We’ve heard many people describe their love as addicting. Or say that they are addicted to their partner or spouse.
People even use this word in songs, showing how deep one’s love is. However, it’s wrong to associate the word addiction with the feeling of love.
Addiction is described as a great interest in something in particular. Often, it makes it hard for this person to think clearly and only focuses on their addiction.
Unfortunately, addictive relationships exist.
It’s not the ‘addiction’ that we often hear in songs about being deeply in love. Relationship addiction is something else, and it’s far more common than you think it is.
How do you define an addictive relationship?
Can you be addicted to a person?
The answer here is yes. An addictive relationship is when you fall in love so deeply that you begin to lose yourself in the process.
Addictive relationships can happen to only one partner or both. But most of the time, when this happens, the person who exhibits addiction stops taking care of their personal needs and will only focus on their partner.
Emotional addiction to a person is no different from being addicted to drugs.
A person who is in addictive relationships feels incomplete, unhappy, desperate, and even insecure. This is the exact opposite if you are in a healthy relationship.
Being in a relationship with an addict for love will give everything, to the point of being obsessive. They aim to be with the person they love.
They want to make their partners happy feel loved, and they want to show how much they love their partners that it becomes unhealthy.
As these people drain themselves of their self-love and self-worth, they begin to feel emptier.
What is the psychology behind addictive relationships?
Addictive behaviors in relationships start with pure intentions.
You fall in love, and you want this person to feel the love you have to offer. Being in a relationship and being happy in love is the ultimate goal.
Of course, every relationship also has trials.
A healthy relationship will talk, understand, and work together. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with addictive relationships.
They feel extreme emotions and fail to communicate. When this happens, the person experiencing addiction will obsessively think about their partner.
They become ‘high’ with happiness when they are okay yet succumb to sadness and depression when there’s a problem.
Over time, they would focus all their energy, time, and happiness on their relationship and partner. It becomes an addictive relationships cycle that will eventually destroy their self-respect, self-love, and even self-compassion.
What happens when you allow yourself to get lost in the love that you thought would make you a better person?
What are the different characteristics of an addictive relationship?
When you mix addiction and relationships, your love may turn into a toxic one.
Here are some of the characteristics of addictive relationships:
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes, a clinical psychotherapist, discusses the reality of having relationship insecurities:
5. Your relationship only brings out the worst in you
Dating someone with an addictive personality can have tantrums or outbursts that can be out of line.
Too much insecurity, obsessive thoughts, and jealousy can trigger a person under addictive relationships to burst into anger or fit.
You know you’re not like this before, but now, you’ve been uncontrollable, and you’re not proud of what you’ve become. Unfortunately, this is a cycle, and you’ll find yourself repeating these behaviors over and over again.
6.You are always tired and sick
Relationship addiction symptoms can take a toll on your physical and mental health. This is why people experiencing this type of love addiction often become sickly.
7. You are in a relationship, yet you feel alone
Ironic, isn’t it? You’re in a relationship, but you feel alone.
It’s when you realize that you don’t have a lot in common, and your relationship is filled with the same issue. It’s when you obsessively think about your partner, yet you seem to feel like you’re falling apart.
Have you ever felt that you can’t function without your partner?
From doing simple tasks making decisions to your emotions, you feel like you need your partner to validate you.
If you become too dependent on your partner, they may feel suffocated, and you would also feel unhappy and lost.
11. Trying to justify your partner’s mistakes and flaws
Some people in addictive relationships may also be victims of abuse.
A person addicted to the thought that love means understanding will have a false belief that no matter how abusive their partner is, there’s a chance to be better.
They would justify their partner’s wrongdoing and even start to believe the lies themselves.
12. Trying to change yourself to be perfect for your partner
Addictive personality traits in relationships include changing yourself to be the ‘perfect’ partner.
You may even start asking your partner, what he likes, hates, or just about anything to please him.
Having the ultimate goal of being the perfect partner and changing yourself in the process to show your love is not healthy.
13. You always feel that you’re not enough
It’s exhausting that no matter how hard you try, you feel that you are not enough for the person you love.
You feel that you have so much love that your heart will burst. You want to try your best to be perfect, yet you know that you’re not enough. This can cause stress and anxiety, adding to the addictive relationships cycles.
14. You’re often jealous and insecure
Addictive behaviors in relationships include extreme, often uncontrolled jealousy.
It stems from insecurity and excessive thinking.
If you give in to these intrusive thoughts, it becomes a habit and becomes addicting. One day, you’ll find yourself stalking every friend your partner has, every text or call.
What happens when something triggers you? You pick up a fight, or you nag, leading to another issue.
Start nurturing yourself and practice self-love, self-respect, self-compassion, and everything that can bring back the old you. Remember that loving yourself is very important.
Try talking to people who love and understand you. Don’t push the people who love you away. Embrace them and allow them to help you heal.
5. Consult a professional
In any event that everything seems so hard and you feel lost, then please do consult a professional. A licensed therapist is someone who can help you go through the process. They’re not here to judge but to help.
Meeting someone and falling in love is beautiful, but as they say, too much of everything won’t be good for us.
It’s normal to want a loving relationship.
Everyone wants a healthy relationship, but sometimes, we get lost.
In the depth of extreme love and emotion, we drown in addictive relationships.
By knowing the different signs of addicting love, you’re given a chance to change the course of your love story.
It’s not too late to try again and start re-building yourself. See how worthy you are of a love that is healthy and beautiful.
Just remember that in falling in love, we should not lose ourselves.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle Read more in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.