Originally Written Fall 2015. I recently came out of a 5-month relationship that had the intensity of a category 5 emotional tornado and it overlapped with the finalizing of my divorce. That sentence right there tells you exactly what my deal is. Hello, my name is Lisa and I might as well face it, I’m addicted to love. For those of you under age 35, the photo image in this article is from the 1985 Robert Palmer classic hit “Addicted to Love,” a song I first heard when I was 14. That song was a favorite of mine probably because deep in my subconscious it resonated with me.
Here’s a sample of the lyrics.
Your lights are on, but you’re not home
Your mind is not your own
Your heart sweats, your body shakes
Another kiss is what it takes
You can’t sleep, you can’t eat
There’s no doubt, you’re in deep
Your throat is tight, you can’t breathe
Another kiss is all you need
Whoa, you like to think that you’re immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough
You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to love.
To say this can pretty much serve as my relationship anthem is an understatement. For me LOVE is my drug. I love to give it. I love to get it and so much so that I will ignore reality. I’ll see red flags and ignore them and let hope take over. This sets me up to stay in relationships that aren’t healthy or good for me or be addicted to love and stay in things long after their expiration date. When I fall in love I go all in and I navigate the world looking for love, people who need it, people who can give it. Let’s all get high and smoke a big bong of LOVE.
It started at birth. Hours after I was born and I was placed in the nursery at the hospital, I was this little bundle of girl pink surrounded by baby boys in blue. I was the only girl in a hospital nursery. If I could talk I’d say, “hey boys, I’m Lisa! nice to meet all of you.” Then I’d hold court, be friendly and flirty thinking which one of these little dudes can I love and who will love me? By 14 I mastered flirtation and knew how to look at a male in a certain way that would provoke a favorable response — interest! If I was really good, it would even inspire action; a boy would leave his parents and come talk to me. The powers were growing strong in me. Ok I got flirtation down but this is just a tactic to the greater goal… LOVE!!
My teens and twenties, thirties and now forties were filled with relationship highs and deep lows. More lows than highs unfortunately and why? I am addicted to love!! There were signs of this popping up but now that I’ve enlisted the professional assistance of a therapist, I am quickly getting clarity on why I am the way I am, how it affected my relationships and myself my whole life. The goal now is to do an Indian Jones style excavation of me so I can get through all the dirt and debris so I can choose wisely.
In late April 2015, I decided I would end a 5-year separation from my husband who I know for 24 years. Yes, you heard me right. I stayed separated from my husband for 5 years, yep addicted to love. I knew he LOVED me. He said he did and always would. So despite the fact that we hadn’t had sex in 4 years, weren’t living together and were more like brother and sister; I chose to hold on. I’d assert myself from time to time, sit the husband down and ask him what the hell were we doing? We’d talk in a circle and end up in the same place; sort of, kind of married.
It was limbo and I allowed it. My strategy was to find new LOVE and then once I had it, then I’d file for divorce. I figured men hit on me all the time, one of them is bound to be interested in a relationship so I’ll date and recruit LOVE! Problem was I was unavailable because I was still emotionally connected to my then husband. I had hope deep down that we would reconcile and I held onto that hope for way way too long. I was crushed. I knew it was the right thing to do but this is a man I know for 24-years.
I was so sad, so low and so in need of a LOVE hit that I attracted a full-blown LOVE relationship a week after. I made the move. I kissed the guy. I had no idea he’d be the dealer of all the yummy love drugs I gobble up. There was a whirlwind courtship, the first drug. He’d ask me if he was smothering me and I’d say, “nope, I love this! You are coming at me exactly the way I like and nobody has come at me this way in a very long time, which is why I haven’t been in love. You’re a wonderful, kind; man who cracks me up and laughs at my wit wants to see me every day? Yes please!! LOVE THAT!”
At first after we hooked up, I figured he’d be like every other guy. He’d either blow me off entirely or want to see me at most two or three times a week. But like attracts like so I attracted another love addict. He handed over love drugs in the form of dates every night, gifts, affirming, adoring words love bombing, and it all felt soooo gooood but my deeper self knew it was too good to be true.
I opted for more and more hits of his powerful love drug, and I gave it back in return. I’m a very considerate and reciprocating love addict. Some love addicts just want to get love and then drop the relationship when they find a new person to give them love. I used to be this way when I was in my late teens and early 20’s. Now I’ve evolved into a hybrid. I’m a love addict and relationship addict which means, good or bad, I am all in and forever means forever. I don’t just fall in love for anyone but when I do, it is ON! There are no boundaries. The person is the ‘be all end all in my world’ and gets my total focus. I play no games. He texts me. I text back. He calls me, I pick up. I am available to give and receive love. Bring it on! Let’s roll.
