The ideology of it often has to do with neglect or abandonment in early childhood, where somebody is getting neglected or the parents aren’t really being very relational with the child because they are wrapped up in their own life, they leave or they die. This is somebody who the mother doesn’t attach to. Birth through five, if you have a lot of neglect in there and that continues that is when you will form these dynamics. Are certain personality types more prone to addictions, or addictions to love or loving someone? What makes people more susceptible is simply neglect, or low self-esteem.

There is not a personality type that is particularly more prone to addictions such as this one. You can be the king — or queen — of the world, but if you have suffered neglect, this type of thing is going to go on, although people may not recognize it for what it is. Additionally, if someone allows another person to be responsible for all of their happiness, or if someone replaces self worth with the happiness they derive from a certain romantic relationship, this can also result in a form of an addiction to a person and/or a relationship. 

This is what goes on with them: First of all, when you are getting neglected and you are spending a lot of time alone, what happens is you don’t know what it means to be connected or relational to other people. You spend a lot of time alone daydreaming and making up fantasies in your head that make you feel better because what you are making up in your head in fantasy will chemically change your body and create a sense of joy or relief. That [chemical change] is what they are actually addicted to. The addiction isn’t to love as much as it is to the fantasy.

When these individuals get old enough, they begin to form a fantasy in their head of somebody rescuing them from being so alone, of making them matter. The fantasy usually takes the form of being rescued by – it is like Cinderella — a knight in shining armor or a wonder woman, who will take care of them and help them come out of their dilemma of being too alone and worthless and not knowing what to do. They will put that face of fantasy over the face of someone who comes into their life and is walled-in, non-relational and shut down. That will be the trigger. Then they go into the fantasy and somehow who the person really is will show up and they go into withdrawal from the fantasy. Then what happens is they will either go into treatment, or they will medicate the fantasy by sexually acting out to get even, or eating themselves into fat serenity, or drinking, or smoking, or working to stabilize the withdrawal experience. Then if the person comes back into their life, they go, “You really love me,” and they go back into the fantasy. It is a whole cycle. 

What happens is they get high off the fantasy. They get addicted to the fantasy. They get addicted to the effects of the fantasy. When something happens that blows the fantasy up, like they discover their partner being sexual with their best friend in their own bed, or something crazy like that — that is an exaggeration, but you get the drift — the fantasy blows up and they go into withdrawal. When they go into withdrawal from the fantasy, they go into a psychiatric meltdown. They get homicidal, they get suicidal, they get into cycling panic attacks and they often wind up in the emergency room in the panic attack. It is a psychiatric withdrawal that can be very pathological. Sometimes two love addicts get together and form what I call a dependent relationship, but they never go into treatment because they hang on to each other for dear life and go through life like that. Does love addiction require an intervention? Usually they are deluded about it.

Oftentimes, sufferers of addictions to people or emotions such as love do work on it in a 12-step program called SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous). Sometimes there is a sexual addiction component to what they are doing and sometimes not. But people can get help there. Some of them spin off and form their own love addiction 12-step meeting, where they focus on the fantasy as the drug and really examine who the person is they formed the fantasy around: Who they think they are, who they really are and gradually work into the reality of who the other person is instead of what they made up about the other person.

Helena Roman, LRMT is an internationally acclaimed psychic and medium, relationship counselor and published author. Helena currently counsels patients through her private practice where she resides in the suburbs of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. You can read more about Helena Roman on her media webpage: 

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