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Love Addiction Articles
Education, Advice, Tips, and Tools for Recovery

Love Addiction: The Addiction to Love Relationships

Love Addiction (some call it relationship addiction) is a compulsive, detrimental dependency in relationships that negatively affects both the love addict and love avoidant - denial, fantasy, and impaired expectations fuel love addiction. These relationships are played out by toxic patterns, push-pull, love-hate dynamics; and drama/intensity...  READ MORE

The Love Addict

Love addicts tend to "love" others in maladaptive, compulsive, and self defeating ways that result in a diminished capacity of healthy or loving relationships with another person and the "self". Love addicts can become obsessed and dependent to any type of person... READ MORE

6 Signs Your Partner is Love Avoidant

Are you in a relationship with a Love Avoidant? In romantic relationships, the Love Addict repeatedly attracts individuals with particular signs - and in turn, people with these particular signs are attracted to the love addict. The type of person I am speaking of is the Love Avoidant...  READ MORE

Love Addict and Love Avoidant Relationship Cycle

When a Love Addict and Love Avoidant come together to form a romantic relationship--- a common and predictable cycle is ignited. It is an addictive process I call the Love Addiction Relationship Cycle... READ MORE

The No Contact Rule

Healthy people who experience a relationship break up generally experience universal stages of grief such as anger, sadness, and disappointment. Eventually they come to accept the loss and move forward.  For love addicts, moving on from a broken relationship literally feels like a dreadful insurmountable ordeal... READ MORE

Withdrawal: When an Addictive Relationship Ends

Tracy, a 30-year-old love addict shares her story of a relationship break up: "When he said it was over, I stopped breathing. I could not gather my thoughts. I felt like it wasn't happening, but it was. It was surreal. My stomach turned upside down, my mouth was dry, I was sweating, my heart trembling. Out of intense denial, I said to him-- you're not serious, are you? What's going on? In an unsteady voice..."  READ MORE

8 Steps to Overcome a Breakup and Heal from Love Withdrawal

Are you a Love Addict experiencing a painful break-up from an Addictive Relationship?  One of the most disturbing and defining features of addiction is love withdrawal. Obsessive withdrawal is the ultimate confirmation of love addiction when a relationship ends...  READ MORE

12 Distancing Strategies Love Avoidants Use To Evade Intimacy

Growing up, the Love Avoidant developed defensive mechanisms in order to protect the self from a controlling, demanding, and/or needy parent (‘s) … In adulthood, these defensive patterns remain active in driving behavioral choices in close relationships (i.e., evading intimacy)... READ MORE

Is my Partner a Love Avoidant | Assessment?

If you are a Love / Relationship Addict, then you are probably in a relationship or have been in relationship with a Love AvoidantNonetheless, how can you confirm your partner truly is Avoidant?... READ MORE

Fantasy... The Love Addicts Drug

Are you addicted to ‘love’? If so, you're not really addicted to 'love' or the person-- but the fantasy of love, that's right... a dream, an illusion, and yes... a fairytale. Love addicts go into relationships in a disorienting fog of romantic idealism... READ MORE

The Power of Denial in Addictive Relationships

If you're in a romantic relationship and find yourself yearning for your avoidant partner to be who he/she was in the beginning ... you are in denial! ---  If you're convinced that you are the reason your partner has become emotionally unavailable, uncaring, or narcissistic ... you are in denial!... READ MORE

The Nine Love Addict Types

The Typical Love Addict illustrates, on the whole, the most common and recognized love addict type there is, demonstrating the most predictable relational patterns for the majority of people who fall into addictive relationships... READ MORE

Top 15 Warning Signs You're Dating a Love Avoidant

Being a love addict, you tend to gravitate towards relationships with people who are love avoidant, and them to you. Here is the problem: Someone who is love avoidant is by far, the worst type of person you could ever date and have a romantic relationship with. The primary reason being... READ MORE

Desperate for a "Hit"

Let’s face it- we're human, and when we are in pain, we want to get rid of it, and fast. For this reason, the agony of withdrawal often drives addicts back to their addiction- it is an immense challenge for people in the early part of recovery...  READ MORE

Pathological Obsession: Violence, murder, suicide... in the name of "love"

Obsessive Love is a type of love we call love addiction... Obsessive Love also has an extremely dangerous side to it, something I call Pathological Obsessive Love, where not only is it obsessive and destructive, but so extreme and pathological that it results in some of the worst evil acts committed in the name of "love.”... READ MORE

20 Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship

A toxic relationship is a relationship that is unhealthy and harmful to a person's health and wellbeing, and in some cases, physical health. These relationships lack intimacy, closeness, and mutual connection. They are often painful... READ MORE

Is Your Relationship Healthy?

