People looking for the answers to overcoming their love addiction often ask two questions, “What does recovery really mean when it comes to breaking this problem”? ... and “What are key things I need to work on to successfully recover from love addiction”?

When we are new to recovery, we may mistakenly believe that recovery is limited to ‘getting over a bad break up’... then moving on to find the right partner.

The reality is-- unless we do the work required for healthy change, the same old relationship patterns will absolutely repeat themselves.

Finding the “right person” to love you will not work; because your ‘radar’ will continue to attract unhealthy partners that are avoidant, selfish, or narcissistic.

We have to stop the lie we have bought into when the ‘perfect one’, ‘Superman’ or ‘Wonder Woman’ comes along, things will be fine. Do not fool yourself. No one is going to make you happy until you ‘get’ happy internally and gain the awareness you need.

Furthermore, while surviving the withdrawal from a break up or divorce of a bad relationship plays a critical role, it is just one of the pieces of a bigger puzzle.

We need to fix ourselves.

We need to destroy the false beliefs and distortions and rules we’ve lived with that has caused too much pain, confusion, and loneliness in our--- then we will realize and appreciate ourselves for who we are, as well as our romantic relationships which enhance our lives, instead of sabotaging our lives.

So what are the issues that love addicts need to confront break free and overcome this sinister dependency to “love”... What is it we need to do to be able to establish happy and satisfying love in our lives.

Answer: the roots of relational obsession is by what is underneath the problem/addiction—the underlying core symptoms that lead us to compulsive dependency of a person in relationships.

I talk a lot about these core symptoms/characteristics in my book, The Love Addict in Love Addiction. In sum, the following are the issues that need to be confronted:

1. Fear of abandonment… one of their greatest fears and emotional triggers in relationships.

2. Denial… love addicts enter relationships in denial- denial of their
partner‘s reality, and the relationship and the self. When this denial begins to crumble, withdrawal symptoms occur.

3. Impaired Self Worth-Toxic Shame… through internal feelings of shame, love addicts have difficulty validating their inherent value and worth, have a distorted reality and beliefs about themselves and about love & intimacy; problems of anger, isolation, depression

Some behaviors that display this core issue include:
* Perfectionism
* Placating
* Care taking
* Rescuing
* Fear of intimacy (above)
* Rejecting someone who
wants to get close
* Enabler
* Martyr
* Victim

4. Unrealistic expectations… love addicts go into relationships with unrealistic and expectations that no one can live up to, even their avoidant partner. Fueled by the love addicts core beliefs and the fact that they have trouble meeting their own needs --- are unrealistic expectations that one person will meet all of their needs; take care of them emotionally, physically, or financially— to fill their inner void, take away their fears, anxieties, and unbearable feelings of shame and low self esteem away.

They tend to expect one person to be completely at their disposal and expect more from a relationship than any relationship can deliver. They fall for the Hollywood-inspired fantasy that their perfect lover should love me no matter what.

Then when their partner fails to meet these expectations, they feel betrayed, frustrated, angry; and eventually form a conclusion that the expectations aren’t being met because they’ve done something wrong- they turn it on themselves.

5. Boundary impairment… love addicts enter relationships with invisible boundaries- this can be displayed by tolerating intolerable behaviors form another person; being too open in the initial stages of meeting someone; smothering their partner; making demands; extreme neediness. Boundary impairment is also apparent by the difficulty of identifying their right to have one’s own opinions, beliefs, and feelings; including protecting the ‘self’ with healthy personal boundaries.

The problem is NOT about your partner... the problem is the core issues that have fueled most of us into our toxic dependency.

Most of us have grown up in a dysfunctional family dynamic or have had traumatic or abusive experience is also likely to foster this problem of loving obsessively.

We need to learn understand where our love-addicted issues came from and to identify false beliefs about ourselves and relationships that continue to foster dysfunctional patterns.
If we do not examine why we think, feel, and choose the things we have, recovery is unlikely to succeed. When we come to recognize and clearly identify them, we become more able to let them go through the treatment process and become more able to establish healthy behaviors.

We become able to establish healthy boundaries, express them clearly, how and when to share appropriately, be accountable, and express authentic love.

We need to learn how to hug our feelings and emotions instead of ignoring, minimizing, or beating ourselves up for having feelings. When we can learn to honor, embrace our emotions, and listen to the message that each emotion carries, we can begin to reverse our self-critic and dependency on others.

With time, patience, and commitment to changing for the better, we can learn other behavioral options from which to choose instead of being locked into old, dysfunctional familiar patterns.

Our addiction to love is an insidious and cunning disorder. Despite this, there is hope… courageously facing the core issues of love addiction makes it possible to successfully break free!

Author's Bio: 

Jim Hall, M.S., is a Love Addiction Specialist and founder of a popular recovery website,, a cutting-edge site for the love addict who want to recover and heal.

He is an Author on Love Addiction and Recovering. He also coaches Love Addicts how to recover, heal, and break their addiction to relationships, online at

Jim authors several popular Books on love addiction and recovery, available on one of the best love addiction recovery websites- Or click on the links to learn about the books:

- Surviving Withdrawal: The Breakup Workbook for Love Addicts.

- The Love Addict in Love Addiction

- Gateway to Recovery

Jim is currently completing a Love Addiction Rehab Recovery Program series for love and relationship addiction which will soon be available on Also on his website are free articles, tips, and other related information on love addiction, recovery and relationship issues: