Beware of "Happily Ever After"

Victoria Ellison

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Love addiction is often perceived to be less serious" than other mental disorders i. e.compulsive *** addictions, eating disorders or self-harm. The fact that society romanticizes intense blinded love in books, movies and songs makes it appear quite desirable. However, love addiction shouldn’t be underestimated as it often gives roots to crime like suicides, murders, rapes and domestic violence. What is love addiction, and why are some people addicted to love? How can the problem be identified, and how can those addicted be helped?

One characteristic of addiction, particularly for love addicts, is a difficulty in maintaining clear focus on personal beliefs, values and goals, when faced with situations which potentially involve intensity and arousal. Without clearly defined boundaries, the love or sex addict is vulnerable to deciding in the moment" what action is best for them. Like any addict, love and sex addicts do not learn from their mistakes. Unrealistic hopes, dreams and demands tend to shatter their relationships quickly and cause a pattern of disappointment and fear. As soon as possible after a breakup, the love addict will find another partner due to not being able to tolerate loneliness. And even in the rush of a new affair the troubled love or sex addict grows steadily more unhappy, fearful and bored and ends up pushing their partner away or looking outside the relationship for yet another new intensity or love" experience.

Love Addiction can also be hidden well by the addict. The addiction involves so-called serial monogamy, a pattern of multiple relationships that often begin with intense passion but end relatively quickly. This can be quite common and developmentally appropriate in adolescent relationships but can cause pain as it continues into adult development. Love addiction is also defined as dependent personality disorder, i. e. seeing the relationship as necessary for survival and not feeling like it is possible to function outside of the relationship. Individuals with this type of disorder tend to transfer their dependence onto all relationships not just a romantic one. Love addiction is also marked by short dramatic relationships with intense highs and lows.

Typical signs of love addiction include inability of being alone; mistaking *** experiences and romantic intensity for love; constantly seeking a *** partner or new romance and inability to leave unhealthy relationships despite repeated promises to self or others. The above symptoms in conjunction with overall emotional instability inevitably lead to isolations, breakups and losses. When these situations become the norm, lived over and over again, professional assistance should be searched.

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