Are you in a relationship and wonder if it is healthy or wonder if your partner is good for you? Do you wonder if any of your past relationships and partners were healthy or not? The following is a 25-question healthy relationship quiz (assessment) designed to help you discover the answer. READ MORE

28 Crucial Self-Care Acts for Recovering Love Addicts

For many people, the concept of self-care can feel like foreign territory. And yet, self-care is a key component to a healthful life and relationship happiness. The issue of Self-Care in love and relationship addiction is enormous-- and is one of the primary core issues for love addicts.  READ MORE

You Have It: The Power to Choose - The Power to Change!

The incredible irony of being stuck in love and relationship addiction-- is that you (if you are a love addict) and many like you have a profound desire for genuine connection and a partner who can 'show-up'. Nevertheless, I can honestly tell you, it will not happen unless you choose to change. As long you choose to con yourself and do nothing to change the toxic "love" pattern, you will continue to get what you have always 'gotten'... thats right, toxic love.  But you don't have to stay on this course . I believe you deserve so much better. Improvement (Change, Recovery, Progress, Correction, Expansion, and Transformation) is possible! In some cases, our lives can improve without doing a whole lot. We can win the lottery, and our lives improve financially.  READ MORE

9 Critical Reminders On Your Path To Overcome Addictive Loving

It is important to be reminded of important Truths and Realities to carry forward on your road to recovery. Take them and put them in your recovery toolbox. Here they are: READ MORE

Unrealistic Expectations

As human beings, we live our lives with certain expectations. For emotionally healthy individuals, expectations are more likely to be realistic and rational -- based on reality.  For individuals whose emotional health is less-than healthy, expectations are often unrealistic and impractical – and this certainly is the case for the love addict in an addictive relationship.  READ MORE

Personal "Bill of Rights": A Key to Healthy Relationships & Self

As human beings, we all have Inherent Personal Rights which, if known, contribute to well-being, self-esteem and internal boundaries. These essential rights (listed below) are ones in which love addicts and codependents often did not learn in childhood growing up in a dysfunctional family. In fact, many people were wrongly deceived in childhood, learning something quite the opposite of these personal rights, as a result of being raised by an immature, shame-based, or abusive parent (or parents). They often received a spoken or unspoken message message that individual rights were limited or off grounds, that it was somehow not okay to do, believe, feel, or say certain things; or that is was not okay to even be "who I am"- real, authentic. READ MORE

Stopping Shaming Obsessive Thoughts

Obsessive thinking is involuntary, seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, or impulses that occur repeatedly in your mind. Being love addicted, you may experience distorted obsessive thoughts that are self shaming. These painful thoughts become triggered from certain events or circumstances occurring in relationships with a partner or ex partner. Love addiction withdrawal (withdrawing from an unhealthy addictive relationship) is often when love addicts have the most intense and painful obsessive shaming thoughts. Obsessive shame-filled thinking occurs when you blame yourself inappropriately, put yourself down, criticize yourself, and even condemn yourself for feeling shame or even having feelings or emotions. READ MORE

Treating Love Addiction: The Core Issues

People looking for the answers to overcoming their love addiction often ask two questions, “What does recovery really mean when it comes to breaking this problem”? ... and “What are key things I need to work on to successfully recover from love addiction”?  When we are new to recovery, we may mistakenly believe that recovery is limited to ‘getting over a bad break up’... then moving on to find the right partner. The reality is-- unless we do the work required for healthy change, the same old relationship patterns will absolutely repeat themselves.  READ MORE

Consequences of Addictive Love

Addicts may argue addiction has benefits…, and this is true in the short term; the substance or behaviors of an addiction provide the wonderful high, emotional escape, anxiety relief, etc. Of course, the reality is-- in due course, addiction often has profound negative consequences. The consequences of addictive love are no different than other addicitons. Lets take a look at a couple of different addictions for comparison. READ MORE

Seeking Approval- Obsession

One of the familiar aspects of love addiction is a dependency of approval seeking from another person in relationships. Everyone wants the approval of others. It is a natural human desire. However, as love addicts, we allow our lives to be controlled by our efforts to gain this approval. We give up our choices, opinions, likes, dislikes, even our own values.  READ MORE
Setting Boundaries

In my book, the Love Addict in Love Addiction, I write a lot about the five core issues which is a large part of our pain and dysfunction in addictive relationships. One of these core issues of love addicts are Impaired Boundaries.  Love addicts need boundaries. We need to set limits on what we shall do to and for people. We need to set limits on what we allow people to do to and for us. The people we relate to need to know we have boundaries.  If we don't let them know, we get used, manipulated, controlled, and give up important parts of ourselves. We must know we have a right to determine who, what, where our boundaries stand. READ MORE

