Are you addicted to relationships? You might not think so, but maybe you are. Like any addiction, the reality of it isn’t good and you need to change.
Table of Contents
Being addicted to relationships is neither romantic nor healthy. In actuality, being addicted to relationships is just like any other addiction; it fills you up and deflates you.
You may not think so yet, but trust us, an addiction to love and relationships is very similar to an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or exercise because they all won’t end well. It feels good to begin with, but don’t be fooled—any kind of addiction will hurt you.
A relationship may be what makes you smile or cheers you up. But a bad relationship makes you cry, scream, and it tears down your self-esteem. If despite all that you keep going back for more, you may have an addiction.
And just like any other addiction, it is not easy to break.
So, if you think that you’re addicted to relationships and you want to break this toxic cycle, read on and we’ll tell you how.
Are you addicted to relationships?
If you’re addicted to relationships, it usually isn’t good. When a relationship is healthy, you’re also able to balance friendships, work, family, and other outside things that fulfill you alongside it.
But when you’re a relationship addict, the relationships you find yourself in are very often rocky. They may be on again and off again. That’s actually why toxic relationships are the most addictive because they provide the same thrill as gambling or taking drugs.
But having a relationship addiction may not be what you think. We have all been overwhelmed by a new love interest. You constantly check your phone, you can’t stop talking about them, and you stalk their social media in your free time.
But those things come from excitement. Those habits usually die down when the novelty wears off. But being a relationship addict is a whole other ball game.
The addiction doesn’t start right off the bat. You ease into it, usually not even noticing until you’re at rock bottom. So, how do you know when you’re addicted to a relationship, and relationships in general?
1. Relationships define you
Most people would naturally say that relationships don’t define them at first glance. But take a deeper look. When you and your partner fight, do you feel like the world is crumbling around you?
Do you feel like you have nothing left if a relationship ends? If a relationship fails, you fail? If you answered yes or even maybe to any, you are likely struggling with a relationship addiction.
2. Your relationships overpower your pain
When we are in pain, we use things to lessen that pain. Some people use drugs, alcohol, or relationships. If you’ve suffered a trauma, even one you’ve buried deep down, this relationship could be your new focus.
The pain and happiness you get from a relationship are distraction tactics to overwhelm you so you can’t think about what is truly causing your pain.
3. Your partners make you nervous
If you always feel uneasy in a relationship, it isn’t adding goodness to your life. If you walk on eggshells to avoid rustling feathers or constantly worrying about something that might go wrong, it is taking over your life.
4. You think you won’t survive without a relationship
One major sign that you’re a relationship addict is your irrational and intense fear of a relationship ending. Even if you are unhappy and want to leave, the idea of that actually happening terrifies you.
Your addiction makes you feel like you need to be with someone, even if you’re not happy, but that’s not true. When you heal your addiction, you’ll realize that your happiness is more important than anything else.
5. You don’t trust your partner, but you stay anyway
One way you can tell if you’re addicted to a partner and a relationship is if you don’t have trust but you stay anyway. In fact, that lack of trust is what makes the foundation of this bad relationship so unsteady.
Without trust, you overthink and overanalyze your partner’s behaviors, leading you to focus even more on the relationship. And yet, you think this is better than being single and at peace.
6. You don’t trust yourself
Do you trust your own judgment? If not, odds are that deep down you know this person and this relationship aren’t good for you, but you continue because you must.
7. You break up and get back together a lot
Doing this once and maybe twice isn’t a clear sign of relationship addiction, but if this is a recurring pattern, there is a reason for it. When couples break up, there is a reason, and usually a good one.
And yet, when you miss each other and get back together, ignoring the reason you broke up in the first place, and repeat that over and over, it is an addiction. You have an addiction to the pain of the breakup and the high of reuniting.
8. You choose your partner over everything else
Do you drop plans with friends and family to be there for them? And do you put what they want before what you want in every situation? Do you do anything for yourself?
We all want to make our partners happy, but if you are addicted to relationships, you put their happiness above your own.
9. You forgive them for everything
Bad behavior can be forgiven, but all bad behavior shouldn’t be. In a relationship, you should require a level of respect.
But if you know you’re being disrespected yet put up with it and continue to forgive your partner due to a fear of losing them, you are likely addicted to relationships.
10. Thins are more often bad than good
This is a clear sign that you are addicted to relationships. We aren’t often addicted to a solid relationship that is full of joy. If your relationship has more bad times than good and you still want to stay, there’s a reason.
11. You make excuses for them
If your partner does something wrong and you make excuses, you aren’t just being forgiving.
Saying your partner had a rough day at work makes it okay for them to verbally abuse you at dinner is not a sign that you are in a good or healthy relationship.
12. You crave their attention
If you crave your partner’s love and attention like sugar or caffeine, you are addicted to relationships.
