October 12, 2014
Love: addiction or bad habit?
Love; a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that range from interpersonal affection to personal affection (Wikipedia). Can one be addicted to love, or is it that she is so infatuated with another person so she refuses to let him go? Could love be stronger than a drug? Love causes people to lie, kill, stalk, and manipulate others. Are those not signs of addiction? If love isn’t an addiction and simply a bad habit then why is it that we say till death do us part at the alter?
“Love addiction is characterized by compulsive patterns in romance, sexuality and relationships that have harmful consequences for the addict and her partners”(What is love addiction). If love addiction is characterized by “relationships that have harmful consequences”, is it true that love can only be considered an addiction if it’s harmful? An addiction is defined as persistent behavior continuing to engage even though it causes trouble/ to be willing to destroy yourself(sic) to get what you(sic) crave (Cannady,English 101). The term may define the word as having a negative outcome, but the definition doesn’t explain how someone may feel about the term in a different situation or state. A word/term can have a different meaning or purpose when regarding different issues. A drug addiction is considerably bad but a love addiction may not always be bad. It could grow to be a beautiful thing. Where is the line that determines if a certain kind of love is an addiction? We were put on this earth to love, be loved, and procreate. Being in love with someone is one of the most life changing things that could happen to a person. To have someone to turn to, want to grow with, learn from, love, protect, and bring happiness on the darkest days is a miracle. “Profound romantic love is not an addiction, although some features of addiction, such as preoccupation are to be found in it. However, not all types of preoccupation are harmful. When it is part of a flourishing life, it is beneficial and can not be regarded as addiction”(Ben-zeèv “The dispute”). When people are happily obsessed with another and all they want to do is be with them, see them, feel them, and be in their presence, is it no longer considered an addiction? “Love addicts are characteristically familiar with desperate hopes and seemingly unending fears. Fearing rejection, pain, and unfamiliar experiences. Having little faith in their ability or right to inspire love, they wait, wish, and hope for love, perhaps their least familiar experience”(“What is love?”). A person wouldn’t become addicted to something that doesn’t bring him or her pleasure in some shape or form. There has to be a way that someone can be addicted to love without simply having “unending fear” or pain. Ever since we were born we always ran away from the things that we feared and brought us pain. From time to time we may have become curious and tested things out, but in most cases, if it didn’t bring someone pleasure than it was a one and done situation. The fact that someone has to be in constant fear or pain to be considered addicted to love isn’t adequate. Before she became addicted to love there was so form of pleasure that interested her, and grabbed her attention causing that person to stay and ultimately making her fall in love. “There are no recognized definitions or diagnostic criteria for “love addiction”, but its phenomenology has some similarities to substance dependence: euphoria and unrestrained desire in the presence of the love object or associated stimuli(drug intoxication); negative mood, anhedonia, and sleep disturbance when separated from the love object(drug withdrawal); focused attention on and intrusive thoughts about the love subject; and maladaptive or problematic patterns of behavior(love relations)