Letting Go of the Past

When we first find recovery, some of us feel shame and despair at calling ourselves “addicts”.  In the beginning, we may be filled with both fear and hope as we struggle to heal and find new meaning in our lives. The past may seem inescapable and overpowering. It may be hard to think of ourselves in any way other than the way we always have.  READ MORE

Finding Gratefulness: A Recovery Tip For Love Addicts

Recovering from love addiction is not easy. As love addicts, to break the ingrained relational patterns that has caused us so much pain takes time, patience, and persistence. Face it; as human beings rarely in our lives do great things do not come easy. If you are a love addict with a genuine desire to recover – I strongly encourage you to-- never give upno matter how much you slip, no matter how many mistakes, no matter how many times you fall into the old painful love addicted patterns in your effort to change. There is hope.  READ MORE

Grief vs. Love Withdrawal

Are you a love addict and grieving from a relationship break up or love loss? Does the pain feel unusually intense and painful with ongoing obsessive thoughts about your ex and the relationship you just had. Most people who experience a relationship loss, or any important life loss for that matter, typically experience a common cyclical grieving process of varying duration that is universal and a very real part of life. READ MORE

8 Crucial Ground Rules to Break Your Love Addiction

1) Understand the Dynamics of Love Addiction & Intricacies of Love Addicted Relationships

A very important first step in recovery is to gain clarity into the intricacies of love addiction, the love addict, avoidant partner, and love addicted relationship dynamics.  Understanding your problem in love addiction means you are reading books about love addiction it means to be familiar with addiction and its relation to love addiction; to understand the relational dynamics of love addiction, the relational patterns and cycles, -- the behavioral and emotional characteristics of love addicts, their avoidant partners, and other important aspects. READ MORE

20 Realisms - On Hope, Change, and Self

There is no question about it-- a love addicts ability to think clearly, rationally, and realistically-- is utterly impaired when it comes to relationships. For example?our thinking is impaired when we think that someone who is unable to love back will change and be different at some point; when we ignore or minimize obvious red-flags or warning signs of a toxic person; when we blame ourselves for our partner's behaviors, thoughts, or feelings; when we take all the blame for a relationship going bad; and when we believe some person/relationship is the answer to provide us worth and value, and a feeling that, 'I matter'. READ MORE

When Things Go Wrong: Don't Quit

If you are a love addict and are committed to recovering from your love addiction -- you should know that your path to break free is not much different from what others experience. Recovery is a bumpy road. It will at times seem like you will never get past your issues. At times you will think, "Is my work in recovery all worth the effort"?   At times you will want to give up. You will take one step forward and several steps back and one step forward again and two steps back again. But this is how the road of recovery works. So I want you to read this excellent quote from an insightful anonymous poet. It's one in which I actually had laminated and put up on my wall for many years. READ MORE

7 Steps To Feel Good About Yourself

1. Don't make other peoples thoughts, feelings, or actions about YOU. In other words, with healthy emotional boundaries, don't take responsibility (or blame yourself) for what another person may do, say or think. You are not responsible (i.e., your partner or ex partner). As an adult, you are only responsible for your own. You empower yourself through taking ownership of ONLY your own thoughts, feelings, behavior's, and choices.  READ MORE

The Meaning of Addiction

It's often surprising to many first learning about love addiction that 'love' can be a real addiction- the fact is love addiction is a very real and quite painful addiction. A love addict know this reality quite well. Addiction is characterized by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance, behavior, or activity to reach euphoric states in the brain, despite negative consequences (harmful consequences to the individuals health, mental state or social life). READ MORE

Love Addiction: How is it possible?

While there are some in the professional community that aren't sure that love addiction really exists, I would remind them that 20 to 30 years ago many professionals were cynical that sex addiction was real.  Now, there are few, if any, in the professional community that argue against sex addictions existence. Much of sex addictions attention has exploded because of the internet availability of pornographic sites; these sites being the most profitable industry on the web. What also exists INTERNATIONALLY is a 12 step support group called Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous or SLAA. Notice the word Love in this international group. READ MORE

The Myths of Love Relationships

Society sends us alot of unhealthy and dysfunctional messages about how love should be, what love is, and what romance is suppore to entail.  Love addicts fall victim to many of society's toxic messages and carry unrealistic expectations in their love relationships as a result.  So many messages we get on love and relationships are blatant fallacies- MYTHS.  The following are just a few misconceptions and distorted perceptions of love and romance that lead so many to feel let down again and again in relationships. READ MORE

