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wundayatta's avatar

What do you know about love addiction? Any personal experience?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) February 6th, 2010

What’s the difference between healthy love and love that is part of an addiction? What are ways of coping with the addiction? What can be done to cope with withdrawal. What is the difference between love addiction and romantic love?

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12 Answers

mea05key's avatar

it is an addiction when a person treat the person he/she loves as something that belongs to him/her.

marinelife's avatar

I am pretty skeptical that love addiction even exists.

The difference between love addiction and romantic love is that love addiction deals with fantasy rather than reality. It is also about getting love rather than giving love.

Oxymoron's avatar

Love addiction is when you can’t be without the person you’re with. It’s having the feeling of loss whenever that person is not around and not being able to function on your own. A healthy love is not needing to be together but a healthy wanting to be together.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I wasn’t addicted to love, only to my lover. We were like one person in two bodies. We completed each other. Her needs and happiness were at least as important to me as my own, usually more so. If that is love addiction, so be it, but it only applied to one person.

life_after_2012's avatar

i weeded my self off the stuff a long time ago.

phoebusg's avatar

Oxymoron is touching on something important. That is key to loving. I like to call it, loving oneself. Decide to be happy with yourself, when you see yourself in the mirror. Be – happy when by yourself. The only thing you can count on so long you will be alive will be – yourself. Now, when you decide – because it is a decision – and set your perception toward independent happiness – you can now safely share that with someone. Sharing is great, given you have decided on happiness – sharing attenuates it.

There are addictive parts to passion, that sense of love. The physical addiction, just like any drug that affects your dopaminergic pathways (cocaine etc). Your brain is used to higher stimulation through dopamine, oxytocin and a whole bunch of others without getting too technical. So yes, you are right – there is an addiction from the system itself – I would call it a physical addiction. The difference with other ‘drugs’ is that you’re not really using a substance, but your brain is producing more of it, due to stimulation.
I could go on and on about this, but what’s more important is to realize that – you have to treat the physical parts as an addiction. Find an alternative, such as nicotine patches for smokers, it won’t be the same, but at least weaning yourself off will ease the withdrawal a bit.

The psychological part of the addiction. This is your thoughts, associations etc. The closer you integrate the other person into the way you see the world, think, live – breathe. The harder it will be to disassociate. But it’s not impossible, actually, it will happen naturally. But while it’s happening, you can help it along by looking at different perspectives. As mentioned above, you can never know that you, and him or her will be together forever. If you lock your perspective around that, you will become inflexible and more hurt when and if it happens. That said, being realistically romantic is not a bad thing. So long you balance it with a pre-acceptance of any number of future possibilities.

Should any more questions arise, rather than answered, let me know.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think of love addiction as an addiction involving wanting to feel feelings of love, the high for every new person the addict sets their sights and energies on – as a side note, I have ‘addicted to love’ tattooed on me but it was a silly homage to traditional tattoo work in America – it is the only tattoo on my body done in the traditional style having hearts and wings and a banner.

Cruiser's avatar

I would ask Tiger Woods.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I imagine it as being addicted to the infatuation part of love or even more, accepting and obsessing on infatuation and calling it love. When the highs wear off then the person geared to that looks for the next big rush or the next person who can spark a new infatuation. I think a fixated person is capable of giving love as well as receiving it but I do think their fears and insecurities drive them to want more than what most people look at as evidence of love. Lover’s grow drained, exasperated and confused by the obsessed’s great neediness which causes them to pull back which causes the obsessed to really freak out and then everything goes, boom.

wundayatta's avatar

Boom, boom, boom,

I can’t imagine being able to be relaxed about it. I never trust that anyone will stay enamored of me. I don’t care whether it’s a relationship, or making something, or answering questions. I feel like I’m only as good as my last answer or gift or aid or whatever. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be able to back off, or to be secure that someone would love you even if you fucked up. Big time.

They always leave. Better to chase them away than to wait until they go on their own, except I can never bear to chase them away. It’s very nerve-wracking, waiting for the axe to fall all the time. In case anyone wonders why I am the way I am.

Thank you all for your answers. They have been very illuminating.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@wundayatta: You can never bear to chase them away so instead you intensify and amplify all your fears until they either leave or you mistrust the one who stays. You think, maybe just a little bit?

wundayatta's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Yes. You seem to be very much on target.

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