Love Addiction: Myth vs. Reality

Following are myths commonly associated with love addiction:

Myth: Love Addiction happens to people who are too sensitive or who read too many romance novels.

Reality: Love Addiction is a feature of something much deeper than “having one’s head in the clouds,” or getting caught up in romance. The love addict’s behavior comes from an unconscious place of pain due to trauma from abuse (emotional, physical, or sexual) and/or neglect that occurred early in life. By focusing on someone else, the pain of trauma and/or neglect is avoided, remaining unconscious.

Myth: Love addiction is something a person should snap out of or grow out of.

Reality: Love addiction develops when reality is too painful for the conscious mind to manage and so a fantasy version of a loved one and of life with that person develops.

Myth: If I love him/her enough (or if I explain myself in the right way, or if I’m smarter, better looking, more generous or strict, funnier or have more money), I will be loved in the same way I love him/her and our lives will be perfect.

Reality: Those suffering from Love Addiction are attracted to people who will not meet their needs. Realistic thinking is skewed and the above myth illustrates a split from reality and an escape into fantasy.

Myth: Talking about the problem or finding an intellectual solution to change another person will fix the problem.

Reality: The way out of Love Addiction usually comes when withdrawal sets in, pain becomes unbearable, denial and fantasy become less entrenched and, with lowered defenses (particularly denial), the fantasy bubble bursts and the individual becomes open to receiving help. Awareness is the first step of change.

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