Tell-Tale Signs Of Relationship Addiction
Updated October 20, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault
Are you a love addict seeking love addiction treatment? Being in love can be one of life’s most comforting experiences, but at the same time, it can be intoxicating. Love has been and continues to be the subject of many novels, songs, and movies. But can it also be a form of addiction? Believe it or not, many of us struggle with functioning alone. However, not everyone will become a love addict.
Some people are more prone to becoming a love addict and requiring love addiction treatment than others. This is especially true of extroverts who feel they must be connected with others to feel ‘okay.’ Although this isn’t a healthy way of existing, struggling with relationship addiction is a collective experience for many.
Relationship Addiction Defined
When one has a relationship addiction, it means that they cannot function without a romantic relationship. If one is not in a relationship, and often feels incomplete or struggles to function normally, then that may be a sign of a relationship addiction. The person at the center of the struggle is called a “love addict.” Love addicts often require psychotherapy for love addiction treatment. People dealing with gambling, substance, or other addictions can rarely kick the habit on their own. The same is true for a love addict needing love addiction treatment.
One can also say that relationship addiction happens when an individual is in a relationship that, instead of bringing out the best in you, makes you stop taking care of yourself, or causes you to lose sight of your main goals and purpose in life.
Just like any kind of addiction, relationship addiction can result in many negative consequences. This is a primary reason love addiction treatment with a licensed mental health professional is recommended. One can be a relationship addict without realizing it, until someone or something triggers the symptoms of relationship addiction. For many people, this is the time they reach out to a professional counselor who can help with their relationship problems. Recognizing these signs is the first step, and the process of healing can be helped along by counseling.
Signs of Relationship Addiction
If you are unable to break off a relationship that involves a lot of devaluing, demeaning, silent treatment, controlling, or even emotional and physical abuse, then you may be a love addict. Most likely, you already know that this relationship is not good for you, yet you keep going back to the same person over and over again. This is a pattern of a love addict. Being in a relationship brings about a warm feeling of love, but if that same relationship is causing you to doubt your self-worth or creates inner conflicts, it’s time you seriously evaluate the relationship and,possibly, seek love addiction treatment.
When seeking to maintain meaningful relationships, we should ask ourselves several questions. Does this relationship serve any value in my life? Are you in this relationship to avoid being alone? Can I grow as an individual in this relationship? Does this relationship make or break me? A love addict rarely takes the time to ask these questions.
Some relationship addictions arise from a deep-rooted fear of being alone or abandoned. Love addicts may sometimes fail to recognize when they are in an unhealthy relationship. Defining the line between real love, infatuation, and addiction is crucial. This is where love addiction treatment can help.
When a love addict gets love addiction treatment, they are introduced to a new idea of love. By taking part in regular counseling and therapy, a love addict can learn new behaviors by developing higher self-esteem (around themselves and the concept of love).
Now that you understand what love addiction is, let’s look at the telltale signs of love addiction.
Cycles of Breakupsin Your Relationship
One of the signs that someone may be a love addict is having numerous breakup and makeup cycles in a relationship. When you’re a love addict, you’re unable to stay away from the partner for extended periods. A love addict will repeatedly make up with their partner—even when they know it is not the best decision.
The vicious cycle does not do any good for the health of the relationship. If there’s an argument that leads to a breakup, the relationship addict is likely to initiate reconciliation even when they have been wronged. Such a relationship has no future without the intervention of a third-party professional.
If you and your partner have broken up countless times, then the relationship is just not working, and one of you could be a relationship addict. A healthy relationship may go through makeup and breakup cycles, but usually not to the extreme. These are signs that you and your partner need to talk to a licensed therapist or counselor about love addiction treatment.
Inability to Exercise Self-Control
Just like any other addict, a relationship addict does not have the power to exercise self-control. A relationship addict does not have control over the new relationship, and they can move from one relationship to the next. Love addiction treatment can help you get back on the right track to having healthy love relationships.
Learning to have self-control over your emotions and actions is a big step for a person who is a love addict. As a relationship addict, one should seek to regain power over their life, and be mindful of how they react to situations. For instance, a relationship addict may find their partner cheating, and instead of having self-worth and self-respect, they may keep begging their partner to stop cheating. True power is in seeking control over their life decisions and different situations. Love addiction treatment can help you rediscover your self-worth.
