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Is it Love or is it Addiction to Love?
Love or Addiction?
by Laura Russell,
When I was 26
years old, I feel madly in `love' with the man I will name Sam. This is not
his real name. I have never dated anyone named Sam.
At the time, I thought him to be the great love of my life. I romanticized
about him constantly. Addictive in nature, I indulged in that gooey type
of fantasy as I mentally built our future. I wished, hoped and dreamed of
us. It seemed like I breathed in his essence.
I felt lots of emotional torment. I wanted to see him and be with him constantly.
Even when there was no outward upset, inside me there was lots of drama and
excitement. It felt like being with Sam would make me whole and complete...fill
me up emotionally and fix me somehow.
That's addiction. It is not a real relationship. It does not involve real
When we `broke up', I was heartbroken. I mourned and grieved and felt totally
devastated for a long time. This was so absolutely painful; my lifetime emotional
growth began at that time. The motivation to grow was Sam's priceless gift
Finally, I began to date others and learn from each experience. Then I met
David, the real first love of my life. We were together for 27
How were these two relationships different?
An addictive fantasy has roses, music, and starry skies sweeping you off
your feet. Most addictive relationships begin with a view of romance more
like the movies than real life. You will never argue, disagree, or have the
human failings of normal people. People do not fart, belch, need showers
or have bad breath. They don't cheat on you, spend too much money or have
emotional problems. You see one another as an ideal. This is the person of
your secret dreams.
It was a rude shock when I realized many months later that I did not even
know what `Sam' actually looked like. On the other hand, I was always aware
of David's failings. He was definitely aware of mine! An authentic relationship
knows your partner for the person they are.
In addictive relationships, you often have mad, passionate sex. Exciting
and enticing, the sex makes it seem there is a great amount of intimacy.
However, this is only sex. Unfortunately, sex in this real world can only,
at best, take up a small portion of your life.
Genuine intimacy occurs when two people stand slightly apart from one another
True intimacy involves communication. This doesn't happen in your hearts
and flowers fantasy. You need a valid knowledge of your partner's being to
There is more than one type of honesty in relationships: literal honesty
and emotional honesty. With addictive relationships you often have lots of
drama with the obvious lack of literal honesty.
More importantly, emotional honesty is absent. You both want so badly to
fulfill your fantasies that you lie to one another. You tell each other whatever
you think the object of your desires wants to hear. You both say anything
and everything to hold on to the fantasy.
This leaves out the total possibility of ever knowing who your partner is,
how they feel, what they want and their genuine needs.
When I met `Sam', I didn't hear him when he said to me, I love you as much
as I am capable of loving anyone. A few breaths later, he confided, I am
not capable being in a relationship. I only heard that in retrospect. All
the drama and excitement that followed started with my unwillingness to realize
he didn't match my fantasies one iota! That's addiction.
In an addictive relationship, you have unrealistic expectations. Many of
these are not conscious. People think that the object of their obsession
can solve all their emotional problems and fix what is wrong in his or her
life. It seems as though they can fill you up and make up for all your life's
disappointments and injuries.
This is not the case. Real love is deep and satisfying. It provides a respite
from life's woes and a safe place to cocoon. Real love is rich and worthwhile;
but it doesn't fix everything in your life. You both still have all your
problems. And now you have all the problems of your partner as
So, is it love or are you addicted to love?
Compliments of Laura
Russell, Ph.D., MFT
Read more about love addiction
Chasers: The CP Addiction (Falling in Love and Dealing
with a Commitmentphobic Person). You can be reading this insightful
information, written especially for those who are in love with a commitmentphobic
person, in less than two minutes!
published by Tigress Luv & Glass Slipper publishing, the Breakup Gurus. For more
breakup advice and forums please join us at the Lifted Hearts Breakup
Support Forums & Community at http://liftedhearts.com.
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Thank you for visiting! Tigress
Luv, The Breakup Guru
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