By Jim Hall MS, Love Addiction Specialist
- Confuses love with obsession, neediness, enmeshment, rescuing another or need to be rescued, and/or excessive physical attraction.
- Having little or no boundaries becomes too vulnerable too fast, becomes attached to others without truly knowing them.
- Strong fear of being alone, rejected and abandoned.
- Fears real intimacy, despite a desperate desire to feel close and connected to someone; will 'run' or disengage from intimacy if it is available.
- Despite pain or chaos a relationship may bring, feels powerless to get out or leave; stays in or returnt to relationship with desperate hopes things will eventually get better.
- Becomes obsessed and preoccupied with relationship partner; gives up activities, interests, or goals; may grow more isolated and alienated from friends, loved ones, self, and spirituality.
- Desperately believes that one person in a romantic relationship will make him/her valuable, alive, worthy and admirable.
- When alone or not in a romantic relationship there is an internal void; a sense that "I don't matter"; emotionally empty, worthless, or undeserving.
- Substitutes emotional dependency, drama, and negative intensity for real intimacy, authenticity, and healthy connection.
- When emotional insecurity increases, tries to meet needs and feel better by using manipulation or controlling tactics with their partner.
- Becomes immobilized or acutely preoccupied by romantic fantasies of partner and/or relationship.
- Becomes attached to people who are emotionally unavailable, distant, avoidant; some become dangerously attached to narcissistic or sociopathic individuals.
- Idealizes; assigns magical qualities to him/her; often perceives their partner as better than, stronger, more powerful.
- When a relationship ends (or love object leaves)- experiences withdrawal: feels an extreme sense of betrayal, anger, and pain; avoiding responsibility; blames other for not fulfilling unrealistic expectations and relational fantasies.