Healing From Anxious Attachment

Embarking on a journey to overcome the effects of your most common attachment style is akin to navigating the intricacies of your own emotions, a pilgrimage towards self-discovery and emotional liberation. It’s a tender voyage through the recesses of the heart, where the echoes of longing and vulnerability reside. 

Healing anxious attachment is an intimate dance with yourself, a courageous endeavor to rewrite the narrative of your own emotional landscapes and forge connections that resonate with security and trust. It requires a lot of work, building up your confidence and learning to set solid boundaries in your relationships. Still, it’s achievable. You’re not bound to it indefinitely. 

how to fix anxious attachment style

Can You Ever Heal Anxious Attachment?

Although anxious preoccupied attachment, and other insecure styles are typically developed in childhood, it does not mean they’re unalterable. An efficient way to modify them is through earned secure attachment, which you can develop in adulthood with effective therapy and positive life experiences, such as a sense of confidence and security in your relationship with others. 

How to fix anxious attachment style? Self-reflection and personal growth play an essential role in overcoming unhealthy patterns and empower you to maintain fulfilling and healthy relationships while also feeling comfortable being alone. 

Can You Heal Anxious Attachment On Your Own?

Each of us experiences a variety of emotions, both positive and negative, every day, particularly in a relationship. Whether your relationship is slightly struggling or healthy and flourishing, they can be emotional rollercoasters. At times, the ride is beautiful, and you feel a constant fluttering of butterflies. However, emotions can also be so overwhelming that you feel like you’re on a thrill ride without any control.

How to self-soothe anxious attachment? Luckily, through some practice, learning how to self-regulate your emotions can be easy. Changing the way you think and practicing mindfulness are some healthy techniques that can help. Self-regulation means understanding the triggers in your relationship and how you tend to respond emotionally.

To know how to soothe your emotions, first, you must know what can stir them. Some triggers that are common for anxious attachment style in relationships include the following behaviors of your partner:

  • Inconsistent behavior.
  • Seeming distracted or distant.
  • Forgetting big events, like anniversaries or birthdays.
  • Failing to notice a new thing (such as a haircut).
  • Not responding to a message when you expect them to.
  • Coming home late.

These can cause you to become too emotional in your attempt to re-establish a connection with the partner, resulting in emotional attempts to get their attention. Examples of managing to self-regulate your feelings include:

  • Calming down when you’re too stimulated.
  • Resisting strong emotional responses to upsetting situations.
  • Not becoming aggressive or too angry when handling a conflict.
  • Managing the frustration if the partner’s plans change.

Practicing the following techniques can help you improve emotional self-regulation and develop healthy responses.

Anger Management

Rather than confining your anger and then letting it burst at your partner or directing it towards yourself, start by recognizing what you’re starting to feel and communicate it clearly to your partner by saying something like: “I’m hurt. I understand that you most likely didn’t intend that. I’m concerned about our relationship because _ _ _ _ _.” 

However, it’s important to be aware that this can be effective with a partner with secure attachment, while an avoidant partner could find it triggering because closeness to another person frightens them. This is why an ideal match for you could be a securely attached partner. 


This powerful technique allows you to take a breath and separate what you feel and how you react to it. Through mindfulness, you become aware of where you are and what you’re doing. In time, it will make you feel calmer instead of becoming aggressive or discontent. 

Altering Thought Patterns

Cognitive reframing can help improve your self-regulation abilities by changing the way you think. An effective way to do this is to anticipate your negative emotions and thoughts and write them down. Then, challenge these thoughts by analyzing evidence to the contrary. 

For instance, you may think that if you let your partner know how you really feel, they’ll leave you. Now, think back to when you did let them know how you felt. So, did they leave? Once you come to this realization, you’ll be able to create a healthier thought to replace the negative one. 

Professional Assistance

Experienced professionals can help you recognize unhealthy methods of self-regulation. Together, you can go through your triggers and come up with healthy ways of handling your emotions and avoid harming your relationship.

