Love is in the air. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, a time when couples across the country profess their love to each other, and restaurants, jewelers, and candy stores make huge profits. For some people, however, love becomes an addiction that controls their life and makes them (and their partner) miserable.
Anyone who has been in love knows the feeling: the tingling sensation, the increased heart rate, the distractedness. We love to be in love and we love to know someone loves us. Being in a loving, romantic relationship should bring contentment, confidence, and happiness. Unfortunately, many people who think they are in love are just the opposite: nervous, paranoid, and insecure. This makes for a miserable relationship. So what’s the problem with these people?
Some people are truly addicted to love, or addicted to the thought of being in love. Others are addicted to a certain person. These kinds of unhealthy relationships occur all the time and they consist of people who are together even though they really shouldn’t be, but they can’t seem to drag themselves away from the relationship.
Addicted to Love
Someone who is addicted to a certain someone may feel they are in love with the person. They may even think the person is in love with them. A true addiction to a person creates chaos and devastation, much the same way a drug addiction does. Love addiction is a type of process addiction, and while many people feel it is less serious than addictions like eating disorders or gambling addictions, it can be just as harmful. A love addiction is often connected with crimes of passion, such as stalkings, rapes, and even murder and suicides. Someone with an addiction to love is likely to suffer from depression, fear of rejection or abandonment, feelings of worthlessness and isolation, and will show control and manipulation of their partner.
Co-dependency is similar to this kind of addiction, but it can affect any person in a relationship, not just romantically involved partners. Co-dependency is when a person is in a relationship that is one-sided, emotionally destructive, or abusive. These relationships often involve a drug addict or alcoholic and their spouse, children, or other family members. These family members will want to keep the relationship together so badly that they will go to great lengths to do so. A co-dependent person will give their time, energy, and attention to the other person, often with little love and sometimes even violence shown in return. The relationship will go through cycles of fights and guilt and making up. These relationships are very unstable, but the people that are dependent will not leave because they are afraid of being alone.
A loving relationship can be a great blessing. For someone stuck in an unhealthy relationship that is centered around addiction or co-dependency should find help. Sometimes these kinds of relationships can be saved, but other times, the people involved must take a step back from it and learn how to live independently, for their own good.