Love Addict Behaviors, Signs, and Symptoms
By Jim Hall MS, Love Addiction Specialist
- Confuses love with obsession, neediness, enmeshment, rescuing another or need to be saved, and-or excessive physical attraction.
- Having little or no boundaries becomes too vulnerable too fast, becomes attached to others without truly knowing them.
- Intense fear of being alone, rejected or abandoned- as a result, may tolerate emotional and-or physical abusive behaviors by a partner.
- Fears real intimacy, despite a desperate desire to feel close and connected to someone; may 'run' or disengage from healthy intimate contact if it is available.
- Despite pain or chaos, a relationship may bring, feels powerless to get out or leave; may hold onto 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; feelings of being unworthy, unlovable, or undeserving.
- Confuses emotional dependency, drama, and negative intensity for real intimacy, authenticity, or healthy connection.
- When emotional insecurity increases, tries to meet needs and feel better by manipulating or controlling tactics with a romantic partner.
- Can feel immobilized or become acutely preoccupied with romantic fantasies of a relationship partner; or even when not in a committed relationship.
- Becomes attached to people who are emotionally unavailable, distant, avoidant; some become dangerously attached to narcissistic, psychopathic, 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 breakup occurs (no matter who ended it)- experiences painful withdrawal and obsessions (similar to drug withdrawal): may feel an extreme sense of betrayal, anger, and pain; avoiding responsibility; blames an ex for not fulfilling unrealistic expectations and relational fantasies.