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Why Love Addiction Deprives Us of Love and How to Let It In

Love Is in the Air

“What we seek in love is finding someone with whom we feel safe to reveal our true self.” ~Karen Salmansohn

I wasn’t always in a relationship, but I was almost always in love.

I even had crushes in kindergarten. I hated school because my grade school teacher didn’t like me. Maybe my crushes let me avoid feeling the void, the loneliness, and the sense that I was not of this world, an outcast.

Being in love let me ignore those uncomfortable feelings. Of course, I did not understand any of this at age six. Now, I do.

As an adult, I wanted a lover because I wanted someone to treat me better than I treated myself. I wanted him to fall in love and stay in love with me. I wanted this because I needed something as desperately as the desert needs water: to feel good about myself.

I wanted someone to mirror back to me the good he saw in me—my beauty, intelligence, and worth.

I wanted someone to accept and appreciate my quirks, even when I didn’t. I wanted someone to see me for once. I wanted to be okay in the eyes of one person, at least. It never occurred to me that that “one person” needed to be me.

I also waited for a life partner to enjoy life. His love would protect me. I had no guarantee that I would not hurt again, but if there was one person guaranteed to love me, then I could endure other disappointments that life would throw at me.

I wouldn’t go camping, to concerts, or even to the Sunday market unless I had someone with me who was “the one.” I missed out on so much while I waited for the love blanket to protect me so I could feel safe enough to discover myself.

I was a love addict. And I didn’t know it.

Society pushes this notion on us. Vacation ads feature happy couples. Valentine’s Day comes and people post pictures from their night of love on Facebook. Meanwhile, we lonely love addicts make do with heart-shaped chocolates purchased on sale one day too late.

How much of life I allowed myself to miss! Instead of drowning in regret, I faced the truth and noted the signs of my love addiction. Maybe these symptoms will seem familiar to you:

  • You’re preoccupied with your love objects—checking their Facebook page, Googling them (many times), daydreaming about them. They become our dreams!
  • An email, text, or smile from your love object, it all sends you into ecstasy. But the next day, the void and the longing come back. The fix has lost its effect.
  • You listen to your love object’s voicemail repeatedly and save them…forever.
  • You gush about your love object any chance you get. And you project qualities you can’t own in yourself, shadow or light, onto them, because it is safer. (For example, you may detest your partner for arrogance, a quality that you deny in yourself, or idolize them for their talent, which you’ve never allowed yourself to express.)

I am thirty-nine years old. This awareness is relatively new for me. When my last addictive relationship ended, for the first time, I experienced what a heartache is.

After we broke up, he went off to date the woman we had the biggest fights over. That broke my heart. But it also showed me that I did the right thing by leaving him. At that point, I realized he was more wounded than I was. That did give me some relief but didn’t really take the pain of self-betrayal away.

I lost thirteen pounds in three weeks and had to drive myself to the ER.

At ninety-seven pounds, I couldn’t eat. I knew my life was in danger and even wondered if my heart was bleeding. With compassion, the ER doctor said, “You will heal, I know, because you were strong enough to drive yourself here.”

Yes! Right then, I began the excruciating but necessary journey into Self.

I discovered and felt in my body how much I was depriving myself of life by getting addicted to the crumbs of love—when I actually wanted the whole loaf. I realized that I had never really believed I deserved that much.

Then, I fell in love again. Just when I thought I was done, for a while at least. He had a similar past, so we immediately bonded.

During our six-week relationship, I recovered from my love addiction. We used the relationship as a love lab and processed all the feelings and thoughts that came up. We swore to radical honesty and kept our word. With full transparency, we found out what happens when we just show up as ourselves—addictions and all.

We made passionate love, shared breakfast in bed, went to the farmer’s market on Sundays, did grocery shopping, and kissed at the most beautiful spots on the island.

He rubbed my feet as I fell asleep, and I lathered sunblock lotion on his body before we took off to the beach. I went snorkeling with him, and we swam naked in secret, secluded beaches with only turtles for discreet company.