Something important to be mindful of is that love addicts are prime targets for people with sociopathic tendencies and sociopathic courtship, which is described as this feeling of being swept off one’s feet. It comes with loads of attention, texting and calling throughout the day. There’s an immediate connection and everything is accelerated. Declarations of love, soul mate level connection, mirroring, high intensity, amazing and frequent sex is all part of it and to a LOVE ADDICT this all feels euphoric.
The problem is people with sociopathic tendencies are offering false love to satisfy their own agenda. It could be for financial gain or to get back at another person who they feel wronged them, or just to see if they can get you to fall for them. For more info on sociopathic relationships and to learn if you are a target for sociopaths click here. Check out the book, Red Flags of Love Fraud, 10 Signs You’re Dating a Sociopath by Donna Andersen.
His magic love drug words, “when I’m with someone, I’m with them. I don’t do that twice a week or weekend B.S. I want the person with me as much as possible. I go all in.” It was as if he was walking around in my head saying exactly what I needed to hear. Then just like that we were off and running, running from pain. It was as if we looked at each other and decided ok, let’s love each other because THEY didn’t. They left us. We won’t ever leave each other because we know how awful that feels. YESSSS YESSSS!!! We’re great people! We deserve love and peace so let’s fall in love!
Within a month we had seen each other 30 days straight, gone on a trip to Cancun despite his ex girlfriend drama spilling into our whirlwind. I remember asserting myself early on before I had fallen in love with him. I told him that I don’t compete, never had to, never will so handle the psycho ex girlfriend and then once over her, then come find me. He assured me she was awful, made his case for why and made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with their toxic dynamic anymore.
Looking back I see how my LOVE addiction screwed me. I went to Cancun and got a stronger love drug in the form of VACATION BONDING!! The Cancun trip was amazing. We were together 24/7. Love love love!! There was such ease. Two love addicts all caught up in the early bliss of love. I was getting divorced; he was allegedly over his ex-girlfriend. Perfect!! WRONG!! Thanks to Abraham Hicks and her work on Law of Attraction, I now know that like attracts like and our vibrational frequency at the point of attraction dictates what we manifest.
In other words, if you want a happy, harmonious relationship based on honesty, trust and respect you can’t be a sad mess. You have to be alone between relationships to process it and heal so you can build yourself up to a happy healthy place on your own.
We had this relationship where the highs were on top of the world. When we were connected we were in, what I referred to as, “the bubble.” We’d talk and laugh in the bubble, dream of an ideal future in the bubble, kiss in the bubble, just adore each other there. The rest of the world was doing its thing and we were 100% focused on each other. It was a love addict’s paradise. Then he’d slip into swirls of depression every two weeks and would retreat to protect me from himself in that state. This was not going to work. I’m a love addict damn it. His slipping into a rabbit hole of depressive rumination killing my love drug buzz was unacceptable.
What else would a love addict do? I had to keep my love drugs coming so I decided I would save him. This is when love and relationship addiction takes you down the dangerous path of codependency. I would treat him with kindness and respect. I’d show him love the way I knew how. He got sick, I made him soup, brought it over and taught him, “see… this is love.”
His past emotional traumas made it hard for him to accept love. Yet he cannot be alone. He’s a self-sabotaging love addict with sociopathic tendencies sprinkled on top. He’s the guy who so desperately wants love but, fears genuine love. I get it. I saw it was a fast road to pain but I was hooked on the 14-days before and after the 2-day swirls. He was never loved the way I love. My love is special. I’m the opposite of every woman he’s ever known. I’m the woman he said he waited his whole life for and was blessed to have found. More, more, more, yes, yes, yes. Love drug. Ahhhhh. I shake my head as I type this and remind myself, better 5 months than 5 years and move forward. My focus is to understand my patterns and stock piling the tools to handle them. Then, I can align with my divine purpose of using my story to help others.
To help you, I want to flag some signs that you’re a love addict. I researched this stuff because I’m committed to my health, future and attracting true, deep, real, soulful, love and giving it in return. I add in some commentary that you may relate to. I’m writing this in present tense because this is where I’m at as of 11-20-15. I feel it’s my ethical obligation to keep it real and be of service to others. I’m not cured by any means. However, I cannot and I will not hurt myself (or anyone else) anymore. I’m all in on me. I already saw patterns reemerge and called myself out on them and nipped them. The goal is TRUE, enduring, everlasting love given and received. It starts with love of self. So here it goes…
The Love Addict List.
· Mistaking intense sexual experiences and new romantic excitement for love. I don’t mistake these things for love but I deep down HOPE for it to be love, which only sets me up for failure. If he’s falling in love and showing love, it won’t be very long before I do too. If he doesn’t feel love and it was just sex, it chips away at my soul. I used to do the friends with benefits thing but no way. The friends with benefits is too hurtful for a love addict. I’d end up trying to make the friends with benefits thing a relationship and settling clinging to hope.
