Love Addiction, much like co-dependency is when an individual feels a complete sense of worthlessness when they are not in an intimate relationship. A love addicted individual will become totally infatuated with someone very quickly and feel that they are not able to go through life without an intimate relationship. In a love addicted relationship there is often a great need to control the circumstances and the other person; manipulating to meet certain expectations and being devastated when this does not happen.
In love addiction there is often a lot of fantasising, a person can "fall in love" and have thoughts of living happily ever after, before they have even built up a friendship. Often in love addiction, sex comes before any friendship develops and the relationship begins on an unrealistic "buzz" which can often feel like "love at first sight". These types of relationships can often be extremely intense and full of excessive highs and lows. Addictive relationships tend to have numerous "break ups", the intensity of these "break ups" can sometimes end up resulting in suicides, murders, stalking, rape and other horrendous crimes.
In recovery individuals learn to be themselves and withdraw from addictive relationships. The individual often recognises the endless cycle of addictive obsessive behaviours in the relationship and wants to break free but is normally scared of being alone; in recovery it is important to reach out to others in the same situation to avoid the feelings of loneliness. By attending groups, the individual will begin to build up trust and discover that honesty will help them to heal from this addiction. In recovery the individual has to learn to love themselves before loving someone else.