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Top Signs of Love Addiction & What They Mean for You

By Jim Hall MS, Relationship Specialist | Recovery Coach


Is it Love or Addiction?  While the science of "love addiction" is evolving, new studies reveal striking parallels to addictive behaviors.

Delve into some of the signs of an  unhealthy love attachment in this article.



A love addict is someone who experiences compulsive and unhealthy behaviors in romantic relationships.


These behaviors often stem from an intense need for love and validation, leading to a cycle of dependence, obsession, and emotional turmoil.


Both men and women, along with people of all genders and sexual orientations, are vulnerable to love addiction.


While everyone seeks love and connection, love addiction goes beyond normal emotional attachment and can negatively impact one's life.



Are there certain patterns, behaviors, and thinking that indicate a person may be addicted to love? Yes.



The following are some of the top Love Addict Signs. See if you recognize them in yourself or someone you might be concerned about.



Signs of a Love addict 


Obsessive Thoughts and Behaviors:


  • Preoccupation with their love interest: Constant thoughts about their partner's feelings, whereabouts, and actions, leading to intrusive thoughts and compulsive checking.

  • Fantasy/Idealization: Falling 'in love' with a fantasy of their partner. Placing their partner on a pedestal, ignoring flaws and red flags due to the idealized image.

  • Unrelenting need for contact: Excessive need for texts, calls, or physical presence, leading to anxiety and distress when unable to connect.



Unhealthy Relationship Dynamics:


  • Tolerating manipulative or abusive behavior: Tolerating unhealthy toxic relationship dynamics due to fear of abandonment or losing the relationship.

  • Codependency: Excessive reliance on their partner for reassurance, emotional validation and fulfillment, neglecting self-worth and personal identity.

  • Jealousy and possessiveness: Uncontrollable possessiveness and fear of losing their partner, even without evidence of infidelity.


Emotional Dependence and Fear:


  • Intense fear of abandonment: Anxiety and panic at the thought of being alone, leading to clinging behaviors and sacrificing personal needs.

  • Difficulties managing emotions: Unable to regulate emotions independently, relying on the partner for happiness and stability.

  • Pattern of unhealthy relationships: Repeatedly engaging in emotionally intense and unstable relationships despite negative consequences.


Self-Esteem and Identity Issues:


  • Conditional self-worth: Feeling valuable only when loved or validated by the partner, ignoring personal achievements and strengths.

  • Neglect of personal life: Sacrificing hobbies, friendships, and self-care for the sake of the relationship, leading to isolation and neglecting personal growth.

  • Distorted self-perception: Believing you are "unlovable" without a romantic partner, fueling the need for constant validation.


Important Note: Love addiction is description of unhealthy behavioral patterns when it comes to love and romantic relationships and currently is not a formal clinical diagnosis.

  • The severity and specific signs can vary among individuals.

  • Seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor specializing in love addiction can be crucial for understanding the underlying causes and developing healthier relationship patterns.


If you or someone you know recognizes signs of a love addict within themselves-- understand that they're not alone.



There are steps to grow and to build healthier relationships. Here are some suggestions:


Acknowledge the signs: Start by acknowledging the patterns and behaviors indicating love addiction. Self-awareness is the first step towards change.

Join a support group: Connecting with others struggling with similar experiences can offer valuable support and understanding. Look for groups specifically focused on love addiction or codependency.

Here are two I recommend:




Seek professional help:



Consider seeking therapy or counseling from a professional specializing in love addiction or unhealthy relationships. I am a former therapist turned Love Addiction and Relationship Coach and can help you with guidance, support, and personalized strategies for healing. -- Read my Love Addict story



These are some of the essential areas a helping professional can help you with:


  • Practice self-love: Focus on developing healthy self-esteem and nurturing your own needs and well-being.

  • Develop healthy boundaries: Learn to set and enforce healthy boundaries in relationships. This includes communication boundaries, emotional boundaries, and physical boundaries.

  • Develop healthy coping mechanisms: Identify healthy ways to manage difficult emotions like loneliness, anxiety, or fear of abandonment. 

  • Understanding attachment styles: Gain valuable insight into your attachment style and your relationship patterns and how to change to healthier forms of attachment and become more secure.



Healing from love addiction takes time and effort.



Be patient and compassionate with yourself throughout the process. Set realistic goals and celebrate small victories along the way.



Don't hesitate to seek support from professionals and loved ones.



Recovery from love addiction is possible.


Important note: This information is not a substitute for medical or mental health advice or diagnosis. 

About the Author: Jim Hall, MS is a Love addiction Specialist and Relationship Recovery Coach




You might consider reading:



Relationship Cycle of Love Addicts

Steps to Break Free from Love Addiction

Top 6 Signs of a Love Avoidant


More articles on love and addiction, relationships, advice






Get the book that describes the toxic relationship dynamics between the  Love Addict and Love Avoidant 

The LOVE ADDICT in Love Addiction


Get the recovery workbook if you are Facing Painful Obsessive Symptoms of Love Withdrawal



SURVIVING WITHDRAWAL: The Break Up Workbook for Love Addicts




LOVE ADDICTION COACHING (Individual and Online Groups)


Work with Jim- for Relationship and Recovery coaching/guidance