I understood he would move back to New York and it would end, and I appreciated this gift from the Universe, as he helped me be okay with loving someone. Period. No desperate attachment. I knew he didn’t owe it to me to stay with me forever.

I discovered that my feelings were my own. I, not the other, was the source of my feelings.

I wasn’t born with my feelings for him. I had created them. I had allowed them. And I was going to love Jim, Mike, Darren, and Chris in the future the same way. I realized they were the objects of my love, but they were not the bearer of it. I was.

Oh, what a relief! What a blessing to overcome love addiction in the thick of an intense, beautiful connection. I was sad when he left, but I was not left with nothing. I had a happy life and fulfilling work. This was all new for me and I felt so light and free.

The truth is, when you are a love addict, you have way less love in your life than you were aiming for.

Ironic, isn’t it? The reason is simple: Making one person the only source of love does not work because love is in everything and everyone. When we miss that, we miss the point of life. Really.

I now see love in all forms—in the guy bagging my groceries so diligently, in the blissful expression on my best friend’s face as she comes out of her massage session, or in the way the 7/11 guy jokes about my glasses that are too big for my face. Witnessing these things is love. So is painting my toes while watching an Eckhart Tolle video on YouTube.

I missed all this while I was hooked on someone. I missed life. I missed myself.

I hope I live long enough to pass this onto my kids when I have them. If I have a daughter, I will teach her about real love so that she does not end up experiencing what I did. I will teach her that, even if I am her mother and love her to death, she owes me nothing because she deserves it by just being her.

We all do.

Photo by geralt

Avatar of Banu Sekendur

About Banu Sekendur

Banu Sekendur is an Intuitive Coach for Business and Life. After two decades of running from one healer to another, she became the coach she needed when she was going through hell. She will give her last breath helping people discover, own, and live who they are. You can connect with her on Facebook and her website workwithbanu.com.

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  • Tim

    Banu,
    What an awesome post! I’m so glad that it ended that way for you. As I was reading, I was expecting you to say that you ended up falling in love with yourself, just happy to be alone. It was cool the way you found someone to be happy with for awhile. I’m so happy for you.

  • Samantha

    This was a beautiful post. It really resonated with me. I have been struggling to recover from love addiction for the last seven months (when my last relationship ended). It has been a long journey and I am now seeing a therapist to help with negative thinking and depression and I hope that in these sessions, I can learn to form healthy bonds (not unhealthy obsessions or attachments) with others. I hope I can learn to accept myself. I will surely be reading this post again in the near future. Thank you for sharing.

  • Alexa

    LOVE this article – especially on a day like today! I am just the same as you. What I also realized from being a “love addict” was that even my loves couldn’t give me enough love! Even though I was projecting all my expectations on them to fulfill MY need for love… they STILL were never good enough. Single today, but working on discovering the beauty of me so I, too, can enjoy love with everything and everyone and one day, “the one” but the RIGHT way. : )

  • http://projectsimplelife.com/ Mariel

    I waited for the love blanket to protect me so I could feel safe enough to discover myself… I read this and I couldn’t stop thinking about how this is how I was for a long time up into my first marriage.. It was in that breakup and heartache I went through that pushed me into self reliance– for everything including love. Long story short, I realized I couldn’t wait for someone to be in my life to experience all the things I wanted to. Even going to the coffeehouse had to be with my “one”… now I do what I want to because I love it and appreicate my own company. And when I do have my special someone with me, my experiences are just as great. thank you for sharing this. It takes courage to admit our faults. :)

  • Banu

    Hi Tim, Thank you! I did fall in love with myself! In fact, I wrote a post on my personal FB page saying that I am very happy to be single for the FIRST TIME in my life! And I meant it. :)

  • Banu

    Yes! No one can be good enough because you are the only one who knows HOW you want to be loved. It is an inside job. I am single today and happy. I had never thought that I’d say this! I am so glad it resonated with you. That was the whole point! This is more common than we care to admit. Happy self-love day! :)

  • Banu

    Thank you for your feedback, Samantha! Yes, my last break up was my wake up call. I am sure you will discover the magic of being you throughout this process. And when we earn self-love, we don’t give ourselves away anymore.You are on your way. Keep going! You are worth it!

