Love Addiction

Love addiction is considered an intimacy disorder which at it's heart is about childhood unmet emotional needs such as love, affection and a fear of abandonment or loss. These unmet needs deeply effected the love addicts selfworth and self esteem. 

A love addict unwittingly finds him/herself anxious, in pain, and afraid of being rejected or alone. He or she often get caught up in intrigue, flirtation or affairs. The drug of choice for a love addict is a person and/or the fantasy surrounding a person.

Signs and symptoms of Love Addiction:
  • Difficulty sustaining relationships after the initial excitement wears off
  • Constantly searching for a newer, better relationship
  • Feeling unhappy or worthlless when alone 
  • Repeatedly attracting troubled or emotionally unavailable partners
  • Confusing sex and romance for real love
  • Escaping feelings of loneliness or unhappiness through sex or relationships
  • Having multiple affairs
  • Serial dating
  • Having anonymous or unprotected sex
  • Quickly becoming obsessed with somebody they are attracted to
  • Trading sex for love, affection, money or power
  • Using any means necessary to attract or hold onto a love interest
  • Inability to set appropriate boundaries
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, career or interests to focus on a romantic relationship

As mentioned, love addiction is more of a psychological or emotional style usually going back to childhood. At the core is a past history of abandonment or feelings of rejection which left a scare on the love addicts self-esteem. Someone suffering from love addiction regularly confuses intensity with love. They become obsessed and spend a lot of  time and effort on the person they obsessed with.  This behavior results in love addicts neglecting to care for themselves and frequently abandoning important aspects of their lives such as social relationships, professional and work relationships. They loose themselves in the other with devastating concequences. They might cling to bad relationships, engage in serial dating and forever search for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Not uncommon, a core (unconscious) fantasy and wish of the love addict is  that the object of their ‘love’ will take care of them, love and validate them and make up for all the unmet needs of the past. On a deep level they believe unless they are with somebody they are not enough or do not really exist. When these intense fantasies and needs are not met, love addicts become very needy, anxious and obsessive, which often results in conflict in their relationships. At the heart of this behavior is a feeling of unworthiness, fear of rejection, abandonment and low self esteem.

Not surprising, a person struggling with love addiction is often attracted to a person who is emotionally unavailable or with an avoidant attachment style, perpetuating their fear of abandonment. 


At NYCSAT, recovery from love addiction is a process of self-discovery. It requires acknowledging and understanding the addictive nature of your behavior. Learning your triggers, risk recognition and developing a relapse prevention plan are an early focus in your individual therapy. In addition, therapy will focus on facilitating a grieving process and address the underlying emotional pain and loss that is at the core of your addiction. The NYCSAT therapist will help you identify your emotional needs and channel energy used formerly for seduction and intrigue, into self-care, family, work, and hobbies.   Developing healthy boundaries and relationship dynamics is another central issue in treatment, together with exploration of underlying issues, i.e. early childhood trauma or neglect.

An essential aspect of your treatment will be for you to learn self-care, help you develop greater self worth and a healthy sense of self. 

To schedule a confidential consultation in person or by phone email us or call at 212.665.7352 

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