The Process Addiction

We associate addiction typically with alcohol or drug abuse, but it's clear that addictive behaviors go far beyond. A universal definition of Addiction is characterized by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance, behavior, or activity despite negative consequences (harmful consequences to the individual's health, mental state or social life) (NAPS)- Often accompanied byphysical or psychological dependence, withdrawal syndrome and tolerance. READ MORE

Detachment & Self Care: Personal Boundaries

Love addiction recovery is about reclaiming our own lives. One part of our path to recovery is learning and owning our right to focus on, and take care of ourselves, build on our strengths, and ask for and accept help with our limitations. Many of us find it difficult even to begin this self-focused process because we've carried impaired boundaries in all our relationships, which too often been blurred (or invisible) and have lost track of the separation between ourselves and others- especially a relationship partner. READ MORE

5 Steps to Break Free from Love Addiction

Love Addiction can be loosely defined as a dysfunctional relationship between two people in which one person strives, almost compulsively, to 'fix' the other person. A characteristic behavior in Love Addiction is enabling, in which the love addict ignores problem behavior in the other person or makes excuses for them in order to continuously feel needed or to live up to a faulty sense of responsibility for that person's conduct.  READ MORE

Facing Your Feelings

Does this statement sound familiar to you?  As love addicts, we frequently lose touch with the emotional parts of ourselves. Sometimes we withdraw emotionally to avoid being crushed. Being vulnerable and exposing our inner-selves is scary, sometimes it feels harmful.  Hurt is piled upon hurt, and it appears no one seems to care. It seems safer to just go away, cut off ourselves, and isolate. We become overloaded with pain, so we short-circuit to protect ourselves. READ MORE

The Difference Between Love Addiction and Sex Addiction

Some believe sex and love addiction are one and the same- not true. Here is a brief summary outline for you to contrast the differences.

Similarities (sex addiction vs. love addiction)

A. Both are intimacy disorders

B. There is a compulsive cycle of seeking external validation- & attempt to
compensate, soothe, and regulate emotions


Men in Love Addiction

If you're a man- you're here for a reason. Maybe you're here because you're having relationship difficulties- or you are dealing with a relationship loss. And/or you identify yourself as having characteristics in love addiction- - YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Many mental health care professionals make a popular assumption that love addiction- is primarily a women's issue, while men are primarily the avoidant addicts (distant, unemotional, avoidant). The assumption is women become love addicts because of the abandonment they experienced as children- and therefore, carry this to their adulthood and become love addicts- this is consistently stated.  READ MORE

30 Tips for Recovering Love Addicts

1)      Don't date because you need to validate your sense of self or are desperate.

2)      Don't marry because you are miserable or don't want to be alone.

3)      Don't have kids because you think it would make things better.

4)      Don't associate with people you can't trust.

5)      Don't manipulate, control, cheat, lie, or be someone you're not.


Top 15 Characteristics of Healthy Relationships

  1. Each partner views and accepts the REALITY of who the other person.
  2. Each partner values his/her self and doesn't hide who they are (their reality) with from their partner.
  3. Each partner supports the other partners goals and aspirations in life.
  4. Each partner doesn't rely only on the other to make them happy; they know they can be happy with or without a relationship.
  5. Each partner has his/her own individual interests and friends outside the relationship.  


The Pearl & The Love Addict

Look at the sand as the irritant going on right now in your relationships (the irritant: the dysfunctional patterns in love addiction, denial, fantasy, obsession, unhealthy choices, unhealthy partners, behaviors, etc.)--   If you take the role the Oyster does with the irritating sand... and change it into the beautiful pearl... that is what the end result of hard work in recovery looks like!  Choose right now to be the Oyster. The Oyster (YOU) has the power to change this irritant to something beautiful inside of you, the pearl. The pearl has always been within you, but only has scruffed by the unhealthy parts of love addiction.  READ MORE

Top 14 Love Addict Signs

1. Confuses love with obsession, neediness, enmeshment, rescuing another or need to be rescued, and/or excessive physical attraction.
2. Having little or no boundaries, becomes too vulnerable too fast, becomes attached to others without truly knowing them.
3. Strong fear of being alone, rejected, and abandoned.
4. Fears real intimacy, despite a desperate desire to feel close and connected to someone; will 'run' or disengage from intimacy if it is available. 

The Love Addict Quiz - Assessment

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE A love / relationship addict? The following questionnaire is an effective assessment to find out if you have love addiction problems, and determine whether you are a love addict or not. Feel free to print this page and answer the questions with a Yes or No.    READ MORE

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