Sept. 16, 2022 – Love addiction is not a formal diagnosis. It is related to other clinical diagnoses under the spectrum of behavioral addictions, impulse control disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and mood disorders. Disorders that love addiction is related to include:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Gambling disorder

Researchers explain love addiction is related to these other disorders because they have similar cycles of emotional highs and lows, longing, and the extreme behaviors that can come as a result.

Criteria for love addiction were defined in 2018 and include:

  • Compulsive and uncontrollable desire to keep yourself from contacting your romantic interest
  • Much time spent thinking about them and your future
  • Strong desire to stay connected, even if the other person does not feel that way
  • Romantic pursuits causing problems because you’re distracted by the person or withdrawn from regular scheduling to spend time with them or thinking about them 
  • Staying in a relationship despite toxic traits.  
  • Efforts to avoid real or perceived abandonment and efforts to regain early love feelings by breaking up, getting back together, or pushing forward despite problems (such as getting engaged or moving in together to save the relationship)
  • Seeking the person out for a “fix” when you feel low, anxious, worried, or need reassurance


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