When I was a child, I stayed in my room and read a lot of romantic novels. I internalized romantic ideals which are very unrealistic.
When I was in the sixth grade I started projecting these fantasies onto boys. I would get serious crushes on boys in my class. One per year until high school and then I fantasized about one boy for 20 years.
Needless to say I am a torchbearer.
I think fantasies about romantic love as a child really is the beginning of my love addiction. Romantic love distracted me from my loneliness but it was also very painful when it was not returned.
Rather than give up on romantic love, and pursue a career, I got addicted and kept searching obsessively until I got into recovery.
Soren Kierkegaard describes romantic love as habitual and dangerous. By dangerous he means that some people think it is worth dying for. He encourages us to just love our neighbor and to love God. Of course now that we choose our partners based on romantic love nobody is going to give it up, but we really need to stop idealizing it. It does not last forever and in the wrong circumstances it can destroy your life.
In 1982 I switched from romantic love to agape (love of God) and then I went back to romantic love in moderation. This combination still works for me
I bring this up for discussion because yesterday I met someone on line and within an hour I was asking myself if this was the one. It made me laugh because I realized once a love addiction always a love addict to one degree or another. Thanks to my recovery I dismissed the notion and got on with my day.