Falling in Love: Signs & Symptoms of Relationship Addiction

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Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the globe and a holiday that is both beloved and dreaded. It is a holiday built around relationships. While a holiday that celebrates relationships is great, it can be isolating for those who are single. Our society expects people who are not with someone to feel depressed and alone on this Hallmark occasion.

Relationships can be wonderful; a good, healthy relationship, romantic or otherwise, can be very fulfilling. Relationships also require a lot of time and effort to keep them that way. Some relationships are harder to maintain, and thus labeled ‘high maintenance’ and some people may not have the time necessary to provide the care and attention to be considered an attentive friend or lover.

Focusing too much time and thought into being in or getting into a relationship can be a sign of unhealthy behavior, namely relationship addiction.

Relationship addiction is a severe, addictive, and compulsive anomaly which influences negative impacts on an addict as well as those they are obsessed with. In most cases, people with relationship addiction can’t operate effectively outside of a relationship. They will often bounce from one relationship to the next, addicted to the feelings of new love. This differs from love addiction as it solely focuses on perceptions of romantic love.

No particular cause relates to this condition. However, experts believe that past childhood experiences, such as trauma, are closely related. Trauma causes distress, feelings of worthlessness, emptiness, and low self-esteem, among many other significant effects. Out of all these, addicts tend to develop unhealthy relationships with people for either romance or protection purposes to help fill the void. Most people obsessed with relationships find excitement in shifting from one relationship to the next, looking for what makes them comfortable.

    Indicators of Relationship Addiction
    People suffering from this disorder tend to experience the following signs and symptoms:

  1. Addicts tend to take too much responsibility for their love partners.
  2. They delegate lots of their time to focus on their partners in a relationship.
  3. These people often get hurt whenever they notice less concern about them from the people they are attracted to.
  4. Their consideration of relationships goes beyond ordinary.
  5. Most of them would prefer to have their relationships public.
  6. Many of them lack self-confidence.
  7. They always prefer being under control.
  8. They require a high degree of trust.
  9. Relationship addicts are afraid to be lonely.
  10. They can’t easily or correctly perceive other people’s feelings.
  11. They aren’t able to find a balance between intimacy and boundaries.
  12. They usually have poor decision-making skills.

Rewiring this behavior and acknowledging these as major areas of improvement must begin within the afflicted. The addict must recognize this problem and want to change.

Becoming single again after a long relationship, whether it be marriage or other committed partnership can be scary and create vulnerable times. If you find yourself in an unproductive and mutually unsatisfied relationship, parting ways or breaking it off may be the only option. Ending an especially long relationship, or any kind that includes family is never an easy decision and can be life-changing for you.