Can Love Be Addictive?
anonymous Asks ...
Can a person get addicted to the feeling of being in love? I think I can never stick it through with a relationship because I so want to feel that new love feeling all the time and it never lasts like that no matter how good the person is I am with at the time.
Cynthia Klatte Says ...
Unfortunately, yes. Human beings can become psychologically addicted to anything that brings us pleasure- alcohol, tobacco, shopping, gambling, running, etc. And few things are more pleasurable than being in love! While there is no physiological dependency, like with alcohol, there is a rush of "feel good" chemicals that get released when we feel that euphoria during that early romantic phase. These chemicals are associated with feelings of arousal, pleasure and satiation. We can become dependent on these “feel good” chemicals to self medicate whatever is ailing us. Some people can addicted to the sex in the love relationship, some may become codependent with the partner. Others may be dependent on the boost in self esteem that comes from another being attracted to them and being in love with them. They may have difficulty feeling good about themselves outside of a relationship. It can manifest in many forms and serve different purposes. So there are different types of love addiction. How do you know if you're addicted to love? There is a self assessment questionnaire that may helpful that is published online by Love Addicts Anonymous, a self-help group, at http://www.itsallaboutlove.com/love_addiction.htm. In general, when it comes to any type of addiction, some red flags would be unsuccessful attempts at stopping the problem behavior (which could be exploring new potential partners, ending relationships early out of boredom, etc), spending a lot of time engaging in the problem behavior or thinking about the problem behavior, other people expressing concern about it, hiding it or lying about it, and experiencing negative consequences as a result of it and still continuing to engage in the behavior. Another useful site is http://www.slaafws.org/ which is the home page for Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. Another resource is http://www.recoverynation.com/main/la.htm which talks about relationship addiction and recovery. There are many ways to work on these issues, from getting into individual therapy, attending a self-help group, or doing some reading, research and introspection. Good luck to you.