Women and Love Addiction
June 23, 2010
What is love?
As an abstract concept, love usually
refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of
tenderly caring for another person.
In the U.S.:
•Little girls are taught to dream of finding “the one” that will make her life
•Love stories-love at first sight, “Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella”, and
tragic love stories where one is willing to die for their love-”Romeo and Juliet”.
•A little girl grows and is then bombarded with romance novels and more love
songs. She has been taught to search for an ideal, fictional, perfect man.
Love gone wrong
What is love addiction?
Love addiction is a destructive behavioral pattern
that leads to unhealthy and harmful relationships. It is
when one person loves another with compulsive intensity and in
ways that are not in the best interest of either person.
It is a:
•Search for love to fill a void.
•Search that turns into an obsession to find love that does not hurt, disappoint, or
•It turns into a reliance on an idea to try and heal past emotional trauma,
fulfill loneliness, and maintain balance.
•A woman in love with the idea of love or to the fantasy of romance.
•The high experienced during the first stages of romance is what become the drug
for the love addicted.
•This addiction is an emotional and painful chaos that turns into a vicious
cycle causing the addict to never develop real relationships of depth
•Low self esteem. They expect their partner to give constant,
unconditional love in order to relieve the pain of extremely low self
•Feel worthless when not in a relationship-believe that a relationship
makes them whole.
•Suffer with other co-occurring disorders: depression, bipolar
disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADD, ADHD, addiction,
post traumatic disorder, and dysthymia.
•Have an intense need to control, please others, or both.
•Give an unordinary amount of time and attention to their partner-
bordering on obsession.
•Have a driving, desperate, frantic personality.
•Confuse sexual attraction with “love at first sight”.
•Confuse intensity with intimacy.
•Relationships start with intense passion then end quickly.
•High risk behavior-becomes sexually or emotionally attached
without taking the time to get to know a person.
•Trade sex for love.
• Avoid fear, rejection, and abandonment at all costs. Will tolerate
anything to avoid being left-such as all forms of abuse and abuse
5. PAIN-abnormal state of mind
takes over and they become
powerless over their own
behavior. It is in this altered state
of consciousness that the love
addict will put everything on the
line in the name of love. Some
love addicts in this condition will
even break the law despite all
the risks involved. Can lead to
stalking, rape, self inflicted harm,
physical abuse, suicide, murder
and other crimes of passion!
Love addicts are born into dysfunctional families
and suffer from some type of trauma.
•A mother whom was unloving and depriving in
infancy up to 7 years of age.
•Parent/s that suffered from alcohol or chemical
•These are people that suffered at the hands of
those (parents) that were supposed to love and
1. Addictive disorder must be brought under control.
2. Cognitive therapy helps to identify addictive triggers.
3. Anti- depressants prescribed. If they are not already
suffering from depression they will be after working on
family of origin issues.
4. Work on family of origin issues – which is the root of the
5. 12 Step Program such as LAA or Love Addicts Anonymous.
6. Relapse Prevention. This last step is devoted to resolving
whatever residual problems there are in the client’s
establishing a primary, healthy, love relationship. The
client will learn how to build and have a healthy
Halpern, H.M. (2004). How to break your addiction to a person. New York:
McGraw – Hill.
Melody, P., Miller, A.W., J.K. (2003). Facing love addiction: giving yourself the
power to change the way you love. New York: Harper One.
Moore, J.D. (2010). Relationship Addiction. Relationship Addiction. Retrieved
June 7, 2010. from http://relationshipaddict.com
Petrie, J., Giordano, J.A., & Roberts, C.S., (1992). Characteristics of Women
Who Love Too Much. Affilia, 7(1), 7-20.