Love Relationship Dysfunction
My fear of abandonment is exceeded only by my terror of intimacy.
— ETHLIE ANN VARE
In when I got sober in 1999-I put down the alcohol and picked up another addiction – Men!
My sponsor tried to warn me against having a relationship that soon. But I thought those guidelines didn’t apply to me: I was different!
Of course it is normal to want love and romance in our lives. But when the pursuit of love and romance becomes compulsive and turns to obsession then it is another form of addiction, known as a love addiction. Love addicts need someone to tell them they are okay and are lovable, desirable, and worthy because they don’t believe it about themselves. Love addiction can be an escape from reality, loneliness, and stress and a way to avoid true intimacy.
Some common signs of a love addict:
- Compulsively fantasizing about, or focusing on, one person
- Moving quickly from one relationship to another
- Becoming sexually or emotionally involved without knowing the other person
Love addiction takes different forms: there’s Steven the serial dater, Craig the cling-on, Francis the fantasy queen. All of these behaviors come from a place of fear of abandonment, rejection, and/or feeling as if you are not enough.
The main role I played in my love addiction was Sandy the serial dater. I would spot a man, beeline to him, flirt up a storm, and if he gave me even the slightest bit of attention I was hooked. The shelf lives of these relationships were one to three months. One day I’d be saying, “I love you”, and the next day, out of the blue, I was saying good- bye. I was going from man to man with an empty, bottomless cup, begging for love and attention. It was never enough because I didn’t feel enough.
In recovery, I’ve learned again that my addiction is not about the drink, the drug, or the guy; recovery is about healing the core belief that tells me I’m not enough. This feeling of I’m not enough is a lie that haunts most people with addictions. It drives us to continually seek more, more, more love, confirmation of our worth, and approval from others. Instead of finding the man of my dreams, what I found was a wonderful woman who was hiding deep inside; I found me, the real me! I learned to love and respect myself. I discovered a deep feeling and knowing that I am lovable and I am enough.
Sober Mom’s Tools for Overcoming Love Addiction
- Regularly attend one of these Twelve Step meeting groups: Love Addicts Anonymous or Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA).
- Take a year off from dating, flirting, or seducing your next victim and learn to enjoy your won company.
- Work on your own personal growth and developing your talents.
To learn more about us, please call 415.264.0078 or contact us here. Let us help you find out what fun sobriety is all about.