7 Methods To Overcome Love Addiction

Falling in love is a powerful and captivating journey that can sweep us off our feet. It encourages us to grow, explore vulnerability, and embrace the beauty of shared intimacy, sparking a profound sense of connection. 

For some, romantic love can be so powerful that it fully consumes us, making it hard to work, study, or engage in usual daily activities when we lack it, a state commonly referred to as love addiction. While PIVOT acknowledges this commonplace term, we do not explicitly endorse it. Love isn’t a bad thing we need to steer clear from or learn to live without, yet a wonderful energy that lies in the essence of human existence. It’s the way we’re attached to it that can get us into trouble. This is why we prefer “attachment dysregulation.” 

Our hunger for affection can lead us to develop unhealthy survival patterns. By healing love addiction we heal the wounds inside ourselves and learn to cope with it in healthy ways, gradually progressing towards self-love and self-control and opening ways for healthy relationships.

how to heal from love addiction

How Do I Stop Being Addicted To Love?

Breaking the cycle can be hard. You fear getting out of a relationship although it’s dysfunctional, yet you’re not receiving the love and support you need, which makes you crave all this even more, getting you further obsessed with your partner. It’s far too easy to find yourself caught in a downward spiral, finding it extremely hard to hit “rewind”. However, it’s not impossible. Here are several methods that can help you regain your self-control and begin healing from love addiction:


Stop for a moment and observe the patterns of your behavior. Be completely honest about what you notice. Go over your relationships in detail, acknowledge if you have developed relationship dependency, and take steps to:

  • Accept that the relationship is unhealthy.
  • Recognize that reestablishing the relationship isn’t going to solve the problem.
  • Refrain from convincing yourself that it’s going to be “different” the following time.
  • Accept that the relationship is over.
  • Quit hoping that an avoidant partner can change.
  • Release the illusion you created.

Take A Break From New Relationships

Abstaining from a new romantic relationship for a while is a good idea. Focus on healing yourself first. Search for satisfaction within everything that you are instead of trying to find it in someone else. Start realizing that it’s not having a partner that makes you complete. In time, you can find security, power, and meaning within yourself. And this is easier said than done. Many people can’t stay OUT of a romantic relationship and be by themselves because the old wound of being abandoned is too hard to feel when they are alone.  So, the cycle of picking relationships that are not healthy due to entering too quickly leaves people feeling very destabilized. 

Become Aware Of Your Triggers

Focusing on your obsession with your prior partner will most likely make you feel miserable. Make an effort to rid yourself of any reminders of them. Remove their photos, store away (or give away) gifts, and muting them on social media is helpful. Coming across any of these will only cause more harm. Choosing to focus on positivity will help it expand. Best not to call their family and friends to “prove” your case.

Embrace The Present

Our minds easily wander off into the memories of past experiences or predictions of what could happen in the future. When these thoughts start to creep in, make a conscious effort to ground yourself in the here and now. Focusing on the present moment will help you alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression. It can help to stop what you’re doing and shift your focus to what you’re feeling, hearing, and seeing in the present moment. 


Educating yourself on how to heal love addiction and all the pertinent aspects of it can help you understand the reasons why love has such an effect on you. Speaking to a professional can give you a deeper insight into the intricacies of this process and help you discover healthy coping mechanisms.

Foster Healthy Living & Relationships

Having support from your close family and friends is key. However, the most essential part of recovery is working on your relationship with yourself. Nurture yourself through eating healthy, exercising, doing fun activities, and make sure you’re surrounded by people who love you.

Seek Professional Support

Going through the process of healing from love addiction on your own can be challenging. Professional assistance can help you discover the triggers for your behaviors, identify causes, and teach you how to efficiently cope with unhealthy feelings or thoughts.

How To Get Over Love Addiction?

Learning how to heal from love addiction and facing the various challenges of overcoming it is a stressful process that can trigger a series of chemical reactions in your body, which eventually lead to the stage of craving. Successfully overcoming this feeling does take some time, as well as a lot of effort. However, once you’re there, your body will finally be able to rest, reaching a state of equilibrium. Taking the following actions can help you alleviate this phase:

  • Engage in positive distractions, such as walking, meditating, gardening, or another healthy activity.
  • Perform physical activities, for example jogging, biking, or hiking.
  • Talk to a close family member or friend and tell them how you feel.
  • Start a journal to release uncomfortable emotions, write about how exactly you feel and encourage yourself.
  • Write a list of reasons why your addictive person/relationship is bad for you. 

