Love addiction works like other addictions. Rather than a chemical substance providing the high, the high is obtained through engaging in relationships with people. The rush of feeling “love” from another person is the sought-after experience upon which the addicted person becomes dependent, and around which the person becomes increasingly obsessive, controlling, and compulsive.
Over time, the person suffering from love addiction changes – their original personality is eclipsed with a part that manipulates, deceives, and hustles to extract required emotional goodies from others. Think “hungry ghost” archetype, whose throat is tiny and whose hunger is insatiable. The vampire archetype fits as well. Love addicted people may portray their love addiction as charisma, smoke and mirrors, lies, guilting, playing the victim, and any other strategies they can to get people to give them attention, care, and sexual contact.
There’s a distinction between unconditional love – that love which the indwelling being/self has for all of life – and the more self-centered, lower-dimensional craving/lust/attachment, which the self-serving elements of our culture encourage, deceive, and subliminally program us to call “love”. Love addicts are addicted to the latter.
Lower-dimensional love, or lust/craving/fantasy/glamour, has the potential to be addictive because it provides a quick, short-term rush that numbs pain, while creating a long-term deficit of pleasure. The after-effect – feeling even worse than before the romantic encounter – kicks in just long enough afterwards for the addict to neglect to see the connection. The high, which kicks in immediately, is more memorable, at least to the pleasure-center part of the brain.
Like all addictive experiences, the “romance rush” is initially appealing to a person with some kind of chronic personality pain in the same way that morphine is tempting to someone with chronic physical pain. The individual gets to feel in control and is able to instantly meet his or her needs for relief.
Dependence on lower-vibrational sources of needs gratification atrophies the person over time, however, creating more and more damage. By analogy, the sugars in high fructose corn syrup are essentially destructive to the human energy field. Rather than providing nutrition, this concentrated sweetness gives a short-term energy spike, while dissipating energy and creating illness in the long term. An organically grown, non-GMO carrot J, by contrast, was designed by nature to give you what you need, and will feed you without harming you.
The reason most turn to “lower dimensional” pay offs is because they are not aware of, or able to consistently access, their inherent source of unconditional love that is their birthright. The most common signs of love addiction often stem from trauma and other types of soul damage that disconnect them from their spirit (through dissociation), which makes it difficult for spirit to give them unconditional love.
In addition, the cultural programming towards instant gratification interferes. Likewise, the heavily distorted and disturbed ideas about God coming from organized religion interfere. Between the experience of abuse, the cultural message that we should get what we want right when we want it, and the shaming, fear-mongering messages coming from some religious programming, it can be very challenging for us to have the kind of relationship with source love that really works.
If we don’t currently have positive experiences and awareness of the benefits of seeking spiritual aid for our troubles, we are more likely to seek lower aid. If our house is on fire, and we don’t see any water, we may just grab whatever appears to be fluid to douse the flames, not realizing we have actually grabbed a bucket of gasoline.
17 Common Signs of Love Addiction
- Confusing sexual feelings and romantic excitement with love
- Finding partners who require excessive attention and help meeting their needs, but who do not meet your needs in return
- Partaking in activities that you don’t actually like to do or which you may even feel uncomfortable doing in order to keep or please your partner
- Forsaking passions, beliefs, or relationships with friends in order to get more time with, or to please, a partner
- Choosing to miss out on important career, social, or family life experiences for the sake of pursuing or maintaining a romantic or sexual relationship
- Relying on sex with strangers, pornography, or excessive masturbation to skip over the mess of “needing” someone, avoiding getting hurt by avoiding all meaningful relationships
- Trouble leaving abusive or unhealthy relationships despite promises to oneself or others to leave
- A pattern of returning to previously painful or unsuccessful relationships in spite of promises to oneself or others
- Triggering or holding onto a partner through the use of seduction, sex, and emotional manipulation (such as guilting, shaming, playing the victim) in order to get that person to do what you want
- Persistent craving and pursuing of romance, “butterflies”, crushes, or relationships
- When in relationship, feeling compelled to please the other and unable to tolerate any unhappiness on the part of the partner
- When single, feeling terribly alone and desperate to find someone
- Loss of interest in emotionally healthy intimate relationship once the “honeymoon phase” wears off
- Finding solitude nearly intolerable
- Using compulsive sex or fantasy to manage feelings of loneliness, or other difficult states
- Finding partners with a pattern of being unavailable and/or abusive
- Turning to sex, romantic feelings, or fantasy as a way of modulating challenging experiences and emotions
To what extent do you relate to this description? What have your experiences with higher love been like (unconditional love that life/self has for all creatures/parts/creations)? What gets in the way of your ability to receive this love consistently, and when you really need it? What might help you receive the love you need direct from your source? Might you have been unknowingly trading in your birthright to experience deep and unconditional love for the shallow and diminishing returns of love addiction?
It’s important to uncover all of the underlying issues that may be perpetuating the need to self-medicate by abusing substances. If you think you might struggle with some of these themes or know someone who is, we can help. With kindness we can help to uncover your truest intentions, purpose, and connections when it comes to genuine love and relationships. This is just one of the common issues women struggle with that causes them to use substances to numb the pain. At Villa Kali Ma, we dive deep to uncover all of the underlying issues causing pain and suffering in women’s lives.