Do you ever wonder whether you’re in love or in lust? Whether your obsession with someone is a sign of love or addiction? Whether you’re staying in a troubled relationship because you’re addicted or in love? It’s complicated, and lust and love and addiction don’t always exclude one another. Moreover, there aren’t always obvious signs of being addicted to a person! Endless analyzing doesn’t help or change our feelings because we’re often driven by forces outside our conscious awareness.
Maybe one of the worst things in romantic relationships is that some people mix love with addiction. They believe they can’t live without someone but in fact, they are just addicted to them. There is a very fine line between love and hate they say. Well, that may be true, but we are here to tell you that there is a very fine line between love and addiction too!
“What the world generally refers to as love is an intense emotionality combining physical attraction, possessiveness, control, addiction, eroticism, and the novelty”, says David R. Hawkins, a certified psychologist. And it’s certainly something worth noting. But worry not! Because today we are bringing to you 7 signs of being addicted to a person! And if you see the signs, maybe it’s time to make some mentally healthy changes!
The issue of determining if you are in love or intensely addicted is something that crosses all ethnic, racial, class, and age lines. How is love experienced in the modern world that values materialism more than anything else? It is challenging to define love today. We believe love is mutual self-less giving that is based on a deep trust. So how do you know if it’s addiction or love?
Some signs of being addicted to a person are the craving of a person, severe mood swings if unable to feel secure in the relationship, inability to function normally, the obsession with your partner, and severe withdrawal symptoms if your lover leaves you. We often say ‘love’ when what we really mean is an addiction-a sterile, ingrown dependency relationship, with another person serving as the object of our need for security. Perhaps, love is much more commonly an addiction than believed.
Although it can be unhealthy to fixate on another human being — particularly when the feeling isn’t mutual — the human brain is wired to develop this kind of dependency. When you first fall in love, you can feel ecstatic like with initial nicotine or alcohol use. However, when the thrill of new love subsides, you could be left with a psychological dependence where you think you need the other person more than anything else. This is when you start seeing signs of being addicted to a person.
We can get addicted to people just as we can to alcohol or food. It’s a form of self-abandonment where you use another person to avoid responsibility for your feelings. You kind of lose your sense of self, which can mess with your mental health, career, and non-romantic relationships. We don’t say this! Several psychologists and relationship experts say so, although, it does make sense!
So let’s start with something simple before we get into the signs of being addicted to a person i.e. what is an addictive relationship?
What is an Addictive Relationship?
An addictive relationship typically has the same characteristics as any other addition. It is an experience that is increasingly unstable, where you start to lose sight of who you are and stop taking care of yourself in favor of what you are addicted to – which in this case, is another person and the way you relate to each other.
Initial attraction stirs up neurotransmitters and hormones that create the excitement of infatuation and a strong desire to be close and sexual with the person. These chemicals plus our emotional & psychological makeup can cause us to confuse reality and idealize the object of our attraction. Time spent in fantasy fuels our craving to be with him or her. This is normal as long as it doesn’t take over our lives.
When a relationship consists mainly of sex, there isn’t as much of a risk of addiction (although sexual addiction is a thing, we’ll get to that later). When it’s pure lust, we’re not too interested in spending time together without sex or the expectation of it. We don’t want to discuss real-life problems and may not even want to spend the night. Fantasies are mostly sexual or about the person’s appearance and body, and we aren’t interested in meeting the person’s needs outside the bedroom — or maybe even inside!
However, when you get to know someone inside out when you get to know what they want in life, their experiences, hopes, and dreams, that’s when the danger of addictive relationships arise. As we get to know our lover, we may want to spend more or less time together, depending on what we learn. This leads us to become codependently attached through a romance or love addiction that feels like love but is more driven by our need for the chemical rush to feel something that makes us happy.
Excitement and desire may be heightened by intrigue or our partner’s unpredictability or unavailability. We may remain attached and even crave our partner, but after a while, our discomfort or unhappiness grows. Instead of focusing on that, our hunger to be with them takes the center stage, despite the fact that disturbing facts or character traits arise that are hard to ignore. We may feel controlled or neglected, unsafe or disrespected, or discover that our partner is unreliable, is a liar, manipulator, rages, has secrets, or has a major problem, such as drug addiction or serious legal or financial troubles.
Nonetheless, we stay and don’t heed our better judgment to leave. Increasingly, we hide our worries and doubts and rely on sex, romance, and fantasy to sustain the relationship. Out of sympathy, we might even be drawn to help and “rescue” our partner or try to change him or her back into the ideal we “fell” for. These are signs of being addicted to a person.
Many who have these types of relationships may never notice. Their codependency or their short-lived relationships are accepted as normal. Many people who suffer from love addiction are completely unaware, and actually believe that what they experience is normal and healthy. This makes them blind to the signs of being addicted to a person!
Love and codependency may coexist or be hard to differentiate because codependents idealize and often happily self-sacrifice for their partner. When differences and serious problems are largely ignored, minimized, or rationalized, it looks more like codependency, because we’re not really seeing or loving the whole person. Facing the truth would create inner conflict about our fear of emptiness and loneliness. Similarly, when our emphasis is on how our partner makes us feel or how they feel about us, our “love” is based on our self-centered, codependent need.
