Psychology articles
Why divorcees make great partners
Is your relationship past its expiry date?
What does it mean if he keeps photos of his ex?
Is your man in love with you?
Perfume as a seduction tool
Facebook and divorce
How to mend a broken heart
The thin line between love and hate
12 things men think we know
How to deal with a bipolar family member
4 signs that you're too dependent on your partner
Get serious - not serial
Is he more likely to cheat during pregnancy?
Are you a love addict?
Surviving sports fever
EX-cruciating exes
The friends you don't want
The key to a balanced relationship
Does your man have “Peter Pan” syndrome?
Five tips to get out of a relationship rut
Get married, stay married, live longer
Together for love or convenience?
How to be your own best friend
Staying sane when living with family
Are you a love addict?
We all know that people can get addicted to substances such as alcohol and drugs. But believe it or not, love and sex can also be addictive – and as destructive as compulsive substance use.

New developments in addictive psychology point to a condition which I refer to as 'People addictions'. Love addiction, sex addiction and co-dependence all fall into this category.

While some psychologists believe that love addiction and sex addiction are identical, there are succinct differences between them.

Sex addiction manifests in compulsive pattern of pursuing sexual arousal independent of emotional attachments.

Love addiction is usually characterized by a dependence on the emotional stability provided by a romantic partner

It can result in obsessive, controlling behaviour, such as remaining stuck in an unsuitable relationship, or refusing to accept that a relationship is over, which can lead to stalking, physical and emotional abuse and, even suicide or murder.

Although a certain degree of love addiction is always present in any intimate relationship, it is estimated that love addiction is now, sadly, more widespread than the true love.

While these two addictions are motivated by different factors, they can be interlinked, e.g. a love addict using sex as a tool to manipulate or as revenge.

Secondary addictions such as alcohol or drug abuse may also become a factor as the addict tries to numb the constant pain that accompanies the overwhelming feelings of loss of self and identity.

Causes of love addiction

Usually addiction is cause by inadequate or inconsistent nurturing, low self-esteem, and absence of positive role models for committed relationships.

Combine this with media constantly indoctrinating us with cultural images of perfect romantic love and happily ever after endings or songs like “I can’t live if living is without you”, and we can easily blur the lines.

We may become unable to differentiate between obsession and love, and continue to 'love' in a destructive, obsessive manner. This erodes self confidence and trust in us and our relationships, resulting in more obsessive, destructive behaviour.

We often believe that emotional pain, fear of being left by the partner, or a strong emotional dependence is the attributes of true love. In reality, these are symptoms of love addiction.

Some signs of love addiction

Do you:
• generally feel alienated - 'don’t fit in'
• have an inability to enjoy being alone - often feeling depressed or crying
• feel terrified that you may never find someone to love
• fall in love very deeply and very quickly
• only feel happy or confident when physically with the partner
• experience feelings of loss and desperation when not physically with the partner
• remain in a relationship even though it does not fulfil your needs
• feel like your life has ended when the relationship ends, or consider suicide

Recovery from love addiction

This takes patience and willpower:

• Face the truth: you have a problem and have to change
• Make an inventory of unsuitable behaviour and feelings - this tells you what to change
• Get help: therapy, 12-step groups (there are SLA groups everywhere), self-help books, workshops, videos etc.
• Change what needs to be changed - and keep at it on a daily basis.
Remember, you CAN maintain a positive and healthy relationship!

How to have a fight-free holiday
How to deal with an obsessed ex lover
Living together before marriage
WIN! with The Bedroom!
She asked ME to marry HER...
How to identify an abusive relationship
Help, I'm afraid to leave my abusive man
When jealousy turns scary
Dealing with a jealous sister-in-law
Make your partner feel special
The tao of relationships
WIN! with Virgin Pleasures!
Relationships: the chemistry myth
When your partner has intimacy issues
The art of letting go
Relationships 101
How to cope with a moody partner
Relationships: cutting the ties
Sexy Ever After
Why is he different around his friends?
Friends like these...
I want kids but my partner doesn't
Relationships: making it work
Relationships: weathering the storms
A 30-something’s take on dating
What we can learn from men
The Ex-Files
How to handle a toxic friend
How to handle a bragging friend
When your mother-in-law moves in
Frogs or princes?
Are you qualified for a relationship?
At what age should you get married?
Help! He cheated with my best friend
Lies men tell us
10 Signs he’s a keeper
Why married women have affairs
Guy friends: the other kind of boyfriend
Are you involved with a narcissist?
Women's surnames - keep hers? Take his?
Can you have too many friends?
What DO men want?
Helping a friend through cancer
Bonding activities for couples
How to get more help at home...
Help! I think he might be gay
How to help a suicidal friend
Five little white lies we tell men
How to know when it’s time to go
He was abused - will he be abusive too?
I kissed a girl
Should you take an ex back?