Love addiction, also called relationship addiction, is characterized as being overwhelmed by desire for another person, to the detriment of other aspects of life (work, school, or family). Those who are love addicted become captivated with the feelings of romance, intensity and sexual desire that tend to develop in the beginning of a romance. Love addicted have difficulty moving through deeper levels of intimacy, and often leave a relationship after the “honeymoon stage.”
The love addicted tend to attach their reality to their lover’s identity, basing their self-worth on their lover’s reactions. They may have difficulty finding their own individuality and act without boundaries as a consequence, swinging from extremes—being overly needy and then engaging in needless/wantless behaviors.
Individuals suffering from love addiction may have affairs with unavailable partners (people who are married, for example) or have inappropriate relationships with others. Some will conduct several love affairs at the same time to ensure the continuation of the euphoric high that romance offers.