Just as there is addiction to drugs and alcohol, there exists the much less-talked about phenomenon of love addiction.
Although struggling with any addiction definitely isn’t an easy thing to do, love addiction and the Honeymoon Period of relationships are a particularly rough combination. In fact, this addiction, like all other addictions, has the potential, if not intervened upon, to destroy lives, and certainly any chance for true intimacy.
Actually, love addiction isn’t about love at all.
And it definitely doesn’t have anything to do with Honeymoon Period success.
Rather, love addiction is about desperate escape from the reality of loneliness, which, oddly enough, leads one to even more loneliness and that unnerving feeling of disconnection – just the opposite of what a healthy Honeymoon Period is all about.
At the root of love addiction is the loss and abandonment of self. One or both partners consciously or unconsciously play false roles to “score” the other, to get their “fix” – not unlike the self-defeating behavior of any drug addict or alcoholic.
Love addiction may manifest as frantic clinging to another or the need to move away from anything that looks like closeness – an “escape from intimacy,” as lecturer and former psychotherapist, Anne Wilson Schaef calls it.
When love addiction kicks in, there’s no sense of personal integrity or collective strength that normally accompanies two people coming together for a healthy partnership. Instead, intense drama, unreasonable possessiveness, mental obsession, and compulsive behaviors become par for the course.
Addictive lovers labor under the illusion that the dependent relationship will fix their inner pain and calm their fears. Paradoxically, though the love addict can often seem clingy, obsessive, and almost hypnotically drawn to their “beloved,” their dysfunctional behavior actually stems from a fear of closeness with the other. Their obsessive drive to “own” or even “take the other hostage” is, at the end of the day, an expression of their own inner disconnectedness. They anxiously look outside themselves for a sense of empowerment, rather than looking inward, where it is truly found.
When the “relationship” ends, one or both individuals may experience deep feelings of rejection, anger, depression, fear, and anxiety. Sometimes, these turbulent emotions may progress to stalking, or even worse, homicide and suicide.
Addicted lovers become self-centered where unbridled infatuation feeds only the strongest of narcissistic desires, and creates, in their fantasy-filled minds, just what they need their partners to be, rather than allowing them to be themselves . Authenticity is crushed.
In reality, love addicts want closeness but don’t know how to achieve it!
If you find that you or your partner are exhibiting traits or grappling with what might be love addiction, you might want to consider speaking with a therapist who’s “fluent” in treating this very serious disease. Taking the time to care for yourself in this way will allow you to bring a “fuller and more complete self” to your new relationship, which will ultimately help both you and your partner grow in love – before your Honeymoon Period needlessly comes to a tragic end.
*To better understand love addiction and how it specifically relates to the Honeymoon Period of love relationships, you might want to consider purchasing my new book, Honeymoon Forever: Secrets to Long-Term Intimacy. In it, you’ll learn the traits of love addiction, the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, and how to use this information to help guide you through the first step into love and intimacy, and hopefully, to a fulfilling Honeymoon Forever!