Love can be exciting and can make us feel whole, but sometimes we can use love like a drug and cause ourselves and others harm. Love addiction is a type of process addiction, a compulsive behavioral addiction that typically cannot be totally abstained from like alcohol or drugs, but can still feel as out of control and can cause significant damage both internally and externally. Individuals with love addiction can find themselves addicted to the euphoria linked with new relationships or the intensity of being in unhealthy relationships.
Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘this relationship is not good for me, but I can’t keep myself from going back’ or ‘I only seem to fall for the crazy ones’ or ‘I can’t seem to be attracted to someone who treats me well’. If you believe this is an accurate depiction of your current relationship, take a moment to ask yourself the below questions*:
- Are you in a break up and then make up cycle with a romantic partner?
- Do you often think to yourself (or close friends tell you) that this person is not good for you?
- After you two have been apart for a few days, do you get to a point where you feel empty, lost or agitated without this person?
- During the days immediately following a breakup with this person, do you experience withdrawal symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, eating, or carrying out other self-care activities?
- Do you need emotional intensity in order to feel alive?
- Do you feel “high” when the two of you re-connect after a fight or a falling out?
- Do you have a pattern of cheating on partners out of fear of being rejected or abandoned?
- Do you ever feel obsessed with or cyber stalk your partner or former partner
Regardless of whether you think you may be addicted to love or not, it may be helpful to check in with yourself and your patterns connected to love. In February’s open psychodrama workshop, Is It Love or Is It Addiction, we will focus on discerning what authentic love really means for each of us and how it differs from love addiction. All people of all gender identities are welcome.
To reserve a spot in the workshop, please register in advance through the below Eventbrite link:
I’m looking forward to working with you!
– Valerie Simon, LCSW, TEP
*Sources: Dr. Susan Campbell, YourTango and SLAAfws.org website