  • Banu

    Yes, Mariel! Thank you for sharing your experience! I grieved the time I lost but better late than never, right? So interesting how human experience is so universal. I appreciate your comment! Rock on! xo

  • B

    Great article!
    I sometimes wonder what is the point of a relationship anyway.

  • GG

    Resonating deeply with your sharing and appreciating you. Thank you.

  • simon

    thank you

  • guest

    Yes, love/validation addiction describes me perfectly. Please post this every year for those of us who need to see this!

  • Banu

    Thank you, B! I hear you!! How many times I have thrown my own tantrums and given ultimatums to the Universe!

    In my humble opinion, the purpose of a relationship (when it is due) is to be a loving and truthful mirror so we can discover and own own shadow and light that may be unconscious and disowned by us. In essence, for most relationships, we are getting to know and to love OURSELVES. As I wrote in this article, I had bought into the Hollywood story of love, where we don’t see the rest of the life movie of the couple who got together after such turmoil. It is portrayed as if finding “the one” will solve our problems. As if we will get to relinquish our responsibility to learn our own soul lessons and walk our own path. It does not happen and cannot and should not. Who can learn to walk for us? Can I pay someone to do my workouts for me and take my vitamins for me?

    I am happily single right now and the way I look at it is this: if I meet someone I might be interested in, that means I have a new assignment. Until I do, my assignment is getting more intimate with myself, loving myself, living my life and learning my own lessons. It almost cost me my life to get an understanding of this, as I shared in this story.

    Thanks again for your input. Hang in there. You can do it!!!!
    Warmly,
    Banu

  • Talya Price

    Wow this was really a good read. Given the fact that today is V-day and this is my third anniversary of being single, I wouldn’t call myself a love addict. However I would say that I WAS an addict of attracting the wrong men. I had to learn to love myself first and that was a long and difficult process however I had to experience it. All of my past relationships I am grateful for, especially my previous relationship that almost killed me. I am not going to lie, I miss the companionship and intimacy, but there is nothing wrong with being alone and in love with YOURSELF!!!

  • Banu

    Ha ha. You never know, you might be writing one similar to this yourself next year! :)

  • Banu

    So well said, Talya! Seems like our relationships teach us more about self-love than anything else! Thank you for sharing your powerful experience! And kudos to you for loving yourself!

  • porterman

    teach it to your son, too, if you have one. I’m quite a bit like you, but I’m a man ;-) Very good article, and extremely helpful to me as i continue to try to learn about myself, to love myself.

  • Abi

    I identified with this so much. Thank you for helping me during rough times.

  • Mumoffive

    I’m still addicted to my husband who left me 4 months ago after 38 years of marriage. He has told me quite clearly that he doesn’t love me and wants a divorce. I know it’s not doing me any good, but the knowing doesn’t make it possible to give up. I loved him unconditionally, and so even now, even after everything he’s said and done, I still love him and always will.

  • Ria

    For a moment I felt I was reading my own thoughts written by someone who sneaked in my mind. So I registered just to comment. I went through this and never even had a chance at love at all. So I don’t know how it even feels to be loved. Sometimes it’s difficult, but you get through it. I read a lot of books on souls, destiny, etc from dr Brian Weiss, and dr Michael newton, geneview Paulson, and they helped me understand the purpose of our lives and the reasons why we may be going through certain circumstances in life. Now when I get sad, I try to recall the teachings and they help me calm down.

