Dating and Relationship Advice – The Four Types of Love Addiction

“Romantic love is heavily associated with the same regions of the brain as drug addiction.”

I feel like this is one of my most personal and powerful reveals. I’ve done extensive research on this subject over the past three years and here’s what I’ve discovered.

Romantic love is heavily associated with the same regions of the brain as drug addiction. Those who have it experience the same intensely pleasurable feelings, while those who are deprived of it experience the same crashing emotional lows and cravings. Consequently, it’s fair to say that love is an addiction. Whether it is positive or negative, though, depends on whether the love is reciprocated, appropriate and nontoxic.

Still, because everyone’s different, there are different types of negative love addiction. Humans can be loosely categorized into four major types, based on their overall patterns of thoughts and behaviors. Each of the four types tends to experience negative love addiction in a different way.

Romance Junkies

Romance junkies fall into the category of explorers, ruled largely by the dopamine system of the brain. Explorers are adrenaline junkies, hooked on thrills, adventures, and above all, novelty. In romance, this translates into an ongoing search for the dopamine rush affiliated with new relationships. When the infatuation phase gives way to the inevitable crash and burn, romance junkies are likely to go elsewhere seeking a new infatuation. (Totally me.)

Attachment Junkies

Builders, who are largely ruled by serotonin, are cautious, conventional, rigid rule-followers. They like to stick to plans and schedules, and take responsibility very seriously. Consequently, they tend to revere attachment above all other elements of a serious relationship. Their love addiction keeps them holding on long after a relationship has run its course.

Violence Junkies

People who fall into the directors category are largely ruled by testosterone. Although many directors never escalate into physical violence, they tend to be less empathetic and less socially skilled than their peers. Consequently, they tend to be action-oriented, using their physicality to express their emotions. They are likely to become violence junkies, addicted to chaos and turmoil in their relationships. When they are rejected, violence junkies may turn to stalking, physical attacks, or even impulsive suicide or homicide.

Despair Junkies

Negotiators are ruled primarily by estrogen and oxytocin. They tend to be agreeable, trusting, nurturing, and introspective, the caretakers in their relationships. Their addiction runs toward self-sacrifice, giving more than they should to heavily damaged partners. When they are rejected, despair junkies fall into rumination, obsessive thinking, and clinical depression. They tend to talk endlessly about the trauma, blame themselves, and try fruitlessly to figure out what they did wrong. Despair junkies are at higher risk for suicide in the wake of rejection.

Love addiction is complicated and highly personal, and every situation is different. Most people, regardless of type, manage to successfully navigate the pain associated with a breakup. Still, it is wise to be aware of your own type and those of your closest friends, and to watch out for each other in the weeks and months following a rejection. Taking proactive steps to ease the trauma can help to ensure that you do not fall into a dangerous pattern.

Which one are you? I’d love to hear some feedback from you.

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Dating and Relationship Advice – The Four Types of Love Addiction”

  1. Well this is a tough one. Had I answered this just 3 years ago my responses would have been very different. I think at various times I had been a despair junkie that never learned the lesson ie most if not all of my monogamous relationships.

    I would say that even in my early days in online dating I was an attachment junkie.

    These days I am most closely aligned to the romance junkie. I always used to get bored, but didn’t react to it. Now, if I get bored there’s no holding me back because I know there is no reason why I should hold back. I describe myself as quite fickle in that way but it is absolutely me, and it spills over into other areas of my life. It’s going to be one hell of a guy that stops me from getting bored. I’m not entirely sure he exists anymore but that’s okay because there are plenty of people out there willing to fuel my addiction for now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would say I’m an attachment junkie. But life lessons taught me not to hang on…so relationships got exponentially shorter each time until I found the right one. So maybe attachment junkie with a hint of romance junkie.

    Liked by 1 person

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