man who says he loves her, thinking him a ‘strong’ man who rescues her from spinsterhood. The fact is that neither person truly loves the other. Each is perpetuating a situation which is in their emotional comfort zone, allowing them to go through the motions of being in love.
You may have met couples like this, wondering just what they see in each other. This type of relationship is always dependent on having someone, anyone, in their life.
Should a love addicted personality be faced with the end of a relationship, desperation sets in quickly. This individual tends to form new relationships in a heartbeat. Without the veneer of love in their life, they feel lost and alone.
The more secure and self confident you are, the less likely it is that you will fall into a love addiction cycle. As love addicts become older, their relationships grow ever more superficial.
This is not what love should be! If you find yourself chasing love to the exclusion of all else, you’d be wise to seek the services of a psychologist. You need to learn to overcome your insecurities. True love is a wonderful experience.