· Constantly craving and searching for a romantic relationship. Every date, every interaction with a man boils down to a simple question, “can this person love me and can I love them back.” If I don’t feel it, he’s friend-zoned. Period. If I do feel it, something physical would happen prematurely, before I allowed time to gather enough critical information. I’m at a point now where I don’t want to be with anyone until I’m right with myself and can meet a guy and take it slowly and feel this end of the world urgency to lock down a relationship. I had that. It ended up hurting me and being a total lie. I have to protect myself and get this love addiction nipped.
· When in a relationship, being desperate to please and fearful of the other’s unhappiness. If they aren’t happy, I automatically interpret it as I’m not enough; that my mind, my care, my love combined with the outer appeals; my looks, my sexuality can’t bring them out of their funk which makes me useless, ineffective, anxious and insecure. When my ex-boyfriend would have a depressive swirl, it would sink me too. I described it as if we were walking together nice and peaceful and all of a sudden a dragon comes out of nowhere and snatches him away. I’d get scared anticipating a swirl. When they would happen I’d get a sense of panic and an urgency to do something. I’m a love addict. I had to love him when he was down and help him get back to loving me. That is what I became. I’d go to him, talk with him, listen to what he chose to share, just be kind and compassionate. Within an hour his face was back to Clear and his smile and upbeat vibe was back. My actions were enabling him and I started having skin breakouts, headaches, and anxiety.
· Inability to maintain an intimate relationship once the newness and excitement have worn off. For me it’s not so much about newness as it is purpose or forward motion. My ideal love partnership is one with goals, and different things planned to look forward to. I also like comfortable silence, downtime and the realness. I like the balance of dressing up for a dinner out and folding laundry watching TV, and a lot of forward thinking with actions supporting the words.
· Finding it unbearable or emotionally difficult to be alone. I’m ok alone but I prefer to be in a relationship. Now I’m committed to being in a healthy, solid forward moving, loving, kind, honest, respectful relationship for the rest of my life. If the requirement to attracting that kind of love is being “alone” and not in a relationship for some time, then it will be worth the solitude and blessing of self work without confusion or distraction. Reaching the end goal is more appealing to me than delaying it with immediate egocentric unhealthy gratification. That’s like me being unfaithful to myself.
· When not in a relationship, compulsively using sex and fantasy to fill the loneliness. This absolutely was a bad pattern but now that I saw it and the impact it has on delaying my ultimate goal of everlasting fulfillment, I handled it and feel stronger for staying aligned and committed to me. If I can’t commit to myself truly, how can I commit fully to someone else? How will I attract someone truly able to commit to me? Like attracts like. When I’m feeling good, I’ll attract good. Random hook ups or using another relationship to distract me from processing a prior one, isn’t in alignment with my greater goal… peace, joy, deep, honest, respectful, soulful, love.
· Choosing partners who are emotionally unavailable and/or verbally or physically abusive. Thank GOD I never attracted physical or verbal abuse. It’s just not who I am. Sure, I’ll love someone but I’ll always love me more. I’m a love addict not someone with low self-worth. People with low self-worth actually get satisfaction and comfort from toxic relationships. They’ve been broken down but what they fail to realize is that only THEY can build THEMSELVES back up ALONE. If anyone reading this is getting verbally abused or smacked around I know some goons in Brooklyn who can handle… kidding kidding…click here and talk to someone NOW. As far as emotionally unavailable, I’m a love addict not a sex addict so if the potential for love isn’t there there’s no point.
· Choosing partners who demand a great deal of attention and care taking but who do not meet, or even try to meet, your emotional or physical needs. Kind of but I won’t remain in something that drains me and isn’t good for me. It just won’t stick no matter how love addicted I am. I roll with divine Source and my true self won’t allow anything harmful to stick to me. Also I’m all about having my needs met. My love addiction allowed for inconsistent love, highs and lows in this most recent relationship. I was lied to and it hurt. I trusted and believed and ignored red flags because I’m a love / relationship addict. I sought help. At this point I value my end goal and purpose too much to waste time in a relationship that will distract me and slow me down.
· Participating in activities that don’t interest you or go against your personal values in order to keep or please a partner. I found myself slipping into routines. I went against my personal value of remaining in a relationship with a man who was NOT at peace with his past, constantly spoke negatively about his ex girlfriend and was a victim seeking pity. I would listen but would spin it and plant a forward moving thought. I tried to get him out of that stuck mindset but he was comfortable in his awful past. I only spoke about my ex husband when my boyfriend would bring him up. Any sign of insecurity, lack of self worth, a man not feeling worthy of me, are all red flags. Never again. Lesson learned.
