Definition of Ambivalent Love Addict Jan 3, 2010 0:52:52 GMT -8 angel1, catalina89, and 2 more like this
Post by Susan Peabody on Jan 3, 2010 0:52:52 GMT -8
If you identify with the following definition start your own thread. Almost all love addicts become ALAs in recovery. Howard Halpern, in Finally Getting it Right, specifically addresses this.
Ambivalent Love Addicts
1. Ambivalent Love Addicts (ALA’s) crave love but they also fear it.
2. They avoid intimacy altogether by obsessing about love through romantic fantasies about unavailable people.
3. They only get involved and obsess about people who are emotionally unavailable.
4. They become addicted through romantic affairs rather than committed relationships.
5. They become addicted to people and then sabotage the relationships when their fear of intimacy comes up.
6. They initiate relationships with more than one person at the same time in order to avoid moving to a deeper level with any one person and then become addicted to the whole group.
7. They break up and make up over and over again in the same relationship and become addicted to this pattern.
8 .They sexualize relationships to such a degree that emotional intimacy is non-existent and then become addicted to the sex and the relationship.
9. No matter how addicted they are, they cannot commit to the future. They live in the moment.
10. They can love, commit, obsess and even become addicted, but this will go hand in hand with avoidance tactics like a difficulty with affection and opening up emotionally. They are there and they are not there. They come close and then move away. They let other things outside of the relationships get in the way, i.e. hobbies, work, friends, lovers, addictions—anything. They just cannot open up to a deeper level of emotional intimacy and yet they are unable to let go of the relationship.
ALA's are ambivalent for different reasons and to different degrees.Treatment is the same as that for the love addict—self-awareness, a support network, change, and the 12-Steps of LAA.
ALAs also come in different forms, listed below.
Torch Bearers are ALAs who obsess about someone who is unavailable. This can be done without acting out (suffering in silence) or by pursuing the person they are in love with. Some Torch Bearers are more addicted than others. This kind of addiction feeds on fantasies and illusions. It is also known as unrequited love.
Saboteurs are ALAs who destroy relationships when they start to get serious or at whatever point their fear of intimacy comes up. This can be anytime—before the first date, after the first date, after sex, after the subject of commitment comes up—whenever.
Seductive Withholders are ALAs who always come on to you when they want sex or companionship. When they become frightened, or feel unsafe, they begin withholding companionship, sex, affection—anything that makes them feel anxious. If they leave the relationship when they become frightened, they are just Saboteurs. If they keep repeating the pattern of being available/unavailable, they are seductive withholders.
Narcissistic Love Addicts use dominance, seduction and withholding to control their partners. Unlike codependents, who accept a lot of discomfort, narcissists won’t put up with anything that interferes with their happiness. They are self-absorbed and their low self-esteem is masked by their grandiosity. Furthermore, rather than seeming to obsess about the relationship, NLAs appear aloof and unconcerned. They do not appear to be addicted at all. Rarely do you even know that NLAs are hooked until you try to leave them. Then they will no longer be aloof and uncaring. They will panic and use anything at their disposal to hold on to the relationship—including violence. Many professionals have rejected the idea that narcissists can be love addicts. This may be because they rarely come in for treatment. However, if you have ever seen how some narcissists react to perceived or real abandonment, you will see that they are indeed “hooked.”[/font]