  • lv2terp

    OMG Banu, this post was like you were talking to me! Thank you so much for this, I am truly inspired, and feel you gave me a missing puzzle piece to myself! With swelled heart, I say thank you SO VERY MUCH!!!! :)

  • Banu

    Thank you! We are all ding it together!

  • Banu

    I am so glad to hear that! I appreciate your comment!!! Love, B

  • Banu

    Oh, it brings tears to my eyes for some reason. Let your heart take it in and heal with it! Thank you, thank you! Hug!!

  • Banu

    Oh, that’s a tough one. I won’t be giving advice to you over here since I don’t know details. But, know that I hear you! I know that ache well! In my case, the ache was a lot about missing myself, not being connected to myself and having invested SO MUCH on his side. I was starved. It was a desert on my side.

    I just have one question and one comment for you to ponder: 1) Have you let yourself grieve? All of the stages: the denial, the negotiation, the anger, the depression and the resolution/peace? Make sure you are not clinging onto your love for him to not get hurt again. Wishing you deep healing, mumoffive! (do you really have 5 kids?)

  • Banu

    Ria, I am honored that my experience resonated with you so much. We find pieces of ourselves like this. it’s beautiful. You know, unless we learn to love ourselves (take the time to and do the work), we won’t recognize what love is. We won’t know it even if it hit us in the face. Until we know self love, we are like little kids looking for the perfect parent in flawed but beautiful human beings.

    Those resources you shared are great. I have read both Weiss and Newton. I was kinda (!) addicted to past life stuff for a while. So I get it. For me, I had to come back to TODAY and be present with myself in the moment and feel everything. The voice inside of you will give you all the wisdom you need. When we are love addicts, we can’t hear that voice. So we can’t be with ourselves, let alone give ourselves the love we need. I totally get where you are at. Just keep walking your path. it will lead you where you need to go, no doubt!

    PS: A great resource you might find useful is: “Recovery of Your Inner Child” by Lucia Capacchione. It will give you tools as to how to connect with yourself. Check it out and see if your inner child is drawn to it. She’ll know right away! There is no fooling her. :)

    Much love and hugs,
    Banu

  • Banu

    So true porterman, you got me there! Many men emailed me after today’s post and I was like, “Wow, how blindsided am I here?” Thank you for speaking up and helping me as well. My last boyfriend was like me, too. But I was too worried about my “issues” to really be present with what was going on with him. Good for you for doing your work! We need more men like you. The fact that you read Tiny Buddha shows that you are well on your way, my friend.

    Love and Hugs!
    Banu

  • http://lucychenfineart.com/ Lucy Chen

    This is a beautiful post, Banu!

    I’m writing this down in my diary – “I discovered that my feelings were my own. I, not the other, was the source of my feelings.”

    I need it.

  • Phoebe

    Thank you Banu~

    I woke up with puffy eyes this morning, last night was a disaster, the hidden pain from last relationship came up and I spent the night questioning myself why can’t I just put myself together and move on? Then I started to write to myself… grab a black crayon and started to draw whatever that flows out of me… tears came along… I know I needed to let her cry… it was painful but it’ll pass… you can’t rush the healing, just walk beside it I guess.

    Today, I’m so glad to read your writing just in time of my chaos, it inspires me and helps me to reset myself. Thank you for the love you are sharing through your words, I will remind myself to smile for me, always.

  • michael feeley

    A very courageous post Banu. Thank you for expressing what you’re learning…pain and pleasure. I’m studying what it means to love yourself truly. It’s an amazing journey to see that I must know and accept myself first…unconditionally if I ever hope to love another truly or to be loved. If I don’t love myself, how can I ever expect to love another or feel deserving of being loved by someone else.
    Thank you – My very best — Michael

  • Just A. Guy

    Courageous post!

