Tips on Overcoming Loveaholism or Love Addiction.
Loveaholism is based on the beliefs that we direly need or are addicted to having a specific person or special relationship in order to feel good or block painful emotions. The top ways of overcoming loveaholism are:
*Challenge and change any distorted and self-defeating thoughts that appear in the Loveholism Personality Cluster.
*Become aware of loveaholism behaviors and repattern them with a behavioral repatterner like the Pattern Tree, Habit Cracker, or the Behavior Repatterner (found in Your Emotional Power).
*Work though any existing traumas of abandonment with the Emotional Writing Process, the Emo Reviewer, or the Event Reviewer (found in Your Emotional Power).
*Integrate any traumas of early rejection and emotional deprivation.
*Learn self-acceptance, a very important area in overcoming loveaholism. See our Learn-in on self-acceptance.
*Learn to treat ourselves in warm, caring, and loving ways. Learn to give ourselves those things a partner might supply.
*Be alert that loveaholism can be used as an unconscious distraction or obsession to keep us from feeling other painful emotions in our lives.
*Use integrators or the Emptiness Process to work through emptiness and loneliness in our lives.
*Overcome the belief that external love or a love relationship may be a dire necessity for survival and happiness.
*Avoid unrewarding and possibly abusive relationships where the person is bound to leave.
*Examine and process loveaholism's false-need beliefs. Adults can learn to accept and treat themselves with respect and love. Processing can often put us in contact with our essential nature and its essence based love. We better keep in mind that direly requiring love relationships, rather than preferring them, has no biological basis due to the observation that many adults, without love relationships, manage both survival and highly enjoyable and meaningful lives. Sometimes people will argue that children die without contact or love. Likely so, yet adults and children don't have the same requirements for love. Because of their knowledge and skills, adults are more capable of meeting their emotional, intellectual, and physical desires than are very small and growing children. We might recognize that we can choose to accept ourselves and treat ourselves in a loving and caring manner. We do not require someone special to take responsibility for accepting us and for treating us lovingly or caringly. That we can do ourselves. We already have some outstanding resources within us: our essential selves, our beliefs about ourselves, and the actions that we can take to demonstrate self-caring and love.
Some tips on handling Loveaholism:
An adult love relationship is not a prerequisite for our survival and happiness. Likely you know other adults who survived relationship breakups or the deaths of loved ones and had happy and rewarding lives afterwards...alone. Notice unattached people who enjoy their lives. Folks survive the loss of others. Also note that having a love relationship is no guarantee of bliss. Check out that a fair number of married folks divorce. Lovers sometimes abuse or murder lovers.
Can we recall having joy and pleasure with friends or acquaintances without having a love relationship?
We can create happiness and vital absorption without the company of others. We've all enjoyed times alone. We can recall when we were absorbed in a job, hobby, walk, or ordinary thought and felt good. Most peak experiences occur when we're alone.
Wouldn't companionship be much more pleasurable if we were not stressed about having to have companions or lovers?
List the benefits a love relationship supplies. Can't these benefits be met by either yourself or through friendships? Typical benefits: companionship, intimacy, dancing, conversation, dining out, going to the movies or theater, hiking, travel etc.
Believing a love relationship is a preference will bring you less desperate feelings. Believing you direly need a love relationship will make you crave one and feel desperate when your false needs go unmet.
Self-acceptance and treating ourselves in a loving and caring manner will go far in creating a pleasurable life for ourselves.
Downing ourselves for not having the dire "other" is our choice in belief. We can accept ourselves regardless of having anyone or not.
Just because some people believe we direly require a love relationship does not make it a fact. Don't more than a few people buy superstitions and the idea that others make us angry, anxious, and depressed when it's actually our evaluations of people and events?
Are feelings good evidence for the idea that we need a love relationship to survive or feel happy? Does feeling lonely prove you "need" or does it show you're either downing yourself for failing to have a love relationship or you're running and rerunning emptiness on your screen?
Alone can actually be a deeply rewarding and enjoyable time.
People sometimes experience suffocation being around someone who is desperate. Love hungry folks tend to be self-focused and angry with their partners. Loveaholics tend to focus on what they are not getting and minimize their partner's attention.
Loveaholism: This cluster is based on the beliefs that we direly need or are addicted to having a specific person or special relationship in order to feel good or block painful emotions. The cluster beliefs are:
I need a person or a relationship in order to feel good.
I completely require a person or relationship to block feeling painfully lonely or emotional pain.
I can't stand being without a special someone or a relationship.
If I'm alone on a Saturday I feel like I could die it gets so bad.
I am nothing or worthless without a special someone or a relationship.
I can't control my need for love--I must have it!
People can't survive without a special someone or love relationship.
I deserve a special someone or relationship, but it's not happening.
Being alone is horrible--the worst!
I feel like I'll go crazy if I am without a special someone or relationship.
I'm a love junky--I'm powerless over this.
I can't possibly cope without a special someone or a relationship.
Feeling this desperate absolutely proves I need someone. Anyone!
It's too much to feel desperately lonely and empty.
God did not intend for man or woman to be alone. I should be in a committed relationship or married.
I could die from Saturday Night Fever!
I desperately crave a special someone, but that's not going to happen.
It's terribly unfair that I'm not within someone. I hate it!
I feel totally desperate and hungry if I'm alone.
I hate ___________, but I need him/her so much.
When someone pulls away or leaves me, I feel crazy and all alone.
Live isn't worth living without a special someone or a relationship.
This relationship is the only one I can have--I must hold onto it no matter what.
I'll TAKE any relationship.
It's impossible for me to have any fun or pleasure without a special someone or a relationship.
Love is all, without it I am nothing.
Loveaholism can come in different intensities and flavors. Most often it is driven by a dire need for love or for a special love relationship. It can be fired up by:
1. Soft traumas--steady rejection early in life.
2. An abandonment trauma either in childhood or in young adulthood.
3. A compulsion used as a defense mechanism to keep someone from experiencing emotional overwhelm. Here someone may have one of the first two challenges and utilize emptiness as a distraction from emotional overwhelm in other areas.
4. The belief that external love or a love relationship may be a dire necessity for survival and happiness.