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What Is Love Addiction and What Are Its Causes?

Love is one of life’s greatest gifts. It can provide individuals with direction in a world that teems with chaos. It can comfort people while living a life that can often feel cold and unyielding. It can make individuals want to better themselves and the world around them. Love’s challenges can lead to growth and understanding that individuals could never have achieved alone. It is, after all, the most popular topic of literature, music, and poetry of all time for a reason.

That being said, is there such a thing as an unhealthy or wrong version of love? Yes, there is.

What Is Love Addiction?

Love addiction might sound kind of cute. But something that sounds kind of cute can be as harmful as any addiction out there. Love addiction possesses all of the same chemical reactions that drugs and alcohol trigger in the brain, creating a sense of ecstasy in the brain’s reward centers.

And yes, even though it supposedly comes naturally, individuals can put themselves through a tremendous amount of stress and poor decisions just to feel that reward. They might decide to stay in, or pursue, a toxic relationship. Even worse, individuals may choose to stay in an abusive relationship. As is the case with any addiction, the temporary reward seems worth the sacrifice of a happy, healthy life.

What Causes Love Addiction?

Studies in this area of addiction are still quite young, but there are many theories as to where the addiction to love, or rather, the feeling of love, originates.

  • Developmental Trauma: Feelings of neglect or abandonment that stem from early childhood could result in a person seeking a sense of constancy in their life that would make even a toxic relationship more acceptable than the prospect of being alone or abandoned.
  • Past Sexual Abuse: Replacing an abuser with anyone else as a means of feeling more secure and relying too heavily on that person to provide a sense of security.
  • Low Self-Esteem: Not feeling worthy of anyone’s attention and therefore accepting any attention that comes along. This often results in an individual being willing to accept any terms a partner sets out of fear of losing them and believing they will not be able to attract anyone else.
  • Sexual Attraction: The constant need to feel physically fulfilled. Sexual attraction in connection with love addiction involves more than just a physical need. An emotional bond must be established to feel gratified.

Love addiction is a complex concept. Love is an absolute joy to experience. So then, how can something that is spoken of so highly be wrong? Like all good things, plenty of imposters are willing to take their places. Love is no exception. Trauma causes us to accept scenarios we think are better for us than they are, and it often takes outside counseling to help us see that our relationships are unhealthy. If you or someone you know might suffer from love addiction, The Guest House can help. Please call (855) 483-7800 for more information.