While labels may seem obnoxious and confining, they can be helpful tools in figuring out where you are in your journey and how to correct what isn’t working. So lets go through and take my favorite topic and compare and contrast a love addict from a codependent.
First off, love addicts and codeps share a lot of innate similarities. Theses two types have problems with self esteem, self care, and self love. But that is a no brainer. While these two have similar stories as to how they developed those traits (abandonment issues, familial problems, etc.) they kind of fork off in different directions through how they handle their relationships.
A codependent has issues with control and boundaries. This is a person who wants to care for someone and then takes it to extreme levels, forgetting themselves in the process. They have a hard time seeing their reality and processing it, because from the inside there is no other way. They would stand in quicksand with the other person on their shoulders in order to make them better. A codependent person can find themselves in an unbalanced relationship with anyone: a friend, mother, father, child, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. simply because this is how they operate in daily life. They are second to everyone.
At the very core of it, codependency is the byproduct of a need to control. And when control doesn’t work, resentment bubbles to the surface. Resentment for their own lack of boundaries and inability to control, directed at the person on the receiving end.
A love addict, on the other hand, treats love like a drug. And while these two behaviors can look very similar from the outside, the love addict tends to thrive on the actual feeling of love further than control. While the codependent has a pretty consistent degree to which their codependency works within their daily lives, the love addict has surging ups and plummeting lows surrounding their drug of choice.
With a theme of longing and desire for attention, and the severe withdrawal associated with loss, love addicts have a chemical dependence on love. They, usually because of childhood neglect, place an extremely high standard for which they need to be loved, and when that attention isn’t paid or their needs are not met, they come back to that sensation of longing and pain. Where a codependent needs to control an outward situation, a love addict needs internal compensation. A love addict needs that high and feeling of euphoria coming from their partner because it takes away, even for a short time, that feeling of emptiness that resides inside.
Both love addicts and codependents serve an internal emptiness by looking for relationships that satisfy their core needs: either control or attention. Their symptoms look similar and their relationships tend to mimic each other, but the actual motives behind them take them in very different mental directions. So, as best to serve you, if you identify with one of these states over another, you can find the proper support group or book to help you. When you can pinpoint what is exactly going on in your heart and your head, you can help yourself to heal from the pain and loneliness that is keeping you confused. Get out and stay witchy ( *)