Can Love Addicts Have Healthy Relationships
Love addiction can have a seriously detrimental effect on a person’s life. It can delay emotional development and prevent the individual from forging meaningful connections with others. In many cases, it could even affect the ability to develop healthy lasting relationships.
Can Love Addicts Develop Healthy Relationships?
The short answer is: Yes. Love addicts can develop healthy relationships.
It will take a lot of hard work, to be sure, and a sustained effort to change the way that the individual views relationships. Professional help may also be necessary, which may involve intensive therapy-based treatment.
Of course, support from friends and family is also essential. With care and understanding and therapy-based treatment, even the most obsessive love addict can enjoy a healthy and fulfilling romantic relationship.
Challenges Faced By Love Addicts
Love addicts typically have a powerful and irresistible craving for something that doesn’t provide lasting satisfaction. Most believe that a relationship is just what they need to feel fulfillment and happiness–to finally be ‘complete’.
Unfortunately, many find that being in a relationship is not the answer to their sense of lack and despair. Rather than feel satisfied, some derive fulfillment from the ‘chase’ or anticipation of embarking on another romantic quest. Consequently, they move from one partner to another and never feel truly at peace.
Realizing that you are in the throes of addiction can be even more troubling. After all, what recourse do you have when you realize that the one thing that gives you satisfaction is a symptom of the problem? Worse still, how do you deal with knowing that your yearning for yet another romantic attachment is causing you harm?
Acknowledging love addiction can be devastating for a love addict. It isn’t unusual for the individual to feel depressed, anxious, angry, and bewildered. But overcoming this realization is the first step toward lasting recovery and more meaningful life that involves healthy relationships.
Moving From Addiction To Meaningful Relationships
How does a longtime love addict leave addiction behind and develop healthy relationships? How does one dismantle years of obsessive, compulsive behavior and nourish a mutually satisfying and beneficial connection with another person? Here are a few strategies that have worked for some love addicts:
Learn to enjoy being alone. Appreciating your own company is essential for moving away from love addiction. If you can learn to be alone without feeling lonely, anxious, or ill-at-ease, you will be much less likely to crave being in a relationship to fill a sense of emptiness or inadequacy.
Discuss your problem with a therapist. Trying to solve your problem on your own can be a difficult task. Chances are, you’ve spent many years developing unhealthy habits and unrealistic expectations of how relationships are supposed to work. By meeting with a therapist, you gain the advantage of another point of view plus crucial strategies and information that could help you work your way out of your addiction.
Consider developing platonic relationships. Many of the problems associated with love addiction stem from the misguided idea that only a romantic relationship will fill the emotional void you feel. Try fostering non-romantic relationships with other people. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be with members of the opposite sex. By doing so, you could begin to appreciate the value of a truly meaningful relationship without having any unrealistic expectations and misguided notions.
Appreciate people’s other qualities. Think about other people’s qualities that appeal to you. This will help you appreciate others for what they are and base your future relationships on something more tangible and less temporal. This, in turn, will help shift your focus away from the thrill of chasing new relationships.
Ease into dating. Finally, consider easing back into dating. Go slowly and try not to pressure yourself into finding “that one true love”. By working your way into a romantic relationship gradually, you will be giving it a chance to develop naturally without the pressures of over-attachment or obsession.
Leaving love addiction behind can be a long-drawn-out and emotionally taxing process. In some cases, it could take many years before the individual could be comfortable with themselves, much less be with someone else.
Nevertheless, it is possible to cast off years of addictive behaviors and unhealthy compulsions. With time, proper treatment, and loving support, even longtime love addicts can learn to live happy and fulfilling lives and possibly even have healthy romantic relationships.