How Do You Break The Cycle Of Anxious Attachment?

Working on learning how to heal anxious attachment can improve your interpersonal relationships and your mental health. It can help you have a happy, less stressful life, alongside many other benefits. Taking these simple steps, you can start shifting your attachment towards a more secure style.

Recognize The Signs

The first step towards healing is recognizing the emotions and behavior patterns that indicate you have an anxious attachment style in relationships. Becoming aware of a problem makes it easier to overcome it. Here are some signs of anxious attachment:

  • Codependency.
  • Intense discomfort at the thought of being alone.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Fear of being abandoned.
  • Harboring negative emotions such as distrust and jealousy.
  • Preoccupation with relationships.
  • Highly sensitive to others’ emotions.

Acknowledging the pain of your experience and replacing it with positive emotions can help you make significant improvements. 

Learn From Others

Engaging with others who have secure attachment can help you realize it’s important for both partners to have their needs met. You can learn:

  • To understand how important it is to have calmness, stability, and emotional closeness in a relationship.
  • While you cannot change past experiences, you can certainly change the present.
  • It’s important to voice your emotional wants and needs, even if you fear disappointing your partner.

Build Self-Esteem

Improving your self-esteem will help you worry less about rejection and need less reassurance if you struggle with anxious preoccupied attachment. Being open with needs and emotions and accepting that your partner might not be able to meet them is an important part of building self-esteem. It can also help to:

  • Focus on positive things about yourself.
  • Accept your body and mind without feeling the need to change.
  • Increase knowledge about your attachment.
  • Accept ability and skills without comparison to others.
how to heal anxious attachment

PIVOT Is Your Path To Healing Anxious Attachment

Whether you want to gain a deeper understanding of attachment styles or learn how to cope with an insecure style, you can opt for our amazing Glass House retreats or highly personalized individual coaching. Our devoted specialists will approach you with compassion and care to help you navigate through the intricacies of rediscovering your self-worth and building a steady way towards healthy relationships. Get in touch with our experts today!

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!

What Is Love Addiction?

Since humanity became humanity, love has been a centerpiece around which everything we know revolves around. Arts, sciences, societies, cultures, every idea, every concept, every motion – they all came from an honest desire to enrich and better our lives.

The most amazing thing about it is that it often only takes a small dose of love to make a person inspired, elated, and fully dedicated to becoming the best version of themselves. There’s no denying it: love is intoxicating. 

However, for individuals with specific backgrounds and traits, the desire can be overwhelming and all-encompassing. So much so, in fact, that they cannot help but make the pursuit of love their one and only goal, effectively turning into the very definition of “what is a love addict”, as explained by some. At PIVOT, we steer clear of such terms, preferring attachment dysregulation. However, we do find it necessary to address the commonplace term and dispel its significance.

what is love addiction in a relationship

Is Love Addiction A Real Thing?

Love addiction (also referred to as “pathological love”) is indeed recognized by modern psychology as a real phenomenon. However, despite active research on the topic and literature to back it up, it remains a subject of debate and a healthy dose of scrutiny.

The reason for this controversy rests primarily in the fact that love “addiction” is not addiction, in a general sense of the word, despite it being categorized under the umbrella of “behavioral addiction.”

While it shares many similarities with “real” addiction (i.e., Substance Use Disorder or SUD), this phenomenon also features many differences that make it pivot away from the traditional definition of SUD and more toward the realm of behavioral disorder.

Addicted To Love vs. Substance: A Side-By-Side Comparison

To better understand love addiction, both as a term and a phenomenon, we’ll do a side-by-side comparison showcasing both the similarities and distinctions between love addiction and SUD.


