Love Addiction: An Unhealthy Attachment to Falling in Love

People who are addicted to love aren't happy. They become blindsided by the attraction and effusiveness of the early stages of a relationship. However, later, comes frustration and disinterest.
Love Addiction: An Unhealthy Attachment to Falling in Love
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 19 October, 2022

They say that people who suffer from love addiction jump from relationship to relationship. They’re passionate figures, who see exceptional qualities in those they’re interested in. As a rule, they don’t even end one relationship before starting another. In fact, their relationships don’t usually last long because there’s always somebody new on the scene to capture their hearts.

Some people feel uncomfortable around these individuals. They tend to distrust them because they usually leave behind a trail of victims in their wake, those abandoned ex-partners. Their affection resembles a bubble in a glass of champagne, it rises, intoxicates, and fades after a remarkably short time. There’s also the other party in the situation to be taken into account, the lovelorn rejected partner.

Although it may seem surprising, those with an addiction to love aren’t always happy. Living in a state where they’re constantly falling for different people often forces them to have to manage many emotions. There are also many disappointments and situations where they have to break up relationships to start new ones.

Furthermore, they also face unrequited love most of the time. Indeed, they often set their sights on those who’ll never respond to their interest. These are highly complex situations.

Girl leaning on piano representing people in love

Love addiction

Many people suffer from love addiction and their stories aren’t always satisfactory or happy, as we mentioned earlier. In fact, most of the time they’re subject to an emotional treadmill, on which there are constant ups and downs. They go from the emotion of falling in love to passion. Then, later, if they manage to start a relationship, the stability often generates monotony and even disappointment.

It’s common for these people to go through times in which a lack of euphoria leads them to despair. They’re characterized, so to speak, by being subject to an almost compulsive behavioral pattern of love followed by heartbreak. These behaviors are explained by specific triggers. Let’s take a look at them.

The neurochemical explanation for love addiction

When people with love addiction fall in love with someone, there’s never a deep and genuine connection. Rarely do they get to connect (or even get to know) the person with whom they initiate a bond. They’re basically merely subject to the sensation generated by the process of ‘falling in love’.

Often, just discovering an interesting trait in someone is enough for them to experience desire, attraction, and fascination. An attractive face, a great sense of humor, friendliness, a certain skill, a style of communication, a few hours shared in common… These people need very little to intensely fall in love, sometimes disproportionately.

There’s a concrete explanation for love addiction from a neurochemical point of view. In people who are in love, the nucleus accumbens acts in much the same way as in any type of addiction. There’s a need to receive large amounts of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. These are the neurotransmitters that arise in the early stages of love.

Among these substances, the one that’s really responsible for this addiction, for the need to experience the effusiveness of the first phases of falling in love, is dopamine.

Worried woman representing infatuated people

Loving people and their shortcomings

The neurochemical explanation can justify the personalities of those who are addicted to love. However, there are also other factors that come into play when this behavior appears.

  • Low self-esteem. Some people only feel fulfilled when they’re in a relationship. Having someone by their side who acts as an emotional nurturer and self-esteem validator is both satisfying and necessary for them. Therefore, if this stops, they may end the relationship and find someone else who can provide what they need.
  • The fear of being alone means that any partner will do. Remarkable but true. That’s because some people can’t conceive or accept loneliness. They don’t understand life without a partner. Their fear and anguish make them feel attracted to anyone who shows interest in them. Consequently, there are people who ‘jump’ from relationship to relationship every time someone shows some kind of attraction for them. In fact, the only thing that matters is that they have someone else’s head on the pillow next to them

Finally, people who suffer from love addiction show deficiencies that inevitably lead them to feelings of constant dissatisfaction. After all, moving from the effusiveness of love to heartbreak isn’t easy. Nor is accumulating relationships and recycling them. They leave scars and the feeling of permanent dissatisfaction.

If you feel you may be suffering from love addiction, seek help. Instead of jumping from one heart to another, you must learn how to live with, care for, and understand the most important of all: your own.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.