When Layla fell in love, she fell HARD.
She gave everything to her beloved.
She made his life a dream. She surprised him with his favorite things. She never complained or argued.
She was the ideal girlfriend.
At least, that’s what she thought.
When she came to me, she was recovering from yet another devastating breakup.
She couldn’t eat. Couldn’t sleep. Could barely drag herself to work.
She wanted to know why this kept happening to her.
Why did she give everything to these men, only for them to turn around and walk away like it was nothing?
Was the world full of users? Was she destined to be alone?
I asked her three questions.
Questions based on the work of codependence expert Pia Mellody.
When you’re in love, do you make the other person your world?
When you’re in love, do you expect him to adore you forever and ever no matter what?
When you’re in love, do you neglect to care for or value yourself?
If my client answers yes to all three…
Then I talk to her about love addiction.
An Addiction to Love
We live in a culture that romanticizes love addiction.
We want to see couples who are so caught up in their love that they do the craziest things to be together. Drama makes for captivating stories.
But in real life, that single-mindedness doesn’t go over so well.
If a man pursued you like Edward Cullen pursued Bella Swan, you might find yourself feeling incredibly uncomfortable and perhaps even reporting him to the police.
It’s enjoyable when a man is interested in you, but it’s creepy when he drops his life to pursue you.
All-consuming love belongs on screen, while healthy love belongs in our lives.
Healthy love is love that is:
- Realistic. This is not about finding a knight in shining armor to make all your dreams come true. It’s about finding an ordinary guy who makes you happy when you share life with him.
- Boundaried. This is not love that gives everything. It’s love that gives appropriately.
- Balanced. This is not love that sacrifices the self. It’s love that flows from a love of self.
Love addicts find it difficult to love in a way that’s balanced, realistic, and boundaried.
But you don’t have to be a full-blown love addict to make these mistakes.
We all trip up from time to time. We give too much, or we idealize the wrong person.
Here are 3 mistakes love addicts make that you’ll want to avoid.
Mistake #1. Putting Him on a Pedestal
The first mistake of love addiction is to make another person your “Higher Power.”
Pia Mellody uses this phrase to illustrate the way a love addict sees their beloved as more powerful than they really are.
The love addict believes that this man is the one who will finally lift her out of the banal struggles of everyday life.
He will care for her and love her the way she’s always longed to be loved.
Of course she’d leave everything to be with him. He is all her hopes and dreams.
As you can imagine, that sets her up for a huge letdown when the ordinary man she’s chosen turns out to be fallible, unreliable, and uninterested in being her savior.
Take him off the pedestal. The man you love is your equal, no better or worse than you.
Mistake #2. Relying on Him to Feel Good
The second mistake of love addiction is to expect unconditional positive regard.
Most of us know that you can love someone and not like things about them. You can love someone and not approve of everything they do.
But if you are in a relationship with a love addict, anything you say that can be perceived as critical will deal them a devastating blow.
The love addict’s self-esteem depends on her partner. She cannot handle making him upset. She needs him to approve of her at all times.
Self-esteem is an inside job. Find ways to feel good about yourself that don’t depend on him.
Mistake #3. Expecting Him to Take Over
The third mistake of love addiction is to hand over the job of looking after yourself to someone else.
Love addicts can be very good at taking care of themselves when a man is not in the picture. They manage their finances, eat well, and make time for friends.
But the instant they fall in love, their self-care falls to pieces.
They stop doing those things that kept them healthy and sane.
They do what their partner wants—and he’s not always thinking of their wellbeing.
You need to look after yourself and stand on your own two feet even if you’re in a committed relationship.
Love addiction is a pattern of addictive relationships, but sometimes the addiction only shows up in the case of one specific man.
If you think you might be addicted to a man, this special report can help.