Healing love addiction isn’t easy. Yet, it’s worthwhile. Take one step at a time and steadily advance towards your goals through hope, perseverance, and self-discovery. Don’t think beyond today, take each day as it comes, and stay focused and committed to your journey to a healthier self.

healing from love addiction

Trust PIVOT To Help You Heal Love Addiction And Regain Power

PIVOT’s dedicated and experienced specialists are here to help you with how to heal from love addiction and finding the optimal path to healing and recovery. Our inspiring Glass House retreats and personalized coaching for individuals offer reliable and efficient methods of self-discovery that allow you to find your strength, value, and self-love deep within you. 

We’ll work closely with you to guide you through your healing process with great care and compassion and teach you best ways to maintain healthy relationships. We’ll design solutions for your specific situation and goals. Get in touch with us today and embark on your journey of recovery!

Aftermath of Love Withdrawal Explained

In the words of the immortal Pat Benatar: “Love is a Battlefield.” Indeed, this beautiful song perfectly encapsulates the thin line between passion and pain in a relationship and our willingness to battle our demons for nothing besides a promise of a brighter future.

Sometimes, however, we may lose the sense of what we’re fighting for or why we’re even fighting. Sometimes, we take the fight to the extreme and lose sight of our objective. In doing so, we turn arms and armor ourselves until nothing’s left, apart from the fight itself. Often to find that we are fighting the wrong fight.  

Still, no war lasts forever. Sooner or later, the combat ceases, and the dust begins to settle, leaving us with a simple question. “What now?” This analogy is also the perfect love withdrawal example.

Once the battle is done, we’re left navigating the battlefield of broken emotions and injured self-esteem, wondering how to deal with love withdrawal. The answer lies in understanding the implications and consequences of adopting love addiction as a default operating method.

how to stop love withdrawal

What Are The Effects Of Love Addiction?

Much like traditional addiction (Substance Use Disorder/SUD), pathological love can manifest in a myriad of psychophysical effects, including (not limited to):

  • Obsession with the romantic interest;
  • Intense craving for the emotional high;
  • Compulsive pleasure-seeking;
  • Overwhelming fear of rejection/abandonment;
  • Distortion of self-worth/fragile self-esteem;
  • Formation of codependency;
  • Compromised/irrational decision-making.

Do note that this is, by no means, a comprehensive list of symptoms. The effects and examples of love addiction are incredibly diverse and typically vary on a per-person basis, as each individual experiences and expresses emotions differently.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Love Addiction?

Based on the aforementioned factors, we can extrapolate many disadvantages that come with pathological love. Here, we’ll focus on those that can have a profound effect on virtually every aspect of the person’s life. Note that this has nothing to do with pressing blame or shaming individuals struggling with attachment dysregulation. Instead, we’re here to help you understand the negative consequences such behavioral patterns can have on your day-to-day life.


Derived from diminished self-worth and self-esteem, individuals in a love-addicted relationship often tie their entire system of self-value to the perceived levels of attention and affection they receive from their romantic partners.

Compromised Decision-Making

Due to the compulsive need to maintain the emotional high, love-addicted individuals can often make decisions that could not be called entirely rational. Instead, they tend to prioritize the relationship above everything else, even to the point of jeopardizing their own well-being. 

Tumultuous Emotional Landscape

A prime example of love addiction and its hallmark is the experience of being on an emotional rollercoaster. The cycle of euphoric highs, caused by receiving affection from the partner, is typically followed by devastating lows when said affection is lacking.

What Are The Consequences Of Love Addiction?

Being trapped in the cycle of love addiction can have a number of outcomes that can be detrimental to the individual’s overall quality of life. However, some of them can have grave and lasting consequences, thereby warranting further breakdown.

Potential For Codependency

The dependence on external validation, resulting from enmeshment, may cause a person’s own identity to become secondary, which not only further exacerbates the feelings of unworthiness but also stifles the potential for personal development and independence.

