Having irrational fears of being alone forever
If you have an overwhelming fear of never being loved or never being in a relationship again, it’s important to explore the cause of it. “A fear of being left, abandoned, or being ‘alone forever’ oftentimes hinders my love-addicted clients from rationally evaluating their relationship,” shares therapist Lynn Zakeri. “Instead of assessing whether a partner makes them happy or is good for them, someone with a love addiction will experience a paralysing fear of being alone. It’s more like the love addict will fight hard to make their partner love them, rather than fighting hard because they’ll miss the partner. It skews the entire premise of the relationship.”
Do you find yourself thinking about a new love interest all the time to the point where you can’t focus on anything else? Yes, many people think about their crush often, but a love addict may focus to the point where they stop seeing friends and repeatedly miss deadlines at work. It crosses the line when the crush becomes an obsession and starts to negatively impact your life, yet you feel powerless to stop it.
If that has happened, think twice about how healthy the budding love is. “Falling in love quickly and thinking someone is perfect without giving the relationship an opportunity to grow is like boarding a plane not knowing where it is going,” explains therapist April Kirkwood. “Tracking their every move on social media, becoming friends with their friends, and going to great lengths to change yourself based on their comments are all excessive, unhealthy, and self-defeating. Balance is lost, and it’s an exhausting way to live and a disastrous way to love.”
Staying in an unhealthy relationship
Do you know that your relationship isn’t good for you, but you want to stay anyway? What makes a relationship unhealthy varies from couple to couple, of course. But generally, it’s problematic if it worsens your life or otherwise feels toxic to your well-being. A love addict may stay in a verbally abusive relationship because they have a very strong need for their partner and a fear of losing love. Of course, it’s not always obvious that you’re in a bad situation.
Counsellor and relationship expert Kevon Owen explains it this way: “Think about literally any other kind of addiction out there. It would be difficult to quantify the kinds of abuse or harm that a person would go through to get to a substance they were addicted to or to a habit they’re addicted to. Additionally, think about how common it is to hear that an addict has been abused or taken advantage of in their desperation for what they pursue.” The resulting tunnel vision can cause a love addict an immense amount of suffering. They may lose perspective regarding the mistreatment they’re receiving and may start to feel worthless.