“Addicted to Love” is a great song by Robert Palmer, also a film starring Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick.
But Love Addiction is a real addiction and I have been talking with women who tell me their personal stories. They have experienced the addiction and, importantly, have acknowledged it and are taking steps to break free of this repetitive behaviour.
The addict is typically feeling the need to be in a relationship at all times – the fantasy of love – but with any real person who will make this partnership. They feel that they can only be fulfilled by being with someone who completes them. Typically that person will also have an addiction – a “bad boy/girl” image, be into drugs, alcohol, gambling or sex, or has anxiety about being intimate. The love addict has an emotional vacuum calling to be filled. This addiction is not the same as sex addiction, where the addict needs sex all the time with anyone who is available.
Four LACK factors exist from childhood: lack of unconditional love from parents or from one-self, lack of feeling of security from home and family, lack of self-esteem, and lack of feeling feminine. Perhaps there was no father figure telling a daughter how beautiful she is, and how much she is loved, or that it is ok to be a woman, ok to be mature or ok to be sexual.
The addict can benefit from support and guidance, through the withdrawal process and into new behaviour patterns. A solution is to avoid relationships for a time, learning to love oneself unconditionally, both in body and spirit. It is a time to build self-confidence and to learn to be complete without another person. Physical needs can be achieved by learning to self-pleasure and get to know intimately one’s own body.
Once free of this need to be completed by another person, the person can enter into conscious relationships from a position of strength and not of dependency.