What is it?
The term of love addiction describes an individual that may be addicted to or compulsively attracted to the idea of being in love usually accompanied by a fantasy of what the love should be like. It can also be the act of falling in love or going from one relationship to another relationship quickly, or being in multiple relationships at the same time. This is to create the intense feelings that are often accompanying a new relationships in those early stages and trying to create and stay in the endorphin released high of a new relationship.
Love addiction, love avoidance and sexual addiction are three closely related behaviors and actions that often are formed early in childhood. One example of love addiction can stem from being abandoned by a primary caregiver or through some form of physical, emotional or mental neglect. An abandonment wound drives the love-addicted to pick a partner to try to merge with emotionally. This merging is an attempt to ﬁll the empty hole in the center of their being created by the abandonment they experienced as a child. They will often idealize their partners entering into a relational fantasy and creating an intense emotional high.
The love addicted individual often unconsciously picks a love-avoidant person to be in a relationship with, recreating the abandonment wound from their family of origin. A very common cycle for sex addicts is to be love-avoidant in their primary relationship, and uses sex addiction as a way to create distance from their partner, but when acting out in their sex addiction (often with another partner), they idealize that sexual partner in a fantasy-high of arousal and increased adrenaline.
Take the quiz bellow to see if you might identify some of the scenarios that may cause you to be or become a love addicted individual.
Love Addiction Evaluation Quiz
PUT A CHECK NEXT TO ANY STATEMENTS THAT DESCRIBE YOU IN THE PRESENT OR HAVE DESCRIBED YOU IN THE PAST.
____ 1. I am driven by one or more compulsions (relationships, sex, food, drugs, etc.).
____ 2. I think my self-esteem is low.
____ 3. I think that my happiness depends on having a loving relationship.
____ 4. I often fantasize to avoid reality or loneliness.
____ 5. I feel I need to be “good” enough to earn love from others.
____ 6. I will do almost anything for that desired loving relationship.
____ 7. I find it difficult to say “no” and set healthy boundaries, especially with men.
____ 8. I keep looking for a relationship to fill what is missing or lacking in my life.
____ 9. I find myself thinking that things will (or would) be better in this new relationship.
____ 10. I have always felt a distance and/or lack of love from my dad.
____ 11. I have a difficult time having an intimate relationship with God.
____ 12. I vacillate from over-control to out-of-control behavior in any of these areas: (relationships ex,
food, money, drugs).
____ 13. I crave and fear intimacy at the same time.
____ 14. I have used sex to get love.
____ 15. I have used sex and seduction to dominate a man and be in control.
____ 16. I take responsibility for people, tasks and situations for which I am not responsible.
____ 17. I find myself in relationships that echo my past abuse.
____ 18. I was sexually abused as a child or adolescent.
____ 19. I have stayed in romantic relationships after they became emotionally or physically abusive.
____ 20. I often find myself preoccupied with sexual thoughts or romantic daydreams.
____ 21. I do have trouble stopping my sexual behavior when I know it is inappropriate.
____ 22. I have hurt others emotionally because of my sexual/romantic behavior.
____ 23. I do feel bad at times about my sexual behavior.
____ 24. I have worried about people finding out about my sexual activities.
____ 25. I feel controlled by my sexual desire or fantasies of romance.
____ 26. I have been sexually or romantically involved with inappropriate people such as a boss, a
____ 27. When I have sex or am involved in sexual activity, I often feel depressed afterwards.
____ 28. I have become emotionally or sexually involved with people I don’t know.
______ TOTAL NUMBER OF ITEMS CHECKED
If you scored over 6 checked items, we recommend seeking counseling.