There’s a reason why you crave your partner’s love, and it’s because they don’t readily give it out. If your partner gave you a constant and consistent stream of love and attention, you wouldn’t need to crave it. You’re in a bad relationship, but your addiction is keeping you trapped.
13. You’re sick without them
Actually feeling physically sick without your partner is a major sign you’re addicted to relationships.
The same as withdrawals from drugs or alcohol, your mind and body will go through that when away from your addiction to a relationship.
14. You’re afraid to argue
Often, being addicted to relationships means you are willing to do anything to make it work. You will do anything to keep your partner around no matter their lack of effort.
You will be polite and agreeable and never argue to keep the peace.
15. You don’t feel confident
Relationship addiction eats away at your self-esteem. You may have gone into a relationship feeling confident, but depending on this other person for all your fulfillment snatches that self-esteem.
16. You feel lonely
It is one thing to feel lonely when you are alone, but if you feel lonely while in a relationship yet you decide to stick around willingly, you are addicted to the relationship.
17. You are addicted to other things too
When you are addicted to relationships, you may show signs of other addictive behavior.
Things like alcoholism, drugs, and even overeating can all be ways you cope with relationship addiction.
18. You hide secrets about your relationship
When you are hiding things about your relationship or partner from friends and family, it is not just because you feel embarrassment or shame. You don’t want them to push you to end it. You want to stay.
19. You have lost interest in other aspects of your life
Dealing with a relationship addiction will overwhelm you. It will pull attention away from hobbies, work, family, and friends.
If you have lost interest in your passions to focus on salvaging your relationships, you can’t let go.
20. You want to leave sometimes
Just like an alcoholic wants to stop drinking but can’t at the same time, a relationship addiction will ignite the same feeling.
You are unhappy. Your relationships make you feel bad, but you also want another taste. You want one more good feeling before leaving but that feeling keeps you there.
21. Valentine’s Day is your favorite holiday
This is an obvious one. If your favorite holiday is the only one that celebrates love, you’re an addict—especially since for you, this holiday beats Christmas and your birthday *yes, your birthday is a holiday*!
Valentine’s Day can mean a lot to some people, but if you’re counting down the days until you can celebrate it, you may want to consider admitting you’re addicted to love.
22. You always have to know about everyone’s relationships
If your nose is constantly in other couples’ business, you might have a problem.
Sure, you want to know about your friends’ relationships from time to time, but if you’re wanting extreme details, it’s time to consider you have an addiction.
23. Your top five favorite movies are romance
Okay, so all of your favorite movies should not be romance. Your addiction to love makes you crave the stories encased in those films—the love stories.
Movies portray unrealistic romance, making your addiction grow because you envy that love.
24. You have a Pinterest board dedicated to love
A “Love” or “Marriage” board on Pinterest is a smaller sign you’re addicted to love, but a sign nonetheless. It’s a bigger indicator of a problem if those boards are completely FULL of posts.
When you’re constantly pinning new love quotes, pictures, and ideas so much that your other boards never get any attention, you may have an addiction to love.
25. Your favorite emojis are the heart and the heart eyes
It’s fine to use these on occasion, but if they’re your favorite and you use them in almost everything you send, tweet, or post, it could be a sign you’re secretly addicted to love.
This also means you’re spending an awful lot of time discussing things that have to do with hearts and heart eyes. AKA., love.
26. You’re always in a relationship
People who are addicted to love, LOVE it, obviously. So, people with this problem are always jumping between relationships.
These people also tend to be the ones who leave a relationship when the romance runs out. They get bored and have to move on to something—or someone—that gives them the love they’re craving so much.
27. You’re always the first to say “I love you”
If you’re addicted to love, then you love easily. This means you’re usually the first person to say “I love you” in a new relationship.
You’re the type of person who has said those words to all of your past partners as well.
28. You have all the dating apps
Tinder, Match, OkCupid, Hinge, PlentyOfFish, and the like. If you have multiple dating apps on your phone and are a frequent user, you could have an addiction to relationships. Searching for love on such a broad spectrum is a definite sign.
29. You find a way to turn any conversation into one about love
Or your lover. If you’re constantly bringing up love, dating, relationships, and even your own significant other, you could have a relationship addiction.
Always having to keep the conversation aimed at love is a sure indicator you’ve got a problem.
30. The thought of not finding love sends you into panic mode
Do you have a legitimate fear of ending up alone and loveless? Some people out there have a panic response when thinking about this and those people are usually those with a love addiction.
The thought of not having love in your life throws you into a mess. That’s a sure sign you’re secretly addicted to relationships.
31. You rely on love for your happiness
When your primary source of happiness is linked directly to love, you could be addicted.
If you truly feel you can’t be fully happy without having someone to love or love you in your life, then you could have a real relationship addiction.
32. You tend to be needy in your relationships
Love addicts are the needy ones in the relationship. You need to feel loved more than people without this addiction.