No Life Outside the Relationship
Once in a relationship, many relationship addicts give too much, and their partner may feel smothered. Similar to any other kind of addiction, relationship addiction has adverse effects on all other areas of your life. For instance, one may lose interest in hobbies, jobs, friends, and family. All the attention is given to the relationship even when the partner shows no interest in the relationship, or does hurtful and disrespectful things. It is losing all for the sake of keeping the relationship. Being unable to manage your life outside of relationships is a key sign that you may need love addiction treatment.
The drama of this type of relationship can be exhausting, and you will unknowingly find yourself neglecting other areas of your life. Even activities such as exercising, self-care, and money issues can become a problem when you have a relationship addiction.
Interestingly, even if the addict has no life outside the relationship, he or she feels very lonely despite being in a relationship. In addictive relationships, the parties involved often have little in common other than their obsession with each other.
Inconsistency in the Relationship
When on good terms with their partner, the relationship addict feels on top of the world. But in bad times, everything else comes crumbling down. If one is in a healthy relationship, then the good and the bad times are all handled rationally. However, this is not the case in an addictive love.
Some people may feel sick when they try ending the relationship. If you find yourself being inconsistent in how you feel and act, then you may have a relationship addiction. Your partner may make you feel on top of the world one moment, and the next moment they can’t even look at you.
Non-Stop Thinking About the Relationship
A person who has relationship addiction is constantly thinking about the relationship. Why did the partner do this to me? How can I make myself better so they will love me? They are always thinking about what is working in the relationship, and what can be done with what is not working in the relationship. Even with their friends and loved ones, they are constantly talking about their relationship or partner.
This can cause serious issues even at work because the mind is not focused on work issues. A person with relationship addiction is always making excuses as to why the relationship has problems.
Loving—and Being in a Relationship With—the Wrong People
Loving the wrong people is also a sign of relationship addiction. People with this problem will get into a relationship with someone they know is not the right choice just for the sake of being in a relationship. Some people are so afraid of being alone that they’re not scared of being in a relationship with a dangerous person. Relationship addicts prefer to be in such relationships instead of being alone.
It is important to become aware that you are settling for less than you deserve. Talking with a licensed counselor who specializes in love addiction treatment can help you regain your value. A love addiction treatment professional can help you to resolve the deep-seated issues that are causing you to make the wrong choices when it comes to love. Many people have unresolved issues from as far back as childhood. Carrying around old pain from childhood and previous relationships can cause you to lose sight of your worth. Learning how to heal the pain by getting love addiction treatment with a licensed professional can help you live your best life.
Lowered Self-Esteem and Acting in Uncharacteristic Ways
One may tend to love their partner too much even when the partner is indifferent. The constant indifference and maltreatment from the partner may make them have low self-esteem. You may notice them putting up with physical, verbal, and emotional abuse for fear of being alone. It is not uncommon to find a person who was always high-spirited and confident acting in unusual ways that are not in line with their personality. Constant criticism from a partner may lower their self-esteem, and change their overall personality.
Coping With Relationship Addiction Through BetterHelp
Online therapy has been proven to be effective in helping those dealing with certain types of addiction, according to a growing body of research. A study published in Clinical Psychology Review, an academic journal of clinical psychology, found that internet-based platforms positively affected the behavior of those experiencing symptoms related to addiction. Notably, participant improvement was sustained over the long term, suggesting that online therapy could produce lasting results when used to treat relationship addiction. In addition to counseling sessions with mental health professionals, online therapy platforms provide access to a number of different resources for managing addiction, including assignments and readings that can help transform the negative and unwanted thoughts underlying addictive behavior.
As mentioned above, internet-based therapy can be a useful tool when you’re working to address complicated emotions related to potentially unhealthy relationships. Through BetterHelp, you can access resources from the comfort of your home, without worrying about seeing people you know or potentially discussing your concerns with anyone but your therapist.Read below for reviews of therapists, from those who have experienced similar issues.
“Dr. Mallett provides a safe environment for me to express my concerns. She offers great advice as well as different perspectives for me to understand how to make my relationship with myself as well as with my partner better.”
“Amy has been a huge help in saving my relationships and helping me become a better person overall. I cannot recommend her enough.”
Healthy love relationships are never forced. Get help and love addiction treatment by contacting a certified relationship therapist at BetterHelp today.
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