Every human being, regardless of gender, likely yearns for some degree of emotional intimacy. Falling in love is a beautiful experience, and most individuals who do so will experience several stages of intimacy. At first, the euphoric rush of attraction and romance will take grip. Slowly but surely, as the relationship develops and love takes root on a far deeper emotional level, these feelings of euphoria and excitement will make way for feelings of profound connection, trust, and admiration. Sustaining an intimate attachment to another human being is not always as glamorous as initially ‘falling in love’, but it is commonly accepted as a major part of life – and it is quite beautiful in its own way.
Men and Love Addiction
For the love addict, however, the initial excitement of falling head over heels is all that truly matters. Once the euphoria and exhilaration begins fading into something more stable, the love addict quickly moves on, desperately searching for another intense and fleeting fancy. As the ‘high’ of the relationship wears off, the love addict is left feeling discontented, detached, restless, and irritable. And until the love addict enters into a new relationship, he will likely feel unbearable lonely, unworthy, and hopeless. As mentioned in the article entitled ‘Men and Love Addiction’, societal stereotypes pertaining to masculinity essentially disallow men the emotional instability that goes hand-in-hand with love addiction. Yet many men suffer from love addiction, and the disorder can be just as detrimental to their emotional and mental state as it is to female sufferers. We are all human after all, and each of us requires a certain level of healthy sexual and emotional intimacy in order to feel content and fulfilled.
Love addiction presents itself in male sufferers in the following ways:
- Constantly craving and searching for a new romantic relationship.
- Feeling desperate and exceedingly lonely when not involved in a romantic relationship.
- Mistaking sexual experiences for love or romance.
- Inability to maintain a romantic relationship once the excitement and newness has worn off.
- Self-sacrificing in order to please a romantic partner.
- Placing the needs of the romantic partner above personal needs.
- Using manipulation, sex, or seduction to ‘hook’ a romantic partner.
- Using romantic intensity or sex to distract from personal issues.
- Finding it impossible to leave unhealthy relationships despite continued promises to do so.
- Repeatedly returning to unhealthy or abusive relationships.
- Choosing romantic partners who require a great amount of caretaking, but do not come close to meeting personal needs.
Healing from Love Addiction
Of course, all relationships involve a certain degree of unhealthy behavior at one point or another. When dealing with a love addicted individual, however, the above-listed patterns are exceedingly pervasive, and result in highly detrimental personal consequences. Careers may be compromised, all other interpersonal relationships likely suffer, and emotional and mental health is likely constantly unstable. We at Next Chapter specialize in treating men with love addiction and co-occurring addictive disorders. We understand that disorders rooted in long-standing emotional issues are not specific to one gender – and we have ample experience in teaching men to break through such damaging stereotypes and develop their own sense of emotional health and well-being. For more information, please feel free to give us a call today.