IF you’ve ever been in love you’ll be familiar with the butterflies in your stomach and the want to spend all your time with one person.
But one expert has now warned that if your feelings have turned impulsive and obsessive, then you could be addicted to love.
Experts at Delamere Health said that as more people are now able to start relationships due to no Covid restrictions being in place, more people are looking for love.
With the majority of office workers heading back to their desks, there are also some who will worry about their partner being around others more often.
Martin Preston, founder of Delamere Health said while all romantic relationships may exhibit some signs of jealousy occasionally, with love addiction there is a consistent pattern of one or more (usually more) of the signs.
That pattern, he said results in ongoing and eventually escalating negative life consequences.
“Much like sεχ addicts, love addicts are searching for something outside of themselves – a person, relationship, or experience – to provide them with the emotional and life stability they lack.
“In other words, love addicts use their intensely stimulating romantic experiences to (temporarily) fix themselves and feel emotionally stable”, he added.
Here are the eight signs you need to look out for when it comes to love addiction.
Martin says that love addiction always involves another person – even if that other person doesn’t know they are involved.
He explained: “This can be a form of fantasy where someone with a love addiction will build a fictional relationship in their head where it does not exist in reality.
“Those with love addiction can become obsessed with making an impression on the person they are infatuated with – changing their personalities, looks, clothes, and even daily schedules to bump into that person in order to ‘secure’ the person they are fantasizing about.”
2. Addicted to being ‘in-love’
People who suffer from love addiction will usually jump from one relationship to the next as they are addicted to the feeling of being in love.
Martin said that people like this will often feel that they need to find someone else as soon as their relationship ends through the fear of being alone.
“This can lead to fantasizing about people who are unavailable – or alternatively jumping into an unhealthy relationship where they can become obsessed with this person”, he added.
3. Impulsive and dangerous decisions
Someone who is addicted to love can often make dangerous decisions without thinking twice about the repercussions.
All of their actions revolve around the person they are in love with/want to be with.
“Those with children may be putting them at risk by inviting strangers into their homes. Children can also end up feeling neglected if their parent seems to be prioritising their relationships over their child’s wellbeing.
“Many stay in toxic and even abusive relationships for fear of being alone”, Martin said.
4. Obsessive and needy
Martin said that a key trait of a love addict will be obsessive and needy behaviour when they’re in a relationship.
“They can find themselves bombarding their lover with gifts and tokens of affection or extravagant gifts that they cannot afford”, he added.
5. Difficulty with true intimacy
Those who have love addiction often get bored after the honeymoon stage has passed and this can stop them from forming a healthy relationship.
People who are addicted to love are often looking for what they think is the ‘perfect relationship’, as they feel that this will solve everything.
Martin said that this can also mean they end up in unhealthy relationships with other people that can be intense from the very beginning, often using sεχ as a way to keep their partner ‘hooked in’.
Becoming extremely codependent on a partner or infatuated with someone is another sign of love addiction.
Martin explained that this can mean they get very possessive and jealous of that person speaking or spending time with others – which can lead to dangerous or erratic behaviour.
“On the other side of this, someone with a love addiction will often focus on their partners’ shortcomings – always wanting more from their relationship”, he said.
7. Become resentful of friends and family
Many people often use the phrase ‘relationship goals’ as they envy what other people have.
But people with a love addiction can become resentful of friends and family members who are in a loving relationship.
They will often withdraw from certain circles or stop going to events, Martin said.
Love addicts will often cause drama and will try and manipulate the people they are with.
Martin explained: “This can cause issues with their partner, friends, and family as people can struggle to deal with the drama that surrounds this person.
“Some love addicts can even become aggressive in their manipulation, inflicting both mental and physical pain on loved ones when their expectations are not met.”
If you think you might be suffering from any kind of addiction then you should get help from a trained medical professional.