Do you find yourself in one difficult relationship after another? Do you need to be in love in order to feel truly alive? Have you had sex with someone you didn’t really want to have sex with? Do you “get high” from romance and fantasy?
Healthy, romantic love can be beautiful and fulfilling, but addictive love is not. If you find yourself preoccupied with romance or sex, it can lead to harmful choices for yourself and others.
Sex addiction versus love addiction
Sex addiction and love addiction are both intimacy disorders, characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. While these two addictions share many characteristics, the defining difference lies in the type of compulsive behaviors the addicts pursue. Sex addicts commonly struggle with anonymous sexual experiences, pornography, risky sexual behavior, and a preoccupation with sex. Love addicts, on the other hand, may cling to a partner, pursue romance to escape from problems, and stay in a relationship even though it is destructive.
Love addicts hopelessly pursue the neurochemical rush of a new romance. This ephemeral, early stage of new relationships is characterized by a release of dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, and other endorphins, similar to neurochemical changes triggered by drug use. Addicted to these feelings, many love addicts try to sustain this early, intensely pleasurable stage of the relationship. When this pleasurable rush disappears, they may hopelessly try to cling to the sensation or search for a new partner.
Sex addicts obsess about specific sexual acts or pleasures. Both men and women can experience sex addiction. A sex addict may compulsively seek out pornography, masturbation, sex-for-pay activities, or anonymous sexual encounters. These activities tend to become more frequent as time progresses, and even though the addicts are aware of the risks, they find themselves unable to stop.
Worried you may have a sex addiction or love addiction? Take our sex and love or romance addiction self-test.
Get help now
Addictions are not easy to overcome, and almost nobody can do it on their own. Retorno offers an outpatient center for people struggling with all types of addictions, including sex addictions and love addictions. Our expert staff can help you overcome your addiction and regain control of your life. Call us today or just fill out the contact form and click Send.Please share this post!