  • Craving & dependence: Both behavioral patterns involve intense craving that often leads to dependency.
  • Compulsive behavior: In both instances, craving and dependency typically lead to a cycle of borderline obsessive pleasure seeking.
  • Daily life disruption: The prioritization of compulsive behaviors over every other aspect of personal and professional life is the hallmark of addiction.
  • Withdrawal: Once the object of their attachment is absent, the withdrawal symptoms begin to emerge, potentially leading the person to rebound and start the cycle anew, only, this time, with even greater intensity.


  • The object of attachment:
    • Love addiction: The focus is on the emotional attachment, with the compulsive need for affection, attention, and validation. Considering that the object of fixation is an abstract concept of love, it is challenging (not impossible) to diagnose or treat unhealthy behavior.
    • SUD: The object of craving is tangible (i.e. a specific substance, such as a drug or alcohol), providing a solid ground for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Withdrawal type:
    • Love addiction: Withdrawal symptoms are primarily emotional, manifesting as intense feelings of loneliness, emptiness, or abandonment. However, in some instances, they often escalate to severe anxiety and depression.
    • SUD: Symptoms may include psychological and physiological issues, ranging from mild nausea and irritability to severe depression and life-threatening health problems.
  • Treatment options:
    • Love addiction: Treatment typically entails coaching, psychotherapy, counseling, and support groups, with the primary goal being addressing underlying emotional issues that led to adopting unhealthy relationship dynamics.
    • SUD: Treatment commonly incorporates a variety of approaches, ranging from psychotherapy and counseling to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), that target both psychological and physiological aspects of addiction.

Can You Be Addicted To A Person?

According to addiction specialists, an individual can become addicted to virtually anything that makes them feel good, even another person. The reason for this lies in the way addiction works on the most basic biochemical level.

In short, when a person gets a “hit,” whether it be a substance (e.g., drug, alcohol) or a behavior (e.g., love, affection), the body floods the brain with so-called “happy chemicals”, such as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

Consequently, after every “hit”, the brain’s reward system gets “rewired” to associate that feel-good state with what caused it. However, since happy chemicals released this way far exceed the normal amounts, getting anything less triggers a compulsive need to seek out and engage in the addictive substance or behavior.

This is why love addiction can be perceived as akin to traditional substance use disorders: both those afflicted by SUD and intoxicating love experience intense highs and lows. The difference being, the former manifests primarily in a psycho-physiological manner, while the latter tilts toward emotional.

What Is The Meaning Of Love Addiction?

As defined by M. Sanches and V.P. John in their paper “Treatment of love addiction: Current status and perspectives”, love addiction is: 

  • “A pattern of behavior characterized by a maladaptive, pervasive and excessive interest towards one or more romantic partners, resulting in lack of control, the renounce of other interests and behavior, and other negative consequences.”

In simpler terms, being addicted to love entails an intense craving or, rather, a compulsive need for love, attention, and connection. However, in this instance, the desire is all-encompassing. It goes so far beyond mere infatuation or passion that it becomes unhealthy and even destructive to the person exhibiting this behavior.

What Is Love Addiction In A Relationship?

Framing everything said up until this point in the context of a romantic partnership, we can say that:

  • Love addiction in a relationship is a dysfunctional pattern of behavior where one or both partners exhibit obsessive and/or compulsive tendencies in the pursuit and perpetuation of love and affection.

This can manifest itself in a number of ways, including:

  • The overwhelming need for constant reassurance, validation, and attention.
  • Dependance on the partner for a sense of identity and self-worth.
  • Compulsive desire to maintain the relationship, even at the expense of one’s own well-being.

However, while the driving force behind this behavior may be well-intentioned, the results are often counterproductive. Relationships built on these premises typically foster codependency, jealousy, and lack of individuality instead of nurturing the healthy, independent, and, above all, balanced connection vital for mutual satisfaction, personal growth, and long-term sustainability.

What Does It Mean To Be Addicted To Love?

Being addicted to love means exhibiting borderline obsessive dependence on romantic relationships for a sense of identity and self-worth. In this state, an individual usually relies on their partner as a sole source of validation and emotional support, with everything and everyone else (including themselves) being relegated to the background.