  • Michael Heuer

    Banu,

    I’m 24, and just had another huge bought of tackling love addiction. When I’m single, I don’t have many dependency issues, but I let myself full totally in love with the last girlfriend, and I started throwing away everything for her. I thought it was sacrifice, patience, and love. That those three things would somehow save the day, and her heart would still be mine. I ended up getting used, cheated on multiple times, and now I walk away alone. We’re still trying to swing a friendship as roommates. We’re not bad at being friends actually, but the addiction that I had to her affection during the relationship was toxic. You’re right. You completely miss out on life when you become fully dependent on the love of someone else. I started my blog as a means to heal from all my previous mistakes and blunders. Hopefully it carries me somewhere.

    Great article though, very reaffirming. Cheers!

  • Katie

    That’s all well and good, but what we’re looking for as love addicts is someone who can say ‘I love you for being you’. It’s hard to find. That’s why it’s a continuous process. I gave up fighting my love addiction a while ago. It’s part of who I am. So long as I don’t take it too seriously, I’ll be okay. I’ve found the balance, I don’t take it too seriously and I ride the storms when they happen..

  • Nick Mah

    Great post. I’ve been single for almost 4 years now. After a very very bad breakup. I been through the denial, anger/hatred, sad and finally made peace with myself and my ex. It took a lot of time and courage to do so. Now i have moved on and slowly picking up the pieces. I always felt that no one really understand what kind of person I really am deep down. I often hear that in other to be loved, first one have to loved themselves first? How do one define the definition of loving themselves?

  • Banu

    Nick, I hope you realize that you are in the minority in terms of doing the grief and taking time to heal, instead of jumping into another relationship to skip over those steps. It is essentially using another person to fill the void inside of us.

    Your question, “What does loving yourself mean?” is truly a million dollar question! And it is the RIGHT QUESTION to ask. I am not the world’s expert on it but I have learned a few things that has made my life easier and happier and I can share a few here:

    1)Choosing myself- Even if it means upsetting others and I am not popular anymore. Treating the fear of being dislikes as a creation of my survival brain and
    2)Telling what is true for me – no swallowing words that express how I truly feel about what I feel, think of want to do
    3) Giving my body the nurturing, rest, exercise and comfort it needs.
    4) Wearing clothes that make ME feel good and fit my personality instead of wearing clothes that are in fashion and I use to impress others.
    5) Being on my side – always! Even if people disagree with me, even if I f**k up. Literally treating myself like a 4-year-old beloved child who desErves my love and acceptance NO MATTER WHAT.

    This might give you a good start. Hope this helps. Keep going! You are doing it! I don’t know you, but I am proud of you!!!

  • Banu

    Awesome!! I LOVE how you started a blog to share and to heal. Do you realize what a huge thing that is?? That is a GIANT step towards self-love!! You are giving yourself what YOU need right now. When we are single is when we build a life, a sense of Self and a container for self-love in our own lives and hearts. Without that being in practice when we are single, the addiction and dependency kicks in. I’ve experienced the same thing! You are doing it, Michael. At age 24, you are wiser beyond your years. One day, you will see this person as a teacher/a wake up call who redirected to your path of self-love. Cheers back atcha!!

  • Banu

    Thank you, Michael! You’re so right on when you say, “If I don’t love myself, how can I ever expect to love another or feel deserving of being loved by someone else.”. When we can do that, we can actually ENJOY the other person, instead of trying get what we can’t give to ourselves. Right on, my friend!

  • Banu

    Phoebe, What an amazing process you are in! Back crayon, drawing it out, letting tears come out, draining out the pain that no longer serves you but here to teach you. “You can’t rush the healing, just walk beside it I guess.” Such wise words. Wow. Thank you for that! And thank you for your kinds words. Namaste…

  • banu

    I hear you, Katie. Your path and process is your own. You will find and create what works for you on your path to self-love and self-fulfillment. Wishing you a smooth journey ahead.

  • Banu

    Thank you, Lucy. I am honored that my experience became a source of connection with others and as a tool for them to find pieces they need for their own journey.

  • Princess Taaiebah :)

    Beautiful :) I love it – thank you <3

  • Rhea

    This post is so timely! Thank you Banu for sharing this insightful post.

