"You know you're gonna have to face it you're addicted to love." -Robert Palmer
Most of us who know the song don't take the message seriously. But for some, this form of addiction is a serious matter. Whether you're addicted to a substance or a person, the effects of addiction are similar in that they are harmful and have far reaching, negative consequences. I've seen quite a few people in my life, both clients and family members, who have exhibited addictive behavior towards someone. I can tell you the pain caused from this addiction was much worse than one might expect.
Sometimes it's hard to tell if a person is suffering from this affliction. It can become much more apparent however, once the relationship ends. In these cases, one person is left finding it very difficult, if not impossible, to move on. Obsession over the ex overrules their thinking and behaviors. Neglect of daily responsibilities and mundane tasks occur. In fact, the symptoms mirror substance withdrawal -- shakiness, can't sleep or eat, consumed by need and occasionally even temporary insanity. They will do or say just about anything to get their "fix", which in this case happens to be the other person.
Fortunately, a remedy does exist. And that remedy is real love. Yes, I know it sounds like too simple of an answer but it actually is that simple. I'll admit that the process of experiencing love without a person or relationship isn't simple or easy. However, it is entirely possible with the right guidance. Once you take the proper steps to experiencing real love, I assure you that over time, your suffering will be a thing of the past. Additionally, with genuine love you will find that you'll be able to experience a much richer and healthier relationship.
If you are finding it exceptionally hard to let go of your ex outside the normal feelings of loss and are wondering if you may suffer from addictive love, here are some examples:
You feel addictive love if you:
• Are obsessed with this person
• Believe you have to have them with you to be complete, happy, secure, etc.
• Believe they are the only one for you in this lifetime (no one else will ever do)
• Can't stop thinking about ways to get them back
• Scheming so you can "accidentally" see them so you can get them back
• Attempt to manipulate them into coming back
• Can't stop talking about them
• Stalk them
Genuine love is much healthier for everyone involved. It is devoid of anxiety or fear about being without someone. Here are some examples of real love:
You experience real love if you are able to:
• Give them room to grow
• Accept their feelings, beliefs and ideas without trying to change them
• Allow them to make their own decisions (even if it is to say "no" to you)
• Be happy, secure, etc. without them if need be
• Accept that you can have more than one love in a lifetime
• Be your real self; no need to play games or wear a mask to win them over
• Completely and unconditionally love and accept yourself
• Love them without needing them to be with you
As you can see, addictive love is a serious affliction. You've heard or read the countless news stories about "crimes of passion". People end up murdered and/or committing suicide over addictive love (if you fear for your life, please contact your local law enforcement immediately). Please note however, that you don't need to be contemplating such extreme actions to be addicted. An addiction can take the form of obsessive thoughts, and that may be the end of it. Either way, know that the remedy for addictive love is experiencing genuine love. And know that help is available to guide you in that most fulfilling experience.