Consequences Of Irrationality

This obsession with the partner and relationship can lead to a variety of detriments, such as:

  • Neglect of personal and professional responsibilities;
  • Inability to set, maintain, or respect healthy boundaries;
  • Neglect of other relationships, personal and professional;
  • Accepting abusive behavior in the name of “love.”

Emotional Volatility

The endless cycle of highs and lows is intensified by the constant need for affirmation and fear of abandonment. This can lead to emotional instability that can affect the individual’s mental health and also strain the relationship, eventually leading to its dissolution.

What Are The Withdrawal Symptoms Of Love Addiction?

To better understand love withdrawal, first, we must understand what this process entails in its original context.

What Is Withdrawal?

In terms of traditional addiction (SUD), withdrawal refers to psychophysical reactions the body experiences after the cessation of substance (ab)use. After prolonged use, the brain and the body adapt to the substance.

Since this way of functioning becomes a new normal, the body starts reacting negatively once the person stops introducing drugs or alcohol into the system, causing withdrawal symptoms to emerge.

However, it must be noted that, while unpleasant, withdrawal is not necessarily a bad thing. The human body has an innate “memory” of the correct way of functioning, as well as the ability to self-detox.

Shortly after the substance is reduced or stopped, it initiates the purge process, attempting to expunge the remnants of the substance from the system. Therefore, withdrawal can be viewed as the organism’s attempt to readjust to functioning without the substance.

How Does Love Addiction Withdrawal Work?

The withdrawal from love addiction is similar to that experienced with substance abuse. The difference is that the substances in question are the so-called “happy chemicals” that naturally occur in the body. As such, the love withdrawal process typically tends to err on the emotional side, with the three most prevalent symptoms being:

  • Intense feelings of emptiness due to the absence of a partner’s attention and affection can lead to an overwhelming sense of loss and despair.
  • Anxiety, resulting from the challenges of grasping the newfound solitude, may exacerbate the fear of abandonment. This may cause physical symptoms, such as restlessness, heart palpitations, and difficulty concentrating, among others.
  • Depression can sometimes develop as a result of love addiction withdrawal, mainly due to the sudden shift from intense emotional connection to solitude, leading to an overwhelming sense of grief and hopelessness.

While the aforementioned are the most common and prominent love withdrawal examples, it can also manifest in a variety of other ways, including:

  • Sudden/persistent bouts of crying or tearfulness;
  • Disrupted sleep patterns;
  • Appetite dysregulation;
  • Energy depletion and fatigue;
  • Intense relationship craving/emotional longing;
  • Separation distress (frustration, tension);
  • Emotional volatility (mood swings).

How To Stop Love Withdrawal?

As noted above, withdrawal is the body’s attempt to revert back to “factory settings” and adjust to a healthier way of functioning. As such, attempting to stop love withdrawal is not advisable. In addition, this is an innate, natural process that’s seldom within our control. However, it is possible to manage and lessen the intensity of the symptoms over time.

How To Deal With Love Withdrawal?

There are several effective ways that can help you face love addiction withdrawal and come out on top:

  • Acknowledge and accept that you’re dealing with love addiction without judging or blaming yourself;
  • Seek support from family and friends, as they can provide much-needed empowerment, as well as fresh perspectives;
  • Prioritize self-care above everything else. This includes regular exercise, healthy meals, and good sleep while also engaging in activities you love and enjoy.
  • Create space for emotional healing by setting healthy boundaries between yourself and the object of your affection;
  • Engage in constructive distractions, whether it be taking up a new (or old) hobby, reading and learning, or spending time with family and friends.

However, by far, the best way to deal with love withdrawal and its unpleasant side-effects is through professional guidance. Coaching, counseling, and psychotherapy can be instrumental in overcoming the challenges involved with this state and freeing yourself from the chains of addiction. The behavioral patterns that are not serving you were set in motion a long time ago. 

how to deal with love withdrawal

Turn To PIVOT For Help Managing Love Addiction Withdrawal

Dealing with love withdrawal and its symptoms is much easier with compassionate support and expert guidance. At PIVOT, that’s exactly what we offer. At our Glass House Retreat, you’ll find a variety of workshops, tailored to your individual needs and unique situation. 

