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Is Love Addictive?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2018
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Could Shakespeare have had the addictive nature of love in mind when he wrote Romeo and Juliet? It represents love addiction to the extreme. Two teens commit suicide because they assume they cannot live without each other. The idea of love being addictive, so that it results in irrational, unhappy behaviors of a variety of kinds, continues today. There are certainly mental health professionals and organizations like Love Addicts Anonymous that contend love, or rather certain types of relationship behavior, are addictive in nature.

Many psychotherapists suggest that people take a number of unresolved and unconscious issues from early childhood and remake their partners into who they want to see, or require partners to treat them in specific ways to reinforce unconscious ways of doing things. The degree to which deeply unconscious strategies for living were problematic might determine the extent of healthiness in adult relationships. Misguided, hurtful ideas about love may turn into troubled ways of viewing what a relationship must be, and this could be acted out by people many times over.

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The love addict may be addicted to sex, to making sure a relationship is stormy and full of argument, to not being able to see that relationships with some people are always harmful, to doing everything for partners in the hopes they will retain them, or to abusive partners. Other love addicts fall in love with inaccessible people to avoid relationships or they might ruin every relationship when it gets to a certain point. All of this may spring from mistaken and probably unconscious ideas about how love is supposed to work and from acting out ways to disguise deep inadequacies, pain, and anger originating from childhood.

Some argue that the term, love, should not be used in this form of addiction. Love implies a mature relational stance with another person: both people are viewed as equal, expectations are for good and bad times, and the couple devotes time to growing and sharing in a relationship. This relationship is not everything in the world, but a part of each partner’s life. Love addicts do not share this mature view and though they may have attachment to partners, the relationship may be out of perspective and the person feels like there can be no life without it, much like Romeo and Juliet. The addict has a relationship that may be based in fear and other unconscious processes, instead of in love, but some people are able to address and amend this while retaining partners.

Methods for pursuing an end to addictive love are to participate in twelve-step or other groups devoted to love addiction or to pursue couples and/or individual therapy. Some people explore both paths, finding methods for uncovering motives that have harmed rather than helped relationships. When successful, such people may be love addicts no longer, but might instead be able to pursue true love relationships.

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anon158840
Post 1

Good writing but i do not find this be completely true. The last line says love addicted people can make true love relationships. I think it is rare. True love requires hard efforts. I think they cannot bear that.

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