Brief recap on what we did last week… love addiction is when someone has become addicted to the feeling of being in love (the euphoria that comes with it). They idealize this person as having more value than themselves. Love addicts are more attracted to the intense experience of “falling in love” than they are to the peaceful intimacy of having healthy relationships. They engage in certain rituals (i.e. chasing, texting or calling excessively) from which they experience a “high”, spending much of their time hunting for “the perfect one”. When in these relationships, the love-addicted person is trying to satisfy their unmet emotional needs. The love addict becomes consumed with trying to make their lives about the other person and begins to neglect everything else such as time spent with friends or their work. In essence, their entire world revolves around this person I also mentioned the 8 types of love addicts which are co-dependency relationship love addicts, torch bearers, narcissistic love addicts and so on, if you missed out on last week’s series here is the article…. Are you a love or relationship addict?(part 1)”
Today I will discuss the causes of “LOVE/RELATIONSHIP ADDICTION” what are they?
(1) Abandonment Issues caused through childhood
One of the primary themes in love addiction is the fear of abandonment. The feeling of loss that accompanies the end of a significant relationship is painful for most people. However, healthy adults are able to recognize that loss is a normal part of life. They move forward through the initial pain with the confidence that they can handle it – that things will get better. Their self-esteem is strong enough to sustain them during the times they are alone.
Love addicts, on the other hand, are terrified of abandonment. They rely on others to fulfil them, and to make them feel happy and whole. Without their love object, they feel worthless and incomplete. This is often due to a lack of love and nurturing from their primary caregivers while growing up. The abandonment they experienced may have been emotional (i.e. – their parents were physically present but emotionally detached), or physical – one or both of their parents left, died, was ill, or absent much of the time.
Regardless of the type of abandonment, they grew up believing they were somehow deficient or unlovable. This belief can lead to an excessive need for reassurance from others. They rely on future relationship partners to constantly reassure them that they’re special, worthwhile, and lovable. They are so desperate for love that even a few “crumbs” of someone’s love and attention (or what they perceive to be love, even though it may not be) makes them at least temporarily elated.
(2)Low self esteem
They look to their love interest to provide them with a sense of self and to make them feel they’re worthy or good enough. Often when someone has been let down in their lives by a person they loved and depended on, they develop an intense desire to hold onto something — anything. The new love interest becomes that thing, and the love addict looks to this person as a source of what they’re missing, which could be unconditional love, attention or simply caring. No matter what the underlying reason, the expectation of finding what they’re missing in their new love remains a constant theme in a love addict. What they end up with is co-dependency and not love at all.
(3) Culture: To some love addict’s abuse may seem ordinary because all of their friends are being abused as well. In some cultures domestic violence is the norm. Women stay on in the relationship despite the abuse because outsiders do not see it as a problem. I have witnessed a case where a woman was being beaten up by her husband while the neighbours and friends looked on and eventually asked the wife to beg and apologise to her husband… How can you change the status quo when you are faced with all these cultural issues a big question…
(4)Martyr’s complex: Some love addicts have a martyr’s complex. They feel superior when they suffer in the name of love. They wear abuse like a badge of courage. In a twisted sort of way this actually elevates their self-esteem. Christians especially fall into this trap. They think that because Christ died on the cross for the sins of mankind that they should die on the cross for the sins of their partner. They should not. They are not Christ. Some Christians read in the Bible that “love bears all things” and they think that this includes abuse. I don’t think it does. Non-Christians fall into this trap also. They listen to the song “Stand by your man,” and they think it is romantic to stick with a relationship no matter what.
(5) Lack of courage and confidence
The inability for someone to cultivate self-confidence equally leads to love addiction in matters of relationship! When a partner is suffering from low self-confidence and lack of courage, it destroys his/her will power for independence; so he/she depends on the relationship/partner for strength and survival. Let’s say you’re living with a person because you believe he/she is the only match for you, with this impression in mind, you’re likely to fall into any circumstances manipulated by them in other words they set the tone. But what if you had the courage to turn down what you never liked? What if you knew they’re dozens of potential partners out there who could love and show you what real love is? But the gap between you and the will power is low self-confidence which equally leads to love addiction.
Inferiority complex is also another root cause of love addiction. For example, most people who have limited or no love relationship usually attribute it to their inferiority complexes or their attractive level, and the funniest thing is that most of them hold this belief very strong in their minds that gradually develops into love addiction in many other forms. Let’s assume that later on they got partners or married, what’s going to be the main deal? Love addiction. Why? In the past they were faced with difficulties getting partners and now they have one, they don’t want to lose him/her… With this in mind they will cling on to the relationship. This is one of the reasons why such people usually take months if not years getting over breakups due to love addiction.
(7)Desperation and Fear of the future
Do you know that as a result of desperation, fear of the future you might become a love addict? Let’s say you have been busy all through life and only decide to settle down, biological clock is ticking, all your mates are married or in a committed relationship etc. it is so easy to become desperate reminding yourself that time is no more on your side, you are not getting any younger. You are more likely to cling to your partner even if it is not working or they are exhibiting bad behaviour… because you are so scared you will never get this opportunity again, you become addicted just to secure the relationship.
(8)Past relationship experiences
Most of the time, our past life experiences project or influence our day-to-day activities in many ways. Sometimes, we form habits and life styles in order to either copy or avoid the errors of the past and the same thing happens in relationships. Let’s say in the past you had difficulties getting along with most of your partners… Like they walked out on you, cheated… etc. The bad experience has a tendency of affecting your new relationship… you end up smothering your new partner for fear of the past repeating itself …
Food for thought
One of the red flags of love addiction is experiencing a rush of intoxicating feelings or emotional & sexual attachment for someone who we barely know. Can love addiction be cured? Look out next week for the finale and find out how we can cure love addiction…