Is it Love or Codependency?

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Is it Love or Codependency

Do you have a love connection that might make you think that you’ve met your soulmate, the person that is perfect for you. Love can be a drug that consumes you but what is the difference between love and codependency?

Being Addicted to Love

Love is a behavioral pattern that allows people to have strong feelings that are good but being codependent or addicted to love is a negative behavior that leads to excessive romantic partners, people unable to have control and when someone gives up the things that they love such as hobbies. This kind of love addiction is a kind of love that needs to grow up and is immature. This can affect your overall life.

There are around 10% of the world that might have this kind of love. Love addiction isn’t a disorder, but it is a dysfunctional behavior that can cause people to want to please others over themselves and can cause there to be a lot of fights, breakups, divorces and more. This can cause emotions to be up and down and can leave you feeling pain and to be drained of your emotions.

This kind of love will cause disappointments and emotional distress. This can also lead you to being resentful towards your partner as things break apart.

Is Having a Love Addiction a Mental Health Problem?

Sometimes doctors will look at love addiction as a mental health illness, but it isn’t diagnosed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and therefore it doesn’t have a classification. This is one thing that can affect the brain and is similar to substance disorders.

Early Stages of Love Addiction

When someone is in the early stages of love addiction chances are that the relationship will be just like any other relationship. They will want to do whatever it takes to please their partner; they will always want to see them, and they will desire the attention. As time goes on though, the person will become more obsessed, and this can be codependent behaviors that start. This is when boundaries are no longer taken seriously and one or both people remove themselves from family and friends and they don’t follow the hobbies that they always loved.

When it gets to a later stage, the codependency will overlook the problems, and this will bring about a lot of guilt and self-blame. This can cause stress and one person might lose their self-esteem. This can lead to blaming and manipulation which can end with anger and resentment.

In the later stage of codependency, the emotions might hurt your physical and mental health. People that are codependent will have stress and they will have other physical problems such as:

    • Sleep disorders.
    • TMJ.
    • Allergies.
    • Eating disorders.
    • Digestive problems.
    • Addictions.

This can leave people feeling anger and hopeless in their relationship.

Hurting Others with Love Addiction

Some codependency might be healthy in a relationship but when you aren’t putting your partner first and you are only able to be in a relationship with your partner, you lose your independence. This can be destructive with love, and it will lead to a fear of rejection. There should be hope and trust in any relationship and you should feel loved and accepted.

Not all relationships look the same but there are benefits of relationships and these should be without insecurity.

Understanding Codependency

Codependency isn’t recognized in the DSM and isn’t considered a personality disorder, but it is similar to drug or alcohol addiction.

Codependency is looking for love based on needing to feel secure and wanted. Someone that is codependent will want their partner to fix every problem and they will need their partner to fix their self-esteem and to make them not feel empty.

What ends up happening in this situation is that their partner will not be able to fulfill these needs and that will cause the person to be codependent on them. They will desire unconditional love and will crave love from their partner, but they will have obsessive thoughts and will be addicted to their partner.

Why Does Codependency Happen?

Codependency is a behavior that comes from having a poor self-concept. This might have happened as a child, and it carried on into adulthood. It is what has shaped your thoughts and your emotions, and it is a strange way to see love.

Those that have codependency are often in toxic relationships. This can happen from childhood, and it will play into the role of their relationship style. There are four attachment styles including:

    • Secure.
    • Fearful avoidant.
    • Dismissive avoidant.
    • Anxious preoccupied.

People that are codependent often have the bottom three. Codependency can be learned, and you might have experienced the same situations with your partners or caregivers. This means that there were a lack of boundaries, and that people were not expressing their feelings or needs but instead they were depending on others to do this for them.

Codependency has different factors including family upbringing, experiences, attachment styles and more. It stops people from having self-growth and when someone is addicted to love, they need their partner to be happy.

Is There a Difference Between Love and Codependency?

There is a difference between having healthy love and codependency. People that date will fall in love and there will be many emotions. When the relationship settles down, it can take the excitement away and it can bring calmness but there will still be love.

When there is love addiction and codependency though, this can keep stress and insecurity at an all time high even as the relationship grows.

How to Get Past Codependency

If you are being codependent on your partner, here are some things you can do:

  • Stop Pleasing Everyone

Stop trying to please everyone at all times. If you get upset with your partner, this is normal. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t do what they need all the time.

  • Be Happy

Learn to be happy with your partner and on your own. Arguing is part of relationships and some arguing can be healthy. Learn to talk about your problems in a rational way.

  • Love Who You Are

You need to love yourself before you ever love everyone else. You won’t be able to be a good partner if you aren’t able to love yourself. Spend time with people that you love and have hobbies that make you have fun.

  • Know Abuse

Know abuse and abusive behaviors when you see them. This can be physical abuse, verbal abuse, and other things. Don’t stay with someone that isn’t treating you right.

  • Talk to Someone

Talk to a professional if you are having a hard time working through your relationship. Get out of your codependent relationship. Codependency is not really love and when you have these things happening in your relationship you need to recognize this and move forward.

Final Thoughts

Being in a healthy relationship is important and it cannot be based around unhealthy habits. Knowing he difference between a healthy relationship and codependency is important to your health and your love.

Even though love addiction can come from beliefs that you had as a child or from fear of being alone, these things are not normal, and you can be excessive with your partner. You need to care for yourself and learn to keep your mind and your wellbeing strong.

To get past codependency you need to talk to a mental health professional. Stop people pleasing and stop putting the needs of your partner and everyone else above your own. Don’t judge others and be kind to yourself and those around you.

Be self-aware of what is going on in your life. Don’t forget to be mindful and learn to love yourself. Set boundaries that are healthy. This will give you power to embrace love and not to be codependent. Use positive affirmations to build your self-esteem and to have good behavior patterns. Remember, being codependent does not mean love and you need to address this kind of behavior to really find love.