Getting “high” on the feeling of love by Aaron Alan

Love addiction manifests in a person’s life when they become dependent on the object of their love.  Whereas sex addicts are addicted to the “high” of being aroused, love addicts are addicted to the “high” of feeling in love.  Their addiction can take the form of putting others needs before their own well-being, trying to control others so that they can get their needs met, often at the other’s expense.  A key way to identify dependent love is how the person feels when the other shows disapproval.  In love addiction, when the love object threatens to leave, either physically or psychologically, desperate behaviors tend to escalate.  Dependent love is always self-serving and a way to avoid looking more deeply at oneself.

The excitement most people feel when they meet a person they are romantically interested in is a normal part of the bonding experience. However, a love addict pushes this excitement to euphoric levels by engaging is compulsive fantasy, imagining ideal love, feeling instant closeness and a complete connection. This euphoria is the “drug of choice” for the love addict. This is their high; which is commonly accompanied by poor decision making because love addicts believe relationships to be closer and more meaningful, particularly in their beginning stages, than they actually are. As a result, love addicts may commit to a relationship much sooner and more intensely than that relationship can in reality tolerate. This leads to engaging in behaviors that are too early and inappropriate for the relationship, such as having sex, moving in together, committing to partnership or marriage, and commingling money, to name a few. These developments frequently lead to problems in the relationship, which the love addict has difficulty attributing as a result of their own poor boundaries and decisions. The problem is either externalized and blamed on the shortcomings of their partner (i.e. “it’s his/her fault, not mine”) or all the blame is assumed as it is internalized and attributed to their own worthiness (i.e., “if I were a better lover, then this wouldn’t have happened,” etc.). Either way, the actual problem is never addressed and the cycle is eventually repeated.

If you worry that you may be love addicted, go the the web site for Sex and Love Addict’s Anonymous and take the test:  Sex Addiction Los Angeles


The Center for Healthy Sex (CHS) treats a broad spectrum of sexual disorders including; sex addiction, low sexual desire and sexual dysfunction. The experienced, highly skilled clinical staff of CHS offers intensive individual and group psychotherapy.

For more information visit or call 310.335.0997
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1 Response

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    Posted on December 16th, 2008 at 12:15 am

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