Love Addiction Cycle
|LOVE AVOIDANT (Lav)
|LOVE ADDICT (La)
1. Attraction- high intensity ("chemistry"); immediate urge to rush.
Comes on strong; the facade of availability & strength, connects with emotional walls; seductive, charming, flattering; says things to make you feel special/unique; may make promises; idealizes; gets a “high” from others neediness, vulnerability.
Adores attention; feels important, validated
2. The relationship progresses- intensity decrease for Lav; Obsession increase for La
Completely preoccupied and obsessed; and
3. Push-Pull dance significantly increases (drama triangle also begins here).
Feelings of engulfment/suffocation by partners attempt to connect intensifies- a dramatic increase in evading intimate contact, push a partner away (walls); increased focus away/outside
Begins more and more to notice partners walls,
4. Push-pull /drama dance in full force; La- pursuing desperately; Lav- walls increase
Avoidance/walls, distancing behaviors at its height- evading intimacy through tactics of resentment, anger, deflection, blame; looks down on partner, perceives as “weak”,
Denial of partner breaking- fantasy crumbling;
5. Various scenarios occur at this point of the cycle
Avoidant may occasionally give attention/focus to love addict partner desires (recreating intensity)-- this is often done out of guilt and/or fear partner will leave. However, turning toward their partner is shortlived.
With a crumb of attention, Love addict feels “high”/ relieved from avoidants
Avoidant leaves relationship (blames a partner for relationship failure), moves on to repeat the same cycle with another love addict; and/or engages in addiction/compulsion
Love addict enters withdrawal-- quickly seeks out
Love Addict leaves the relationship
A love addict may leave the relationship as they become so burned out from chasing their partner and tired of the pain and “craziness” of the relationship. Still, because of the loss of the fantasy (the real drug), the withdrawal will occur; and again, the love addict may quickly seek another relationship to repeat the same cycle, or medicate with another addiction. * And for the lucky ones, decide to get help, enter recovery to change their relationship patterns, the way they love, and who they love (encouraged!)
Avoidant may try returning
In response to the Love addict leaving, the Avoidant may experience withdrawal- triggering pain/abandonment-- and decide to seduce, charm, and convince the love addict to return to him/her ...
They may revert back to "the person they were in the beginning", by ‘giving’ loads of attention, compliments, making new promises, apologizing for wrongs, etc. ...
If a love addict’s fantasy is triggered all over again-- then the relationship cycle is repeated.
Addictive Relationship Pattern vs Healthy Relationship Pattern
Addictive relationships are insecure and unhealthy-- since both partners are insecurely attached. Together, they become repellants to one another.
In a healthy/secure relationship— couples cycles between engaging in intimate closeness and mutually withdrawing to integrate into their respective senses of self.
Put another way-- couples in a secure relationship engage in healthy equilibrium through periods of connection, disconnection, and re-connection resembling a healthy dance. It’s the natural ebb and flow of secure and loving partnerships... it is a healthy dance.
Whereas an addictive-insecure relationship-- both partners being insecurely attached become asynchronous in closeness and distance and thus create a toxic and distressing dance.
The cycle between the two is polarized in opposite roles and repeatedly creating a drama-filled, toxic pattern... a 'toxic dance'. Both eventually become dissatisfied and come to feel like they are losing themselves, but they don't know why.
This poisonous dependency cycle is a perpetuating roller coaster ride for both partners-- and can go back and forth for months, years, or decades.
And it's important to keep in mind, even if the relationship cycle ends with one partner, the love addict and avoidant will move on to find another romantic relationship to repeat the cycle - unless one or both step into an effective recovery and healing process.
People can go through their whole lives repeating this cycle in romantic relationships.
How to Stop the Love Addiction Cycle
Recovery over love addiction can lead to unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship patterns changing over time.
Dealing with the core underlying issues that drive love addiction, you can make profound changes in the way you love.
And step by step, you can grow into a secure and self-loving adult who no longer gets sucked into unhealthy relational cycles, but instead embraces real intimacy and mutual connection.
About Author: Jim Hall MS, is a Love Addiction Specialist, Online Relationship Coach, and Author of 3 Books on Love Addiction and Recovering. As a leading relationship expert, Jim gives hope to those struggling with love addiction and insecure attachment styles- offering quality guidance towards a healthy path to break obsessive love patterns and healing from love withdrawal caused by a breakup. - more about Jim
Learn more about this Toxic Relationship Cycle in my book on love addiction: The Love Addict in Love Addiction.
Want to break free from the love addiction cycle?
Consider working with a therapist or counselor who specializes in love addiction
Learn about my online recovery services
Love Addiction Recovery