Love Addiction Part
One - The Problem
Robert Weiss LCSW, CAS
love is a unique experience which can encourage bonding, intimacy and the
opportunity to play and explore with that special new person.
or without sex, encourages personal growth as each new relationship forces
new insights and self knowledge. The beginning stages of a potential love
relationship can be intense and exciting. Most people easily relate to that
"rush" of first love and romance; the stuff of songs, endless greeting cards
and warm memories. Healthy intimacy, however, is characterized by more than
romance, intensity and sex. Intimacy evolves over time. Loving relationships
develop partially through utilizing those first exhilarating times to begin
to build a bridge toward deeper, longer term closeness.
It can be difficult
for anyone who is not a love or sex addict to understand how love or sexuality
can be exploited or evolve into destructive patterns of addiction and compulsion.
Yet for the Love and Sex Addict, romantic love, sexuality and the closeness
they offer, are experiences most often filled with pitfalls, anxiety and
pain. Living in a sometimes chaotic emotional world of desperation and despair,
fearful of being alone or rejected, the Love Addict endlessly longs for that
Caught up in
the constant search for a partner, the addict's endless intrigue, flirtations,
sexual liaisons and affairs, leave a path of destruction and negative
consequences in their wake of his or her behavior. Ironically, the Love or
Relationship usually has few options to resolve these painful circumstances
except by engaging in even more searching, creating an escalating cycle of
desperation and loss. Just when seemingly "safe" in the rush of a new romantic
affair or liaison the troubled Love or Sex Addict grows steadily more unhappy,
fearful and bored and ends up pushing their partner away or looking outside
the relationship for yet another new intensity or "love" experience.
Thus the cycle
Unlike the healthy
person seeking partnership and sex as a complement to their life, the Love
and Sex Addict searches for something outside of themselves (a person,
relationship or experience) which will provide them with the emotional and
life stability that they themselves lack. Similar to a drug addict or alcoholic,
love and sex addicts use their arousing romantic/sexual experiences in an
attempt to "fix" themselves and remain emotionally stable.
When love and
sexuality are used as a way to cope, rather than a way to grow and share,
partner choice becomes skewed. Compatibility becomes based on "whether or
not you will leave me", "how intense our sex life is" or "how I can hook
you into staying", rather than on whether you might truly become a peer,
friend and companion.
relationships are characterized over time by unhealthy dependency, guilt
and abuse. Convinced of their lack of worth and not feeling truly lovable,
Love and Sex Addicts will use seduction, control, guilt and manipulation
to attract and hold onto romantic partners. At times, despairing of this
cycle of unhappy affairs, broken relationships and sexual liaisons, some
Love or Sex Addicts may have "swearing off" periods (like the bulimic/anorexic
cycles of overeaters). The addict believes that just "not being in the game"
will solve the problem; only to later find the same issues reappearing when
they re-engage in any type of potential intimacy.
of Love or Sex Addiction Include:
- Constantly seeking a sexual partner, new romance or significant other
- An inability or difficulty in being alone
- Consistently choosing partners who are abusive or emotionally unavailable
- Using sex, seduction and intrigue to "hook" or hold onto a partner
- Using sex or romantic intensity to tolerate difficult experiences or emotions
- Missing out on important family, career or social experiences in order to
maintain a sexual high or romantic relationship
- When in a relationship, being detached or unhappy, when out of a relationship,
feeling desperate and alone
- Avoiding sex or relationships for long periods of time to "solve the problem".
- An inability to leave unhealthy relationships despite repeated promises to
self or others
- Returning to previously unmanageable or painful relationships despite promises
to self or others
- Mistaking sexual experiences and romantic intensity for love
For a Love or
Sex addict, the above signs or symptoms consist of pervasive patterns of
emotional instability inevitably leading to isolation, heartache and loss.
Not everyone who has engaged in one or two of the above has an addiction
problem, many people may have their judgement skewed by a difficult person
or situation from time to time in their lives. However, when these situations
become the norm, lived over and over again in some form or another, the diagnosis
can be made. Love and sex addicts who are not in recovery, like any addict,
do not learn from their consequences and mistakes. It is only when the pain
of these behaviors and situations becomes greater than the pain and challenges
of creating change, that recovery begins.
Go to Part II - Recovery From Love
and Sex Addiction
brought to you courtesy of http://www.sexualrecovery.com.
Thank you to the Sexual Recovery web site for such a great article!
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.
Stop your breakup here!