Led by a team of experienced coaches, our group and one-on-one sessions promote healing, rediscovering your uniqueness and self-worth, and building sound, healthy foundations for future relationships. Reach out to us today and begin your journey on how to stop love withdrawal for a better tomorrow!

9 Love Addiction Causes

The ultimate goal every human being strives toward is a concept each and every one of us is intimately familiar with – to love and be loved. It’s a necessity so basic, a desire so deeply ingrained into the very core of our being that we can’t help and give our all to fulfill it.

However, sometimes, this desire turns into an uncontrollable, obsessive craving. When that happens, pursuing love becomes a desperate quest for validation and acceptance at all costs and by any means necessary. 

Some even take it a step further, trying to replicate feelings of euphoria and elation by force instead of letting them happen naturally, at their own time and terms. By doing so, they’re effectively turning the skewed idea of love into a potent drug, which leaves them at risk of facing love addiction.

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid this trap, and it begins by understanding what causes love addiction on a deeper level. However, we do have to note that at PIVOT, we prefer to use the term of attachment dysregulation to explain these and similar problems and solely use the term “addiction” in order to explain why it doesn’t work.

love addiction causes in relationship

What Makes A Person Addicted To Love?

The most important thing to realize is that there’s no single factor that causes love addiction in a relationship. Instead, it is a combination of numerous biopsychosocial contributors. From individual brain chemistry and genetics to earliest life experiences and societal influences, it is the fusion of these constituents that shapes patterns of behavior and emotional responses.

Considering the sheer complexity and life-defining potential of this phenomenon, facing love addiction warrants a deep dive into each of these factors.

Biological & Neurochemical Factors

Starting with the basics, there are some elements of our existence we can’t control or have limited influence over, which can set the stage for the formation of love addiction (pathological love).

Genetics & Family History

It is a little-known fact that addiction can be hereditary to an extent. Still, it is confirmed that individuals with a family history of mental health conditions run a higher risk of developing similar or the same conditions in the future.

While pathological love is not classified as a mental illness under “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5thEdition (DSM-5)”, it does share many similarities with “traditional addiction” or Substance Use Disorder (SUD), making similar criteria applicable in both diagnosis and treatment.

Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions

The impact of mental health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and SUD) on love addiction can be twofold:

  • Conditions can develop alongside pathological love, typically worsening the symptoms;
  • Pre-existing conditions can be among the triggers that cause it to form. 

It needs to be noted that the risk of SUD formation is higher in individuals suffering from love addiction. The reason for this is that they’ll often resort to alternative means of satisfying their need for a “love high” if they don’t receive the affection they crave from a romantic relationship.


While the feeling of being in love can seem “divine,” “heavenly,” and “out of this world,” the reality is it’s all in our heads. In this case, quite literally. When we’re in love, our bodies release the so-called “feel good” chemicals, among others: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and epinephrine.

These chemicals target the brain’s reward centers, causing an overwhelming sense of pleasure. The more in love we are, the more active this process becomes. However, in the case of addiction, whether love or SUD, it gets taken to the extreme.

Here, the reward centers become flooded with excessive amounts of feel-good chemicals, causing a euphoric high. However, once the instigator of the process becomes absent, the brain is left deprived of its nourishment, which inevitably leads to a devastating crash.

Psychological & Emotional Factors

Moving away from the physical and into the realm of the mental, we have another set of factors that can be considered causes of love addiction. 

Childhood Experiences & Attachment Styles

The earliest life experiences define how we form connections with others or, in other words, how we form emotional attachments. Individuals who grow up in a positive environment, where their physical and emotional needs are met, typically develop a secure attachment style, enabling them to form healthy bonds with others.

On the flip side, children who experienced inconsistent love, neglect, or abandonment during their formative years have a tendency to develop insecure attachment styles. Whether it’s anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, each of these attachment styles can present a fertile ground for pathological love formation.