· Giving up important interests, beliefs, or friendships to maximize time in the relationship or to please a romantic partner. I never gave up going to Kabbalah weekly, but I did give up going out with friends, I distanced myself from my ex husband, meanwhile we’re true friends, family even. The loss I feel over that is sad because the marriage didn’t last but the friendship did and now I feel it’s gone. I also stopped going to events. I found myself consumed with his mental state. I didn’t know when the next depressive swirl would happen so I wanted to be available to be together when he felt Clear. Typically I do slip into revolving my life around the person I’m with. I want to see them as much as possible which is exactly why I MUST revolve my life around only myself for a while.
· Using sex, seduction, and manipulation (guilt/shame) to “hook” or hold on to a partner. Sex and seduction, 100% yes, manipulation, guilt/shame not anymore. I’m not a calculating person. I’m also not a whiner or a pouter. I used to be manipulative and controlling with my ex husband and used guilt and strong-arming. I felt awful being that way. So I made a decision to always communicate from a place of love and compassion. Be firm, but always speak with my partner, not at them.
· Using sex or romantic intensity to tolerate difficult experiences or emotions. This was 100% evident in the recent relationship. I’d look to the loving highs to get me through his depressive lows. I knew he’s come out of his swirls soon and then the romantic intensity and mutual adoration would be our dynamic once again. In my mind the times when he was Clear were so great that it made the swirls tolerable. While I was in it, I didn’t realize how much of a toll the erratic ups and downs had on me.
· Missing out on important family, career, or social experiences to search for a romantic or sexual relationship. I never really had to search for a romantic or sexual relationship. I’d attract situations and then choose. I just would make bad choices based on love addiction.
· Using anonymous sex, porn, or compulsive masturbation to avoid “needing” someone, thereby avoiding all relationships. Whoa! No. I need people and they need me. I have zero hang up about admitting that.
· Finding it difficult or impossible to leave unhealthy or abusive relationships despite repeated promises to one-self or others to do so. I ended a brief thing with a man because I didn’t like his tone towards me. I asserted myself and said point blank, no one talks to me that way. I’m a confident love addict, which means I know how I want to be treated and spoken to. Problem is when someone serves up love the way I wanted and needed, they could be lying, faking love for their own agenda, and I’d believe. I have to learn to trust the fact that when something seems to good to be true, it is and walk away. Love addicts find it very very hard to let go.
· Repeatedly returning to previously unmanageable or painful relationships despite promises to one-self or others to not do so. I took my ex-husband back when we were dating and at a very low point in our marriage because I believed I deserved being hurt in retaliation for hurting him. I continued to self punish by staying separated for 5-years. It was like a 10-year sentence. I also stopped truly celebrating the holidays. I hurt my husband around Thanksgiving and Christmas and felt part of my “sentence” was not to enjoy holidays anymore. I self punished. I have to love myself unconditionally first. Meaning I must protect myself from anything that isn’t feeling right in a relationship. I must assert myself and fearlessly ask the right questions and walk away if I don’t like the answers.
So if you’re reading this and can relate, know that you have the power to change and that it will NOT be easy. It’s work. HARD work. Commit to being ALONE with you. Get therapy! When you understand why you are how you are and feel stronger then hire a coach.
Your resolve WILL be tempted and tested. You WILL have to face your fears and the things you are most uncomfortable with. If you fear being alone then be alone. Anything worth anything great comes with a lot of hard work. However, YOU MUST work on your relationship with yourself by yourself!!
Get yourself strong and healthy and THEN be in a position to give your BEST self to someone else. Like attracts like! DO you want someone at his or her worst or at his or her best? Do you want someone secure and confident in where they are in life both emotionally and professionally? Then develop YOU. Care for YOU and do not abuse another person’s love if you aren’t able to appreciate it fully. Your choices and actions tell the universe what you want and Law of Attraction just keeps serving it up. Get honest with yourself so you will be honest with others.
Love yourself so you can truly love another. Discipline yourself and you’ll break through comfort zones and will see patterns and slay them. Soon you won’t give in to your inner saboteur siting excuses and blaming others and past traumas for your weakness. You’ll face yourself head on and will come out a total ass kicker attracting true joy, peace and abundance at every turn. Go at it alone. Get strong. Get clear. Then watch what you start to manifest from there. I’m a love/relationship addict going into week 4 of therapy and I can say with 100% certainty that I am NOT going to seek out a relationship, I’m going to attract one. When I do it will be from a position of strength, joy and light, not darkness.
Lisa Concepcion, writer, speaker, vlogger and Founder of LoveQuest Coaching™ is a Professional Life Coach specializing in dating, relationships and self-love. Originally from New York now based in Miami, Lisa candidly shares the valuable lessons she learns on her own LoveQuest journey offering online workbooks and video workshops, group workshops, one-on-one sessions, and seminars, to help people attract, give and keep love starting with love of self. Connect with Lisa via her YouTube Channel or by visiting LisaConcepcion.com