Are you addicted to love? | Rebecca Jane

Addiction isn’t my thing! I have never even tried smoking, or any type of drug.
Rebecca Jane is head of group operations at the PH7 GroupRebecca Jane is head of group operations at the PH7 Group
Rebecca Jane is head of group operations at the PH7 Group

I don’t drink alcohol more than the average person, but if you’re anything like me, it often doesn’t come to mind that addiction can be about anything other than hard substances.

That little theory is wrong. Addiction comes in all shapes, sizes and forms.

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I have noticed increasing trends over the past couple of years when it comes to addictive behaviours.

Shopping, exercise, spending, prescription drugs and people! Yes, we can be addicted to a person. As with all addictive behaviours, at what point does it become harmful and something we should consider a little more carefully?

‘Repetitive engagement in a behaviour despite harmful consequences.’ That is the official dictionary definition of addiction.

When does simple dependency on another person become ‘addiction’?

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The line between dependency and addiction could be seen as rather blurry. Dependency lays an ugly pathway to addiction. In dependency mode, perhaps the side effects aren’t quite as negative as those of addiction. True addiction to a person could be seen as having a negative, serious and harmful effect on your life on almost a daily basis. Only the individual can judge what they deem to be ‘seriously harmful’.

But what could true addiction to a person look like?

Do you find yourself constantly having arguments? Is your daily life significantly affected by what the other person does, do you have to leave work early a lot, miss portions of the day to either appease them or discuss problems? Regular screaming matches? Do you constantly feel bad about yourself because of the words they use about you and against you? The only person who can decide if you’re truly addicted to a person, is you. That may be painful to feel, but it could also be highly rewarding and freeing.

Does addiction to a person always have to be negative behaviours?

Not at all. This topic of conversation may give you food for thought if you just can’t be on your own. You constantly talk about love, falling in love and doing anything to chase love. Love is your ‘be all and end all’ in life, you struggle to see what a healthy relationship even means, because love is quite simply the most important thing to you.

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We all know at least one of those people in life who end one relationship and they’re in another quicker than the speed of light, or quite simply jump from relationship to relationship. Most people frown upon it, and a lot just can’t understand it. I invite you to think from a different angle. Rather than come from a place of negativity, spin it around.

Let’s face it, who doesn’t want love?! It’s magic, it can be one of the best feelings in the world. Just think of all the endorphins, chemicals and the dopamine reward system running around the brain. True addictions are all set in psychology, so of course love addiction can exist.

Could this be the cause why someone may run to another relationship quickly? Potentially. Even if love or addiction to a person isn’t something you recognise in yourself, maybe it is a thought provoking idea that can help us to offer more compassion and understanding to someone who we think is simply trying to rival Casanova?!

Drugs, alcohol and gambling are pathways we make a choice to go down, they aren’t instances that happen naturally, unlike love! There can often be nothing more natural than falling in love with someone, and falling out of love isn’t a decision we can choose to turn on or off. Making love addiction an incredibly difficult habit to kick.

Provoking the thoughts.

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Hopefully this piece has helped you have a different understanding and insight about addictive behaviours.

If your life is being consumed by any time of addiction, reach out. Help and support is available. If you don’t feel you’re at that stage of needing help, maybe it will help you understand someone else a little better, and enable us all to be a little more kind to each other.

Addictions come in all shapes and sizes, understanding, education and appreciation lays a path for everyone to lead happier and healthier lives.

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