Love addiction can make you feel obsessed with your crush or partner. It’s not as common as other addictions, but it can still be unhealthy if you act irrationally or struggle to maintain healthy relationships.
The beginning stages of many relationships may involve strong feelings of infatuation, but that doesn’t make it inherently unhealthy. However, if this behavior becomes controlling or obsessive, it can easily destroy a romantic relationship.
Are you or someone you know showing signs of love addiction? Don’t worry—you’re not in this alone.
Knowing the signs of love addiction is important to determine if you’ll ease into a healthy relationship or are experiencing love addiction, which is why we’ll explore this addiction in depth to guide you.
Is Falling in Love Addictive?
Falling in love can feel addictive because of the excitement involved in learning about a new person. It’s fun to find things in common and go out on romantic dates. This infatuation is common and differs from addiction to a relationship.
The difference between the excitement of falling in love and love addiction is how you feel once things settle down.
When your relationship becomes long-term and stable, do you still feel a deep love for them, or do you crave more drama and emotion? If you seek to control a partner’s actions or behavior out of anxiety and jealousy, you might be heading toward love addiction.
What Symptoms Does Falling in Love Cause?
Love addiction can look different for each individual, but these symptoms are the most common. If you notice these qualities in yourself or someone you know, it might be time to consider treatment options:
People who experience love addiction are often overly dependent on their partners. This might manifest itself as codependency.
They seek approval from them and have trouble making their own decisions. This may or may not be a sign of controlling behavior on behalf of the partner—sometimes, they don’t realize their loved one depends on them so heavily, so they’re not attempting to control another person.
For example, someone may not accept an invitation to hang out with friends because they want to wait and see what their partner is doing. This person seeks time with their partner above all else, damaging their ability to maintain friendships.
2. Obsessive Behavior
People with an addiction to love may feel like they always need to be in a relationship, and when they are, prioritize that relationship above anything else.
For example, a single mother with a love addiction may constantly try to find someone new to date, even though that means she leaves her newborn with a babysitter regularly on her quest to find a romantic relationship. Her goal isn’t to find the perfect partner and someone to settle down with but to chase the high of being in a new relationship.
3. Toxic Relationships
If you’re addicted to love, you might stay in a toxic or unhealthy relationship just because it provides you with a romantic partner. Even if they don’t seem to care about you, you’d rather be in a relationship than be single, so you refuse to leave them.
For example, a person may stay in a relationship because their partner manipulates them and says no one else will want them. They tell the person that they’re the only one who would put up with their behavior, making the person feel like they’ll never find love again. Those who have a love addiction may find themselves more easily manipulated by abusive partners.
4. Impulsive Decisions
When people feel addicted to love, they’re more likely to make impulsive decisions. People addicted to love don’t think of the consequences because all they focus on is their relationship or partner, putting that above everything else.
For example, university students may feel so energized by their relationship that they stop doing homework and studying for tests to make more time to spend with their partners, negatively impacting their future—flunking out of school.
5. Feeling Lost Without a Partner
People with love addictions may feel lost and depressed if they don’t have a partner in their life. They might have trouble finding joy in other activities or feel uncomfortable going out in public without someone by their side. This feeling may lead to depression or feelings of poor self-worth when not in a romantic relationship.
3 Signs a Person Might Have an Unhealthy Love Problem: Things To Watch For
These signs will help you to determine if you or someone you know has an unhealthy relationship with love. They don’t necessarily mean you have a love addiction, but these signs can progress into addictive behavior if left unaddressed:
1. Idealizing Romantic Partners
You don’t have to have a love addiction to romanticize or idealize your partner, but it’s a sign that you might be heading down that path, especially if you notice this behavior appearing in every romantic relationship. Healthy relationships require the understanding that their partner is human and has flaws.
Putting someone on a pedestal or “love-bombing” them can either drive them away from feelings of suffocation or encourage them to exploit you because they know they can get away with anything when you worship them.
If you consider your partner’s thoughts and needs before your own, you should tread carefully.
2. Obsessive and Controlling Behavior
People who obsess about love are at risk for addiction. Romantic relationships are an important part of self-discovery and fulfillment but are not mandatory for a happy or successful life.
If you know someone who wants to be in love and seeks it out whenever (or wherever) possible, you should watch them carefully. Conversely, people who are love addicts might find themselves trying to control the behavior of their partner—confining them only to the relationship.
Both of these are unhealthy patterns of behavior that indicate a possible addiction.
3. Unable to Be Alone
People who simply can’t be alone are at risk of developing a love addiction. They don’t like to be alone with their thoughts and feel like they need a partner to enjoy normal activities. They’re uncomfortable with themselves due to insecurity or trauma, which a therapist may need to address. This unsteady sense of self can manifest itself as love addiction.
At What Point Is a Love Addiction a Problem?
Love addiction isn’t always a problem. Sometimes, people may feel infatuated with a new partner because it’s exciting to fall in love and get to know someone so deeply. This is often referred to as the honeymoon stage in a relationship.
Most of the time, infatuation wears off and develops into a strong love that can endure for the duration of a long-term relationship.
However, there are stages of change in addiction. If you notice someone becoming more obsessive about their partner, trying to control them, stalking them, or restricting their social circle to limit their time with others, therapy is suggested.
How Do You Deal With Someone Who Has a Love Addiction?
You may not know what to do when helping somebody with an addiction. It can feel challenging to confront them about the problem. It’s highly personal. It’s crucial to let them know you’re not judging them but will support them through acceptance and treatment.
It can be tough to watch someone you care for battle an addiction. However, you should remember that it isn’t your problem to solve. You can help them realize their addiction and find help while continuing to support them without taking on their issues as your own.
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve learned a lot of information about love addiction. If you still need answers, check out these frequently asked questions:
What triggers love addiction?
A common trigger of love addiction is childhood trauma. Children without secure attachment to their parents may grow up lacking self-esteem. They seek love and reassurance at all costs, even if it’s unhealthy. They pursue love instead of addressing the root of their problems in therapy.
Do I love him, or am I addicted?
It’s challenging to discern if you feel genuine love or if it’s just an addiction, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Assess your relationship regarding the emotions you feel for your partner. If you only feel connected when things are intense or exciting, you might feel a love addiction instead of true love.
Additional Addictions to Watch For
People who have an addiction are more likely to have an addictive personality in general. These addictions are quite similar to love addiction, so knowing what to look for can help identify common symptoms:
- Signs of Sexual Addiction: Sexual addiction refers to impulsive, frequent sexual interactions and obsessions that put the person in danger, yet they’re unable to stop.
- Signs of Pornography Addiction: The signs of pornography addiction can help you determine if someone has a dependence on porn that impacts their daily life.
- Signs of Exercise Addiction: You may think exercise addiction is healthy, but it can lead to an obsession that negatively impacts your body image and feelings of self-worth.
You’ve learned about love addiction, including the signs and symptoms to watch out for and how to get help. Therapy is a great way to come to terms with your addiction and address the root cause so you can move forward healthily.
Take action to confront your love addiction and discover how to have more fulfilling romantic relationships that don’t negatively impact you or your partner.