12 signs of love addiction

You may have heard the saying “love is blind”, and most of us have known the feeling of being hooked on love from a new flame. One day everything feels dark and lonely, but then suddenly the person of your dreams appears. It can make you forget all about the many unrequited crushes from the past.

In this article you will learn more about the biology behind our need for love. In addition, we show you the 12 most common signs of a love addict.

The biology behind love addiction

At the start of a relationship, most people want to be close to their chosen one because the experience of loving and being loved can give a feeling of intoxication. Research has shown that this feeling is something almost everyone experiences. In addition, the response of falling in love is biologically built into us (Burkett & Young, 2012; Costa et al, 2021; Fisher et al, 2016).

This is because we have a biological “natural addiction” for connection and closeness that developed through human evolution. But for some, this response becomes addictive, and can leave a strong negative mark on life . Several studies show that love addiction evolved in our ancestors to help them focus on one partner. This saves us time and energy, motivates us to have children together, creates the connection needed so that the partners can work together on child-rearing and ensures that their DNA is passed on (Costa et al, 2021; Brukett & Young 2012).

In many ways , love therefore works like an intoxicant . That’s because the reception of love affects many of the same happiness and well-being centers in our brains as drugs (Fisher et al, 2016, Earp et al, 2017). The intoxication from love is partly biologically built into us to pass our genetic material on to the next generation. In modern times, however, it has become more difficult for the vulnerable to regulate these feelings (Earp et al, 2017).

Love as an obsession

Love in itself is not dangerous, because the feeling of falling in love releases dopamine, also called the happy hormone. It can therefore be a positive experience when the feelings are reciprocated in a healthy way. It is only when we become obsessed with our partner and develop compulsive actions that have a negative impact on our physical and mental health that love addiction becomes a fact and love becomes dysfunctional (Earp et al, 2017; Costa et al, 2021).

The tragic story of Romeo and Juliet is a classic example of dysfunctional love addiction . How? Romeo was so “addicted” to being with Juliet that he found no meaning in his own life when he thought she was dead. This is perhaps an extreme case, but even less intense love relationships can cause us to lose ourselves and the ability to understand our needs.