If you’ve heard of the phrase, “too much of anything is bad”, you know that addiction can involve just about anything. Process addictions such as gambling, video games, phones, exercise, and more can cause just as much harm to the mind, body, and spirit as alcohol and drugs can. Love is no different – some individuals are addicted to love, and this can be caused by a variety of factors. If you’re reflecting on your own relationship history this Valentine’s Day and are recognizing some unhealthy patterns from your past, consider this a time to seek help.

Dr. Danielle Forshee, psychologist and social worker who specializes in relationship and marriage counseling, explained on Cosmopolitan that love addiction can feel like you’re constantly obsessing in your mind about another person. Healthy relationships should have healthy levels of possessiveness or be entirely non-possessive. It should foster growth, not stagnation or regression, and it should be based on mutual respect that is considered a partnership. Lastly, the love in a healthy relationship should strive to be unconditional.

With love addiction, a person will abandon important aspects of themselves to stay connected to the object of their affection. Love addiction isn’t exclusive to romantic relationships. An addiction to love can apply to friendships, children, a religious person, etc. People with love addiction believe that this person will take care of them and give them unconditional positive regard, causing them to abandon their own self-care. What is the cause of love addiction?

Researchers believe that childhood abandonment can contribute to this disorder, because the person is seeking out validation, love, and connection in unhealthy ways. Most often, intensity within a relationship is mistaken for intimacy, and recovery from this addiction is one of self-discovery. If you’re spending some time this Valentine’s Day considering past and current relationships either with love interests or others, consider the basis of each relationship and ask yourself if your patterns exhibit healthy signs of love. If not, speak with a therapist about these concerns and develop an action plan to overcome you innate fears of abandonment and/or intimacy. There are many resources out there, and this Valentine’s Day may just give you the boost that you need.





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