Now that we’ve taken a look at what is an addictive relationship, let’s take a look at signs of being addicted to a person!
7 Signs of Being Addicted to a Person
1. You don’t feel good when your partner is not around/ You feel jealous easily.
One of the most common signs of being addicted to a person is that you feel bad when your partner is not around which leads to feelings of paranoia that maybe he is with someone else. If they left the house to go out for a drink with his guys and you feel anxious about what might happen, then you should know that you are addicted to them. And the biggest problem is that they won’t realize what it means to be attached to someone like that.
Your partner will never be able to understand you, neither will they know how much you suffer when they are not around. And you will totally lose yourself over the man who doesn’t love you as much as you love them. This will also result in you overthinking that if they’re hanging out with someone from the opposite sex, there’s something going on. Thus, you may grow irrationally jealous at times. So, you better think twice if that is what you really want!
2. Your relationship leaves you on top of the world one day, really low the next.
Addictive relationships can be like drugs in the sense that when the two of you have good moments, it’s so good it’s like nothing else matters. Of course, when you fight or you try to leave, there will then be the inevitable crash followed by feeling awful. You might even feel physically sick if you try to walk away from an addictive relationship, manifesting similar symptoms to someone withdrawing from a drug. This is one of the very obvious signs of being addicted to a person and should serve as a warning bell for everyone!
3. Can you be addicted to someone sexually? Yes!
One of the most searched questions on the internet is ‘can you be addicted to someone sexually?’ Yes, you can! Especially in addictive relationships, sexual addiction becomes a major issue as often times you can feel that the only attention that you might get from your partner would be from sex. This makes you desperate and you try to do anything and everything you can to keep your partner’s attention, including possibly engaging in activities that you might not be comfortable with. This ultimately serves as one of the major signs of being addicted to a person.
4. You are anxious that your partner doesn’t love you
This is another one of the signs of being addicted to a person. You live in tremendous fear that your partner doesn’t love you as much as you love him; you are afraid he will leave. The belief that he will find someone better than you sets in. You start thinking that all your insecurities that he put up with for a long time will be the breaking point. The insecurity that he isn’t sure of his love for you gets manifested and you start blaming yourself for every little action possible. And, in all that mess, you forget to think about yourself and your needs and you end up disappointed every time.
5. Your mind thinks about the relationship non-stop.
You will find that you are constantly running over in your head what is and isn’t working with your relationship (if not increasingly making your friends listen to this conversation, which in itself can be addictive). You might start to get behind at work as your mind is not focused, or find yourself less interested in being around your friends because you are preoccupied. These are signs of being addicted to a person.
As with any addiction, one part of you will know you are involved in something that is not good for you. This means you will then give a lot of headspace over to excuses like “it just needs more time” or, ‘maybe she’s not as bad as I think and I’m being too picky”. But somehow, somewhere there will always be another part of you which will crave for your partner, and more often than not, that part of you dominates over.
6. You pick fights for attention.
“You didn’t even ask how my day was! You don’t even care about me!” Do these phrases sound familiar? That’s because they are another one of the signs of being addicted to a person! When you’re in an addictive relationship, you want all your partner’s attention focused on you, because that’s what you do for them. However, sometimes that is not the case, and that gives rise to insecurities and thus small fights like this just so you can grab your partner’s attention.
7. You just never feel your best self in your relationship.
This is a very obvious sign of being addicted to a person. A relationship is supposed to make you feel better, to make you grow as a person, and to evolve. However, if you find yourself being anxious, feeling depressed, or having a nervous feeling in your stomach all the time, it’s really not good enough for you. You might not know what that feeling is but it keeps nagging you all the time and bothering you which leads to even more insecurities and fights.
It’s odd, as you are usually so funny/ warm/ kind/ laid back, but in this relationship, it’s like you are someone else. You are uptight, sour, criticizing, you can’t relax – and you don’t know why. In fact, sometimes you might not feel like yourself at all. And if you do try to be yourself, you are criticized or teased. So you find yourself instead of working to be someone or something else.
A good relationship strengthens your values and helps you move forward towards your goals. An addictive relationship tends to throw off your inner compass because it does not support who you are. Identifying addictive relationships becomes very difficult. When you are used to one, any signs of being addicted to a person that might be obvious to others might not be obvious to you. This more often than not leads to denial.
Acknowledgment and self-honesty is a huge step forwards. Understanding that you are in an addictive relationship is a huge step in favor of getting rid of such an addiction which is why we have listed 7 signs of being addicted to a person. the logical step after identifying these sorts of relationships is to talk to your partner or seek help from counselors or therapists and to seek other kinds of support like books and online forums.
Your first step is identifying the signs of being addicted to a person. Now that you’ve done that, what will be your next?
We hope this article helped you in identifying the signs of being addicted to a person and that if you are in one, you gained sufficient knowledge about the same and seek to be the best, happiest version of yourself possible!
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