  • Nick Mah

    Banu, thank you for the reply. It means a lot. I think after my past relationship it has thought be what I didn’t want and what I wanted in a relationship. I have been single for 4 years now I do not know if that is consider a long time. I go to movies, I have dates with myself, I do a lot of activities with myself. Maybe I am just too comfortable with myself now. But I do not deny that you do feel lonely at times and this do take a toll on yourself. I do often tell myself that want they I will find someone that will be able to accept me for who I am. Maybe, I too should start to love myself more and the people around me instead of always wanting to love someone.

    I wish you well and able to see for what you look for. :)

  • Truth Seeker

    My first real relationship allowed me to look into myself and give me the security I needed to fully develop as a person. Now I feel I love for myself more than ever-developed interest, childhood passions revisited, etc. As a mid 20s male, I am very grateful to have had this happen to me. However, before this, I was dating lots of women, going from relationship to relationship- it gave me a spark of confidence and adrenaline that seemed to redefine my masculinity. I felt like I was the man. Now that I have been in my great relationship for a year, I realise how immature I was. In fact, what drew me to this site was the Grass is Greener article, and I feel that it gave me a fresh perspective. My relationship is great, yet I do still feel so young to be committed, and find myself looking at other girls nonstop, feeling like I am missing out on experiences and that I may regret that later down the road. Is this normal and how would you reccomend dealing with this? Thanks a lot if you have time to read this. Great site and articles!

  • Happy to have crossed paths.

    This helped me more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for sharing and giving hope. You’ve helped me heal a little today.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Wonderful post, Banu! Very pertinent to the simultaneity of lack and satiation involved with set notions of romantic love. By God do we all know that feeling! Starving ourselves and projecting our satisfaction onto the crumbs we can get, which by the way, only corroborates our feelings of unworthiness.

    I can still feel the phantom pains of loves lost, of partners moving on faster than I would have wanted them to, and of feeling that as they “forgot me” I myself was being erased.

    It’s a sad and futile thing to be utterly dependent on the versions of ourselves that belong to other people. Especially sad considering the available option to connect with our own, true and unwavering sense of being. While I denied myself, each discarded version of me felt like a tiny death. That only changed when I decided to open myself to the vastness and reality of this moment and my place in it. Wow, what a change!

    Thank you for pointing out the importance of opening our eyes to the love around and within us. That is the kind of mode that keeps us nurtured and capable of enjoying romantic love (if and when it shows its pretty face) with gusto, rather than gobbling it up like it’s the last meal we’ll ever get. Ahhh.

  • Elizabeth

    I guess I can call myself a love addict having been obsessed with romantic literature my entire life – Jane Austen, Shakespeare, the Brontes, to name a few. My very practical side had me early in my life focused strictly on career – never dated in high school, and went on a total of 5 dates in college. Yet when I realized my life lacked passion at 21, I took a detour off of the career pursuing track and decided to live a little. Fast forward to today, I’m 31 and still without that family I’d hope to have someday – or that love that Austen so clearly defines and describes in her many famous female characters. No Mr. Darcy in my life. Even though I’ve fallen in love with so many other aspects of life I didn’t know growing up as a child, travelled, dated, engaged in casual relationships, had different jobs (I’m finally settled in that career I wanted) that feeling of being unfulfilled is back again.

    I had a year ago fallen in love with a man who captured my heart in the way that the Brontes’ could flawlessly describe in the way that Shakespeare was well versed in and in a way I I always imagined I could. He was a best friend, an advisor, a lover, an inspiration, – simply a soulmate. He though was separated from his wife of 7 years and after pushing finally for a divorce – after we had made life plans, named our future children, looked for apartments, met each others friends and family and knew we we were meant to be together forever, he decided that he wasn’t ready for it all yet. I’d fallen into an emotionally abyss and only now I’m pulling through. In thinking of my life ahead there is a large part of myself that wants to walk away from everything I have now. Start over.