What Does Love Addiction Feel Like?

The best description of love addiction would be “emotional rollercoaster”, as key characteristics of this state are euphoric highs and devastating lows. For individuals caught in this endless loop, the highs of love are so intoxicating that they momentarily drown out anything and everything else.

However, on the other end of that spectrum is vulnerability, a constant fear of rejection and abandonment so prevailing, so overwhelming that it renders the person virtually incapable of doing anything except looking for the next “fix”.

In fact, the desperation for connection and fear of being alone become palpable to the point of driving individuals to compromise their values and sacrifice their well-being, settling for far less than they deserve just so they can get that feeling of intoxicating love for a fleeting moment.

what is a love addict

Learn How To Stop Being Addicted To Love With PIVOT’s Help

Navigating the complex realm of love addiction can be challenging and confusing. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone! With PIVOT’s help, your journey to healthier relationships and stronger connections can be an inspiring one.

At our modern Glass House Retreat, a team of experienced coaches offers compassionate guidance, giving you the tools to unveil what is love addiction in a relationship, how to recognize the signs, and learn the best ways to overcome it.

In a soothing and safe environment, you’ll have the opportunity to embark on a journey of self-awareness and empowerment, either through group programs or individual coaching sessions, tailored to your specific needs. Reach out to us today!

Relational Freedom Can Feel Like A Secure Attachment

Attachment theory (Bowlby and Ainsworth) seeks to understand and trace the root origins and the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. These attachment traits take place across various domains, encompassing friendships, parent-child bonds, and romantic connections. Through the interplay of personality traits, environmental, cultural and social influences, individuals tend to develop a dominant attachment style during childhood, which usually persists into adulthood. This style will go on shaping their interactions and connections with others.

Out of 4 types of attachment styles, the secure attachment psychology definition is considered to be the most adaptive, socially resilient, and generally the healthiest form of attachment. In contrast to the other 3 types, it’s not marked by high anxiety, ambivalence and avoidance, and is believed to have the attachment characteristics best suited for healthy relationships. This means that the person with the secure attachment style has a generally positive idea of one’s self and is able to choose, develop and maintain emotionally safe relationships. 

Secure attachment in adults begins to develop during childhood if a child feels safe and is able to trust that their caregiver(s) will consistently meet their needs. Warm and responsive care from parents or caretakers creates an optimal environment for the child’s brain development, particularly in infancy. 

The social and emotional center of the brain is the limbic system. This is the part of the brain that is developing. Attachment experiences impact this part of the brain in infancy and early childhood, and will go on to predict how the person experiences things like motivation, social awareness, stress responses and nurturing instincts. 

Depending on how the child’s needs were met (or not met) during the crucial development of the limbic system, a person may grow up to be capable of secure, trusting and emotionally safe attachment, or other attachment styles like anxious, avoidant, or ambivalent.

What Is Freedom In A Relationship?

When we think about freedom in intimate relationships, most of us think of having space from our partner. What we really mean at Pivot is that we have relational freedom when we can hold our own interests and opinions, enjoy our own friends, and have appropriate independence to pursue our passions and goals. It means maintaining a sense of individuality while still having a strong and loving connection with our partner.

Secure attachment in relationships means that both partners, as securely attached individuals, respect and support each other’s individual autonomy and allow each other to be their authentic selves. Behaviors are not driven by needs to control, monitor or avoid each other. It’s based on mutual trust, open communication, and a willingness to give each other space and privacy when needed. 

This is not to be mistaken for a lack of commitment, or a resistance to being “all in.” Quite the contrary, it is a way of enhancing commitment by encouraging two completely formed identities to come together and fully compliment each other. Think of it as 1 + 1 = 2, instead of .5 + .5 = 1. It emphasizes the importance of respecting and nurturing individual identities while fostering a strong and supportive connection with one’s partner.

What Are Examples Of Freedom In Relationships?