Traumatic Experiences & Coping Mechanisms

In some cases, love addiction may develop as a coping mechanism. Typically, this happens as a result of a traumatic experience, which may include (and isn’t limited to):

  • Being a victim of abuse, whether emotional, physical, verbal, or sexual;
  • Witnessing a deeply disturbing event, such as a violent crime or natural disaster;
  • Being exposed to sensory overload or deprivation, for example, intense family conflicts or emotional neglect;
  • Dealing with excessive amounts of stress or extreme life challenges.

In these and similar instances, a person may “adopt” love addiction as a way to protect themselves or escape from the harsh reality of life.

Low Self-Esteem

Individuals with a diminished sense of identity and self-worth often turn to external sources for validation and emotional stability. In the case of pathological love, this source is their romantic partner. However, this constant and intense need for reassurance and affirmation typically exacerbates the feelings of insecurity and may even lead to the formation of codependency.

Fear Of Abandonment

Often rooted in past traumatic experiences, fear of abandonment can be the primary cause behind the compulsive need for affection, which is the defining characteristic of love addiction. This fear, whether rational or irrational, may drive the person to cling to their partner desperately, doing everything in their power to avoid abandonment, even if it means sacrificing their own well-being.

Societal & Cultural Factors

Finally, we cannot fail to mention two external factors that shape our perception on a virtually daily basis: society and culture. While the modern world generally views love and romantic relationships in a positive light, it also has the tendency to romanticize them.

In general, this wouldn’t be a problem unless those concepts weren’t driven to the point of extreme. Unfortunately, this is all too common an occurrence that’s becoming more and more prevalent by the day. 

Today’s societal and cultural emphasis on love as the pinnacle of happiness can mislead some individuals into believing that their worth is intrinsically tied to their relationship status. However, the pressure to conform to these (unrealistic) norms can be the instigator of compulsive behavior, resulting in what is the cause of love addiction in its most basic form.

What Are The Risk Factors For Love Addiction?

While every person is susceptible to the prospect of facing love addiction, certain groups run a greater risk of succumbing to it. From everything mentioned above, we can easily extrapolate factors that can increase one’s vulnerability to pathological love:

  • Insecure attachment styles;
  • Childhood trauma;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Lack of healthy coping mechanisms;
  • Tendency to seek external validation;
  • History of dysfunctional relationships;
  • Depression, anxiety, or personality disorder;
  • Substance use disorder;
  • Codependency in a relationship.

It is essential to note that the development of love addiction isn’t predetermined. 

There’s a whole myriad of factors that influence how a person responds to these influences, including their own resilience, worldviews, and support systems. Therefore, even if a person exhibits one or more or all of the above traits and behaviors, they’re by no means destined to become addicted to love.

What Is The Root Of Love Addiction?

While causes of love addiction are many and their web intricately intertwined, at the very basis of this phenomenon lies a simple desire for emotional fulfillment. However, unmet emotional needs from the past or present may leave a void, and for someone who doesn’t foster a secure attachment style or healthy coping mechanisms, seemingly the only way to fill it is to seek solace in a romantic relationship. 

facing love addiction

Turn To PIVOT And Make Facing Love Addiction Easier

At PIVOT, uncovering and addressing the root love addiction causes becomes a transformative and empowering experience. Our team of professionals offers compassionate guidance whether you choose to participate in group workshops or personalized, one-on-one sessions. Reach out to us today, reserve your place at our soothing Glass House Retreat, and begin your journey to lasting emotional wellness.

Anxious Attachment Style Explained

We all want to be loved, to feel valued, secure, and appreciated. We seek help, approval, and emotional response from our partners, family, and friends. We also fear losing someone’s love. Now, what if we experience these fears and needs so powerfully that they control our behavior in relationships?

Anxious attachment styles aren’t easy to recognize in adults, and by exploring the delicate nuances, we embark on a journey that delves into the intricate web of emotions, vulnerabilities, and longing for connection, typically stemming from our childhood. The bond we develop with our parents is ingrained deeply within us, setting the pattern for relationships later in life. 

What is an anxious attachment style, and what does it mean for you? Navigating the intricate dance of relationships with a deep-seated fear of abandonment and yearning for reassurance like a delicate flower seeking the warmth of sunlight is one way to put it.

what causes anxious attachment

What Is An Anxious Attachment?

