Love addiction is about getting high — with another person and romance, intensity and numbing are the pathways used to escape. A love addict uses the romance neuro-pathways in the brain to feel better inside, to medicate, mediate or numb intense feelings of loneliness and emptiness. Love addiction often results in an increase in pain, loneliness and emptiness, and just like other process addictions, more and more is needed over time to feel “better”.
Unlike sex addiction, love addiction is an addiction to another person, or the idea of another person.
Love addiction treatment starts with an initial assessment and asking for help from a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). While love addiction remains controversial to those who don’t work with it everyday, those of us in the trenches with this highly addictive disease have little doubt about porns ability to damage not only the brains of those who use it, but their families, children, bank accounts, and careers.
Counseling for love addiction begins with hiring a competent and well-trained CSAT, and begins with a thorough in-person assessment and diagnosis. The beginning step is to take the Love Addiction Screening Test. This inventory asks questions about relational behaviors.. Please respond “Yes” to the items which apply to your behavior and “No” to the items which do not apply.
|Yes No||1.||Does your life feel unmanageable due to your sexual and/or romantic behavior or excessive dependency needs?|
|Yes No||2.||Do you find yourself trying to deal with or wanting to escape life’s problems through the use of sex or “relationships”?|
|Yes No||3.||Was there ever a point that you wished you could stop or control your sexual and romantic activities for a given period of time?|
|Yes No||4.||Have you or do you have sex regardless of the consequences (e.g. the threat of being caught, risk of pregnancy, the risk of contracting STIs, etc.)?|
|Yes No||5.||Do you engage in the practices of voyeurism, exhibitionism, etc., in ways that bring emotional discomfort or pain?|
|Yes No||6.||Does your spiritual life feel negatively affected by your sexual and/or romantic life?|
|Yes No||7.||Does your sexual and/or romantic behavior affect your reputation?|
|Yes No||8.||Do you feel that you would lack your identity if you were not someone’s lover, romantic interest, or partner?|
|Yes No||9.||Do you feel that life would have little to no meaning without a love relationship or without sex?|
|Yes No||10.||Do you feel that you’re not “really alive” unless you are with your sexual / romantic partner?|
|Yes No||11.||Do you generally believe that the problems in your life result from continuing to remain with the “wrong” romantic or sexual partner?|
|Yes No||12.||Do you find yourself in relationships that you believe that you cannot leave?|
|Yes No||13.||Do you feel bored in doing everyday activities unless there is someone around with whom you can flirt?|
|Yes No||14.||Have you ever had a serious relationship threatened or destroyed because of outside sexual or romantic activity?|
|Yes No||15.||Do you find that you have a pattern of repeating unhealthy or toxic relationships?|
|Yes No||16.||Do you have a pattern of feeling emotionally dependent on a romantic or sexual interest?|
|Yes No||17.||Do you feel desperate about your need for a sexual interaction, the obtainment of a lover or future mate?|
|Yes No||18.||Do you feel desperation or uneasiness when you are away from your sexual or romantic partner?|
|Yes No||19.||Do you believe that someone romantically or sexually in your life can “fix” you?|
|Yes No||20.||Have you ever felt that you were obligated or “needed” to have sex?|
|Yes No||21.||Do you get “high” from sex and/or romantic interactions? Do you crash?|
|Yes No||22.||Do you feel that you don’t want anyone to know about your sexual or romantic activities?|
|Yes No||23.||Do you feel you need to hide sexual or romantic activities from others – friends, family, co-workers, counselors, etc.?|
|Yes No||24.||Have you had or do you have sex with someone you don’t (didn’t) want to have sex with?|
|Yes No||25.||Do you find yourself unable to stop seeing a specific person even though you know that seeing this person is destructive to you?|
Total Your Answers:
If you answered Yes to 0-3 Q’s – it’s unlikely you have a problem.
If you answered Yes to more than 3 Q’s – you may have a problem.
If you answered Yes to 7 or more questions, we suggest you seek help for love addiction and find the healthy love you desire.
Disclaimer: This assessment is for informational purposes only and cannot substitute for a full evaluation by a clinical professional; the assessment should only be used as a guide to understanding your romantic behavior and the potential consequences associated with that behavior. If you are concerned about being a love addict, please seek professional help.