How do I know if I’m a love addict and not a sex addict?
What’s the difference?
The seeking of the feeling of love and connection is the hallmark of the love addict or the person who compulsively seeks a relationship. Sex, seduction and manipulation comprise behaviors intended to secure an object of affection and is hallmark for the love addict who is looking for someone outside themselves to make them feel real.
The love addicted will go to lengths to compromise themselves for their relationship; they customarily take more responsibility for the relationship, are terrified to be alone and often seek connection with someone to whom they’re not well suited. Typically rooted in inconsistent or inadequate nurturing and abandonment, the seeking for love is a repetition of a trauma; love addicts do not thrive in the health and safety of a committed long term stable relationship. At the essence of their fantasy is that the idea that the relationship, whether it be romantic, a friendship, or with an icon, will heal them from their pain, albeit temporarily. That it will make them whole.
The obsessive features that often define the early part of a romantic relationship, a time when there is a lack of safety, continue because it’s a process that fuels these behaviors. A love addict typically compromises his or her own needs for the need to keep the object of their love connected.
Sexologist Dr. Winter has helped many with obsessive desires and dysfunctional behaviors for love (often unrequited), intimacy and connection achieve a more balanced and happy dating life.