For people who are really seeking a long-term relationship, the “rush” of meeting someone new is the starting point for building a healthy relationship. Long-term relationships require the ability to bond in order to sustain an intimate attachment. In the healthy relationship, the bonding begins in this “rush” period but develops significantly after the honeymoon phase when fantasy turns into the reality of day to day co-existence.
However, many people are actually addicted to the “rush” of being with a new person. They find it too difficult to develop beyond this first excited emotional state. Once the “rush” fades, the interest fades as well. When this type of person is in a relationship and the rush has faded, they will become detached, irritable, bored and unhappy. Yet, when they are not in a relationship, they will feel desperate and alone. So, they crave that initial “rush” again and again, moving on to another potential partner. In this way, chasing “love” always starts out with a bang and then comes apart resulting in more chasing.
All addictive behaviors, serve two primary needs. To feel pleasure and remove undesirable emotions. Generally, people addicted to “love” have a pattern of choosing partners who may be verbally or physically abusive and/or emotionally unavailable. This is an unconscious attraction learned from childhood.
People addicted to love use the intensity of the new partner to temporarily fill their emotional needs and provide a sense of worthiness. They may be experiencing chronic stress, depression and anxiety, but have learned to use relationships as their way to cope with life’s challenges and their own negative self-talk.