Attachment refers to our ability to form emotional bonds with others. We start developing it as early as we’re born and continue to build it through early life and adulthood. Depending on the circumstances we grow up in, we can develop 4 different styles of attachment, including secure, avoidant, disorganized, and anxious attachment styles. The last three fall under the category of insecure styles

However, even if how you relate to others has a great impact on your life, if you tend to be insecure or need continual validation from your partners, it’s essential to understand that there are ways to change that

How Does Someone With Anxious Attachment Act?

How you feel about yourself, the way you respond to conflict, and how you behave in a relationship can all be affected by your attachment style. However, one of the hallmark signs of anxious attachment is hyperactivation or constant search for signs that your partner will leave you. This can include:

  • Needing repeated reassurance.
  • Observing small issues as threats to the relationship.
  • Obsessively searching for signs your partner is pulling away.
  • Suspecting the worst about your partner’s behaviors. For example, assuming they didn’t text you back because they stopped caring about you rather than taking other considerations into account.

Some other common signs can include:

  • Ruminating on worst-case scenarios.
  • Having a negative self-perception.
  • Being unable to solve problems without your partner.
  • Constantly worrying about the relationship.
  • Experiencing a sense of urgency when it comes to spending time with your partner.
  • Feeling the urge to know what your partner is feeling or thinking all the time.

While satisfying these needs and receiving reassurance can provide temporary relief, it is often not enough to make you feel secure in the long run. Moreover, you may have a hard time believing that your needs will be met at all, and this anxiety can trigger behaviors that can make you seem clingy or mistrustful. What are attachment issues that can affect your relationship? Some of the effects include:

  • Less trust in your relationship
  • More conflict with your partner 
  • A lower satisfaction within the relationship

Outside of a relationship, you may also experience individual mental health effects such as low self-esteem and a higher risk of developing depression or some anxiety disorders. 

What Is The Root Cause Of Anxious Attachment?

From the very moment we’re born, we rely on our parents for survival and for emotional and biological needs. For example, an infant will turn to their mother when they are in distress by seeking comfort when they are afraid or crying when they’re hungry. How reliably the parent reacts to meet these needs shapes how this little human being will come to perceive themselves and others later in life. This is how we develop attachment or “working model”, which influences how we view our relationships as adults.

When parents consistently meet a baby’s emotional and physical needs and provide them with a sense of security as they begin to explore their environment, the baby is more likely to develop a secure attachment. However, what causes anxious attachment is when there’s inconsistency in meeting the child’s needs or if they’re not met at all.

Children who develop this type of attachment style may have learned they need to act out, perform perfection, or fight to keep their parents close and get their needs met. However, while these behavioral patterns might have been helpful in childhood, they become the very opposite in adulthood. Some additional factors that can lead to this type of attachment include:

  • Genetic factors (having a family history of anxiety).
  • Your parent’s (caregiver’s) attachment style.
  • Losing a parent as a child.
  • Childhood abuse (particularly from a parent).
  • Lack of support from adults during childhood.
  • Any life stressors that made your parent(s) less available during childhood.

It’s essential to recognize that, even though you may be experiencing challenges in relationships, it doesn’t mean you’re destined for unhappiness. There’s room for growth, understanding, and cultivating fulfilling and supportive relationships with compassionate self-awareness and effort. In fact, studies have shown that individuals with anxious attachment styles tend to show more appreciation and are often very empathetic and synchronized with their partner’s emotions.  

Moreover, your style can also change over time. You may start feeling safer in a relationship with a secure and committed partner with whom you’ve been for several years. A healthy relationship with mutual respect and clear communication can make the effects of your attachment less invasive, shifting your working model.

signs of anxious attachment

Overcome The Effects Of Your Anxious Attachment With PIVOT

When you’re experiencing the consequences of an insecure attachment and expressing signs of anxious attachment, PIVOT is here to provide you with professional care, support, and guidance.

Our highly committed and accomplished specialists will listen to your needs and concerns and devise a fully personalized plan to help you heal, both through effective coaching for individuals and our transformational Glass House retreats. Whether you are in a relationship or not, reach out to us today and rely on our devoted experts to help you overcome any obstacles and heal from within!