Addicted to Love: Love Addiction

I chatted in my last post about an addiction to unavailable men. I had no idea in turning a phrase that is normally used to describe substance abuse, that I was referring to a true affliction around which many people (mostly women) have to work a 12-step program to be free. I learned that love addiction is not about true “love” but romance and attraction, that it is often characterized by an aversion to “nice” people, falling “in love” with someone you’ve met online and not in person, longing for someone who has no idea about your feelings or who will never reciprocate them (unrequited love), and other fantasy-type relationships. Basically it’s an escape from reality. I confess I have suffered in all these categories and had no idea it was a disease!

I’ve always longed for the man who will take me away from it all rather than one who will become part of my life. When people say you have to get to know someone on their home turf, meet their families, find out about their hobbies and work, that just sounded so boring. I realize that’s the fantasy aspect of the affliction. I was relieved to discover there is a name for these horrible feelings around my failed love life and a reason why I keep going back to the same types of men. It’s the insanity that Einstein talked about in doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Before I had the awareness of what I was doing, I was powerless to stop it. Now I see the reality of the situation and can learn how to change it.

I’ve already picked up new habits, like do not give more than I get hoping he will reciprocate. Actions speak louder than words (pay attention to what he does, not what he says). Stand by your boundaries (I started giving out my landline so he doesn’t have the option to text). I always laughed at the title of the book by Robin Norwood, “Women Who Love Too Much” but now it turns out I am one of them. I have to read this book to discover what is going on with me!

It also turns out that fearfully abstaining from sex as I have is a form of anorexia – withholding from yourself the thing you want out of fear that you will binge if you have even a little bit. It’s an unhealthy form of self-control. That doesn’t change my desire to remain celibate but it does give me something to consider. If you avoid something out of fear, that is markedly different than staying away while you engage in self-reflection and personal growth. I plan to get going on the latter!


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m not sure if this could help you in any ways, because I sure as hell can use help myself (joking aside)…

    I admit fully that I want to fall in love, that fun-romance filled true friendship, closeness and intimacy, sharing of lives, affection, etc… but I also admit I am powerless over that! I strongly feel it’s important to fall in love with yourself, your passions, your interests and to fall in love with the life you create. Love comes to you, you can’t control it or bring it to you. I feel it is a spiritual element that comes to you when you are aligned in a healthy way and when you are ready to receive it. I think thats why most of the time it comes when you least expect it because you are so busy with your passions that you are already fulfilled in our hobbies and relationships. That helps too with the thing you mentioned about wanted him to come sweep you away from your life and not really getting involved too deeply in what he is all about but more so, the illusion of love, the pre-occupation with someone else. It’s true, love isn’t looking into eachothers eyes, its looking outward in the same direction. When you get on that path, you will meet that person and you will feel that right connection because you will have a shared vision you two want to accomplish together, which will cause an interdependent relationship. I love your blog btw for the raw honesty and have helped me alot.

    • Oh, what a wonderful response. I love that – every word of it is true and I am learning to have that relationship with myself. Thank you for your compliment; I’m glad you are enjoying the blog.

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