    I have spent many Valentines Days alone – i.e. only had 3 serious (non casual) relationships with men for a total of 4 years and that has never been an issue however this last was the first time I felt an incredible sadness for not having someone to love me the way I love myself. Journey to Self I thought I did the moment I broke free from what was expected of me from my family at 21, and without a plan and much money, survived the next 10 years of my life in New York where I discovered so much about life and myself that I was blessed with a confidence and personality I never knew existed.

    I’m here now not fully recovered from the break up from 2 months ago – amongst new job offers and a promotion my boss is begging me to take – and I want to just give it all up. Walk away. Reset.

  • Banu

    Thank you for sharing your story, Elizabeth. Reset is good. Sometimes, leaving it all behind and starting with a blank slate is very helpful. Bad experiences bring good lessons, which lead to a better life. Hang in there. And make 2014 your best year ever! Blessings.

  • Banu

    Ohh, I am so very glad to hear that!! Take it all in, my friend. Love, Banu

  • Banu

    Thank you for your input and your kind comments. I loved what you said here, “While I denied myself, each discarded version of me felt like a tiny death. That only changed when I decided to open myself to the vastness and reality of this moment and my place in it.”. I can definitely relate to that!

  • Banu

    Thank you, Rhea! Human experience is so connected. I am happy to have provided a tool for you to find pieces of yourself in. :)

  • Banu

    Thank you for your note! <3 back! :)

  • http://matchaproblem.wordpress.com/ lisbet

    Thank you for this. I stayed in a marriage that… wasn’t good for 15 years because I was afraid of being alone. Living alone has been just brutal for me so far, and it’s only been 6 months. (I combined living alone with moving back to the U.S. from abroad, and to a city where I know almost nobody.)
    While I’ve made friends and am quite busy, the days where I don’t have meaningful human contact are physically painful to me. I get sick (I almost throw up). I get depressed. Even though I have tons of work to do, I get depressed

    I have found a guy I adore, but he’s currently living across the country from me, and so even knowing he’s out there isn’t helping with this loneliness.

    I know I could get a roommate and put a band-aid on the situation. I’m fine as long as I know someone is kind of “there, in the background”, especially if I can ignore them most of the time. But I really want to see this current crisis through and conquer this fear… if I can. Right now I’m not sure I can.

  • Banu

    Hi Lizbet, Thank you for sharing where you are at. I am inspired by your courage and honesty. Human contact is so crucial. I had a similar experience where I lived with a roommate who wanted no communication at all. I felt so lonely and isolated. My love addiction (or obsessing over a guy) would escalate in those days.

    We can’t live without contact. We also cannot expect one person to fulfill all our needs for connection- whether it is a roommate, friend or a lover. Not only it’s unfair to them but it leaves us high and dry when that ONE PERSON is not available.

    You said it right when you said, band-aid. Short term solutions are great (even addictions are OK in my personal opinion), if we use the band-aid solution to get some relief and work on a long-term solution.

    Chew on this and see if you can extract some truth for yourself, from within you. You are not alone and don’t have to be!

    Much love,
    Banu

  • Banu

    Hi Truth Seeker,

    First off, you are mid-20s and you have this much wisdom and self-love under your belt! Standing ovation!! For the second part of your question, I’d have to ask you some questions to gather some information and be able to dig up some insights. Feel free to email me on my website (see beIow). I’d be happy to be of assistance. low). Just know that there is nothing “wrong” with you and every behavior serves a purpose. Even when it seem “dysfunctional”. In the meantime, considering pondering: Is this a problem (looking at women constantly) or is it a problem because you *think* you should not?

    Thank you for your bold question and your input. :)

    Warmly,
    Banu

  • Annie

    Thank you for this article Banu! I have realized slowly over the past year how deep my love addiction runs. I feel like I drive guys away because I am desperate to be loved by someone, when I am the one who is placing that love on them. Your article revealed something to me – that I am the source of my own feelings. I allow myself to become attached to others, but I want to be able to love myself more than anyone else. Do you have any book recommendations? I’m reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle right now, but I’d love to hear about anything you could recommend. Thank you!