Traits of relational freedom may vary depending on the individuals, their unique preferences, and relationship dynamics they exhibit as securely attached adults. It is generally agreed upon, however, that relationships with secure people are based on a balance between togetherness and individuality. This allows both partners to thrive and maintain their sense of freedom and healthy self esteem, while still showing up authentically for the needs of the relationship.. 

Signs of secure attachment and relational freedom may look like:

  • Each partner enjoys the freedom to pursue their own interests, hobbies, and personal growth. They can express their individuality and maintain their own identity within the relationship. 
  • Their relational behaviors are not motivated by a longing to cling together anxiously or a need to avoid emotional intimacy.
  • Partners aren’t afraid to express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. They can engage in honest and open conversations about their needs, desires, and concerns. 
  • Disagreements and differences of opinion are opportunities to create better understanding of each other. Disagreements are seen as a normal part of connecting two unique identities, and healthy problem-solving is crucial. 
  • Partners allow their partner to have the freedom to engage in activities or spend time with friends and family outside of the relationship without feeling restricted, controlled, manipulated, or thwarted by jealousy. 
  • Both partners participate in decision-making processes within the relationship. A healthy attachment means that mutual contribution is valued. Collaboration, cooperation and compromise are important, and each considers the other’s perspectives to create a secure base for their meaningful relationships.
  • They establish and communicate their personal boundaries, and these boundaries are respected by their partner. The matter of consent is respected in all aspects of the relationship.
  • Partners are relationally aligned with good, rational thinking, emotional intelligence and healthy, responsible actions.
  • Partners allow themselves to be vulnerable and provide each other with support and understanding. Secure attachment and relational freedom normally come with a high degree of emotional intelligence, and psychological safety. 
  • Each partner supports and encourages the personal growth and self-development of the other. They celebrate each other’s achievements and offer support during challenging times.
What Are Examples Of Freedom In Relationships

What Is A Secure Attachment Style?

Secure attachment, according to the psychology definition, is a healthy and adaptive way of relating to others in relationships. People with a secure attachment style typically have a confident and grounded perspective on themselves, and a view of others that is based on a realistic assessment of trustworthiness and emotional safety. They’re comfortable with emotional intimacy, they trust and rely on their partners, and have a sense of security in relationships.

Although a secure attachment style initially develops through consistent and loving interactions with caregivers during childhood, it’s also possible to cultivate a more secure attachment style through self-awareness, personal growth, and healthy relationship patterns. This means that, even if your childhood circumstances or life events have left you with a default attachment style that may be anxious, ambivalent or avoidant, it is possible, with loving and dedicated repair, to move into secure attachment as a new, adaptive default style.

Some of the key characteristics of a secure attachment style are:

  • Emotional Intelligence. Secure individuals understand, manage and express their own emotions effectively and empathize with their partner’s feelings.
  • Trust and Reliability. They are able to trust their partner, and exhibit trustworthiness in their own behavior consistently over time. 
  • Independence and Interdependence. This means maintaining one’s autonomy while also valuing and fostering closeness in relationships.
  • Effective Communication. Securely communicating means expressing one’s needs, desires, and concerns. Secure individuals are active listeners and respond constructively to their partner’s communication.
  • Healthy Responding, not Reactivity. Secure partners manage their emotions in a healthy manner without defaulting to knee-jerk big emotional explosions, or shutting down and detaching. They are able to self-soothe or ask for support and provide support for their partners.
  • Resilience in conflict. Approaching conflict with a problem-solving mindset and not being afraid to address issues is a secure attachment characteristic. They conflict constructively and with an end-goal of creating better understanding and connection.
  • Operating with boundaries. Secure attachers understand when boundaries are appropriate and with whom. They do not use boundaries to manipulate or control others, but to improve emotional safety and relational quality. 
  • A positive self-image and a positive view of others. Secure individuals believe in their own worth and have confidence in their ability to form and maintain healthy relationships.

How Do Secure Attachments Fall In Love?

