Relationship Counseling for Individuals and Couples

Love Addiction

 The Love Addiction Cycle 

What is Love Addiction?

Love addiction is a psychological addiction, a result of unfulfilled childhood needs. Children whose needs remain unrecognized may adjust by learning to limit their expectations. This limitation process may take the form of core beliefs such as: “My needs don’t count”, “Getting close will hurt”, and “I’m not lovable”.

The trauma/abuse of abandonment/neglect of a child by the major caregiver creates love addiction. Abandonment is when the major caretaker is not present and there is little major caretaker connection.

As Pia Mellody explains: Abandonment/neglect gives the message to the child that they are not loveable and if the child wants anything close to love, intimacy and/or respect when they will have to settle for crumbs.

Such beliefs do not satisfy childhood needs, leaving them to be met later in life. As adults, addictive lovers remain dependent upon others to care for them, protect them and solve their problems.

The child learns three things form their experience of being in a relationship with a major care-taker who abuses them with abandonment/neglect:

1. The child learns that they are “worth-less” in a relationship. The child will become afraid of it’s own humility and they can’t tell the truth, thus they can’t love. They create an intense fantasy around their desire to be relational.
2. The child learns that they can’t take care of themselves and that they will be abandoned and/or neglected.
3. The child learns that if they don’t get close enough they will die (fantasy). The child believes that they need to find another person to become enmeshed with in order to survive.

Love Addiction is about being obsessed with another person, wanting the other person to love the love addict into loving themselves and wanting the other person to take care of the love addict in some way. It is as though they the love addict wants the other person to “right the wrong from childhood” and they want the person that they are obsessed with to parent them. 

One of the peculiar issues with love addiction is that the love addict is not “loving” the other person as he or she really is, but has fallen in love with a fantasy the love addict has made up about the other person. It is in this “fantasy” that the love addict actually objectifies the other person. When the other person does not live up to the fantasy, the love addict goes into withdrawal from the fantasy, not the other person. 

The withdrawal is emotionally traumatic, in that the love addict feels suicidal and/or homicidal and panicked. In this state of mind, the love addict may act out forcefully to attempt to get the other person back into the fantasy.

How We Can Help

Please feel free to call or contact me directly NOW for a confidential, complimentary telephone consultation about your concerns and to discuss your options. Contact me at (818) 859-6766 or use the Contact Form to the right to learn how I may be of assistance to you. 

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Westlake Village, CA 91361 


Are You Troubled
by an Experience from Your Past?

I Can Help

 EMDR Therapy 


10 Signs Your Relationship Needs Help 

Anger & Negativity Reoccurring Arguments 

Cruel Fighting 

Retaliation 

Withdrawal 

 Built up Resentments Controlling Your Partner Addiction Issues 

 Loss of Trust 

 Affairs & Infidelity