  • Pri

    It feels so good to read your refreshing article Banu after having craved for love from an outsider all these years..wonder how this notion fits into our mind so much that all you got to do is grow in a relationship..from movies or from lives of happy couples around. On the basis of being in middle 20′s and with no prior relationship, it just is a happy notion to fantasy how life is on other side when you can be your annoyingly bestest self to somebody to share, vent, express and practically do everything under the sun together..I’m way glad to know but how you have evolved. Good luck!

  • Banu

    Hi Annie,

    I want to congratulate you for recognizing it, awareness is the first HUGE step! Hmm, book recommendations? That’s a tough one because I don’t know of one book that summarizes self love. One of the things that helped me move forward faster was understanding my attachment style and doing inner child work. You see, that vulnerable little child in us the one we want to give over to the other person. But we are the only ones who can really be there for that young part of us. Lucia Cappachionne has a great book on that (Recovery of Your Inner Child: The Highly Acclaimed Method for Liberating Your Inner Self). Another good one about attachment styles is “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind – and Keep – Love” by Amir Levine. “Facing Love Addiction” by Pia Mellody and “Codependent No More”, by Melody Beattie are good as well.

    The thing about books is, they give us information and help us put some of the pieces together but using the information by ourselves is not that easy. I would highly recommend finding a coach or a therapist when you feel ready to do customized work for YOUR patterns. Correcting and re-writing patterns doesn’t happen by reading alone. Reading and getting a deeper understanding is one of the tools that lead to self love and self-responsibility (which is our point of power).

    You can do it! So many people struggle with this behind closed doors and many have recovered and are in happy relationships!

    Thank you for reading and sharing your input! xo

  • MsMaeDae

    Thank you! just what I needed to read. I’m on the same journey of loving myself and making myself happy without relying on another person. :)

  • kittendelight

    This was such a fantastic article! This completely resonates with me; Ive spent basically my whole life having crushes on people, like my life depends on having someone to be an unreachable source of affection. It undoubtedly stems from my childhood since my Mother, in particular, was that unreachable source of love and support and I never got it from her, or anyone else, or myself. Funnily enough I feel more motivated by the people I am in love with than myself. They become some kind of goal to me and a reason for me to better myself, strive, impress etc. and then when they are out of the picture I just crumble and lament over my loss. I have known for a while that I need to focus on myself but I don’t even know how to do that! It’s like the romantic potential is the only thing that gives me a will to keep going. Your awareness of how we project love and feelings onto others and how it’s about us is something I don’t believe most people ever realise. So few people take responsibility for themselves.

  • kittendelight

    What you said about them forgetting you and leading to you feeling like you were being erased is a terrifying experience I too have felt. It’s like depending on another person for confirmation that we, in fact, do continue to exist. I know I felt like that too, felt like when people disappeared on me or left that I too disappeared or lost my anchor. I think my main struggle was, and continues to be, needing to define myself based on other people, or perhaps my relationship with them.

  • Banu

    Wow, I had never heard of someone understand and explain the “drama” they are in. You might be a fish and you know that the water is wet. :) The drive for the romantic potential is one of our ego’s best tools to distract us from hearing and living our life purpose. It is a form of protection and distancing from Self. Love, love your comments and your insights. Thank you!

  • Banu

    Awesome! Many of us seem to be doing this work. Thank you for your courage to take this on and join the rest of us! Best wishes on your journey of self-discovery.

  • Birdy

    I could’ve written this. Thank you so much for sharing. I needed this. I felt like I learned a thing or two about myself.

  • Matthieu

    Just thank you! Your article speaks to me so much, I have been a love addict all my life so far and only now do I start to understand what it means and how it’s been hurting me. Let’s keep fighting!