A secure partner feels trusting and safe with their partner, and their partner’s presence and support are welcome additions to a full life. They balance giving and receiving within the relationship. Thanks to their secure attachment, they’re not relationally derailed by anxiety, fear, and doubt, and are fully present for their partner.

Secure attachers tend to gravitate toward partners that also embody some of the core characteristics of secure attachment. Trustworthy behavior, autonomy, a “want the relationship” as opposed to a “need to be in a relationship” perspective, a sense of core self-worth and confidence are all traits they may be drawn toward.

Secure attachment individuals can have successful relationships with people who have different attachment styles if both parties are committed to working on their differences and moving toward mutual security. 

When they fall in love, they value secure connection and maintain a positive perception of their partner. Secure individuals in a relationship:

  • Establish open and direct communication.
  • Feel comfortable showing vulnerability by openly sharing emotions, experiences, and fears.
  • Demonstrate warmth and empathy.
  • Feel confident in expressing affection.
  • Cultivate emotional closeness with their partner at an appropriate pace.
  • Place trust in their partner and exhibit trustworthiness.
  • Are able to have direct and important conversations, even when they are difficult
  • Are compassionately sincere, not brutally honest
  • Encourage their partner to pursue individual interests outside of the relationship.
  • Respect their partner’s needs and boundaries.

How Do You Love Someone With A Secure Attachment?

A mutually secure relationship is not solely the responsibility of one partner. Both individuals play a role in cultivating a secure and loving relationship. Building a strong foundation of trust, communication, and mutual support can help form a deep and meaningful connection with someone who has a secure attachment style. Operating with emotional intelligence, rational thinking, healthy, responsible behaviors and good self-management are foundational.

If you’re wondering how to develop a secure attachment style and be in a relationship with someone with a secure attachment, do your best to:

  • Encourage open and honest communication and actively listen to each other’s thoughts, feelings, and needs. Explore communication skills like validation and active listening.
  • Create a safe space where both of you can express your emotions without judgment or fear. Foster intimacy through empathy, understanding, and sharing vulnerable moments.
  • Encourage individual growth and interests outside the relationship. Allow your partner the freedom to be their authentic self and pursue their passions.
  • Build a sense of security by being dependable, keeping commitments, and showing up for each other. Consistency is a key to relational security and trust. 
  • Focus on managing your own reactivity to the unknown – for example, not knowing exactly where your partner is at all times, or feeling like investigative behaviors will soothe your anxiety.
  • Be a source of validation for your partner. Celebrate their successes, provide a listening ear during challenging times, and offer encouragement to pursue their goals and dreams.
  • In times of challenge, seek better understanding and come from a solution-minded perspective. Avoid criticism, blame, or harsh judgment. Create a spirit of constructive communication that is based in mutual respect. 
  • Practice self-awareness and personal growth. By working on your own emotional well-being and understanding your attachment style, you can contribute to a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.
What Is A Secure Attachment Style

PIVOT Can Help You Develop A Secure Attachment Style In Relationships

Developing a secure attachment style is a journey that takes time and effort. It’s essential to be patient and kind to yourself as you work towards creating healthier and more fulfilling relationships. If you don’t feel secure in relationships, our experienced relationship coaches can help you reflect on your early attachment experiences through individual sessions. Once you understand the origin story of your attachment style, you have much more agency over recognizing and interrupting unwanted attachment patterns in your here-and-now relationships. 

We recognize that unraveling your attachment style may mean looking back at painful experiences in your childhood, or looking at how relational trauma may have shattered your sense of security. Our process can give you the support, stability, structure and encouragement you need to make the crucial shift into security. 

 You can do this in the serene environment of our Glass House retreat, working in small groups with individuals going through similar experiences., or one-on-one with a skilled relationship coach. We can help you get the kind of security, safety and trust you want in the relationships you choose. The support of our experienced coaches will guide you through the healing process and toward building a strong sense of self and a more secure attachment style.