This makes you the one who always initiates conversation, gets upset when you haven’t heard from your significant other, and the one who sometimes annoys your partner with all your affection.
33. You are the most affectionate in the relationship
If you’re the person who always initiates sex and cuddling, and always sports some sort of PDA whenever you go out, it’s safe to say you might have this relationship addiction.
This goes along with being the needy one. You need to give them as much love as you can.
34. All your friends tell you you’re obsessed with relationships
You might not want to listen to your friends, but they notice the behavior a lot more than you do. If your friends are always telling you you’re a little obsessed with love, you probably are.
35. Deep down, you know you are
On some level, addicts always know they really have a problem—even if they don’t admit it. If you’re reading this feature, you probably have a feeling you might like love more than you should.
36. You can’t be on your own
The idea of not having a significant other really bums you out.
You’d prefer to have a partner at all times, rather than deal with the hurt and anguish of going through a messy breakup or spending time being single.
37. You need someone to make you feel better
Having a new partner in your life lifts your self-esteem. It’s almost as if being around someone who has attraction and interest in you stops you from confronting any flaws of your own that you have.
It feels good for your ego for someone to be crazy about you. Just make sure you’re not using that person as a Band-Aid to stop yourself from thinking about all the issues of your previous relationships.
38. New starts don’t bother you
Most people need time to grieve a relationship that ended, but you like to move on and find someone new as swiftly and easily as possible.
You don’t have much of an issue leaving behind old feelings and moving on to another relationship, without having a bit of time off to adjust to single life.
39. A new partner changes your outlook
Once you’ve found yourself at the tail end of a breakup, you feel pretty hurt and gloomy, but once you find someone new you automatically start to feel better.
It doesn’t take you very long to move on once you find that your new beau gives you that emotional and mental boost you needed after the breakup.
40. One-night stands are not for you
You hate having quick, meaningless flings with anyone. Instead, you’d rather have someone you know who will stick around after sex for the first time.
The challenge isn’t necessarily in the chase for you. It’s in impressing them enough that they want to stay.
41. You think your exes still love you
You enjoy the idea of staying friends with your exes because secretly you still want them to want you. It doesn’t always work, but you like to imagine they still pine for you.
You think if you stay close to them, there’s a chance they’ll start to miss you because you think they’ll never find anyone better than you.
42. Break-ups are no issue when you have options
You don’t really mind ending a relationship. But only when you know you have someone else available for you to start something new.
You very rarely break up with someone first, when you have no one else around that you could potentially move on to. It’s too risky for you to go cold turkey.
43. You always move quickly
You have a habit of not taking things slowly. Instead, you’re almost always the first one saying ‘I love you’ or taking them on tropical holidays after a couple of weeks and talking about taking them to meet your family after the first date.
When you learn to curb your relationship addiction, you won’t rush it in order to force a quick connection just so you have someone new in your life. You can one day learn to let it play out naturally.
44. You can’t enjoy your time without them
Maybe you’re out for brunch with friends or at a birthday party, but your partner decided to see their own friends or spend time alone at home.
You should be enjoying your time away from them, but without them by your side, you’re unhappy. If they’re your only source of happiness, this is a sign of addiction.
45. You spend all your money on them
Savings? What savings? You spend every penny you have on them. Now it’s nice to help them out from time to time or to surprise them with a gift.
But if at the end of the month, you have no money or you’re going into debt because of this, it’s a sign that you’re completely addicted to them and not thinking about your own needs.
46. Their approval means everything
You ask them for their opinion about everything. If your partner doesn’t like the shoes you bought, you return them.
If you want to eat sushi but they tell you it’s too fattening, you hate sushi. Their opinion isn’t something you take into consideration, you follow it as if it’s a law.
47. You start fights for attention
You need your partner’s attention constantly. And the minute your partner isn’t giving you the attention, you pick a fight to bring their eyes back on you.
Starting fake fights isn’t going to bring the relationship any closer together, but you will get the attention you want.
48. You have a lot of sex and at the wrong time
Okay, you’re probably thinking that there’s no such thing as a wrong time to have s.ex. But let’s be honest, you’re not going to have s.ex at your grandma’s funeral. Well, you can, but it’s not appropriate.
Sex is essential for a relationship, but if you engage in se xual activities in inappropriate settings, that’s a problem.
49. They can do whatever they want
Another sign that you’re a relationship addict is that you’ll do anything for them. When we mean anything, we mean anything.
Your partner can do no wrong, and if someone tells you otherwise, you’ll stand by your partner and defend them to the death. This is just because you want them to love you more, but in reality, you lose your self-worth and dignity.
50. You freak when your partner wants to break up
You literally go into a massive panic attack, unable to speak, just crying and sobbing.
This is because your partner controls your mental stability. You fear the day your partner will want to dump you, and they use it to their advantage.
51. Do you even have friends anymore?
You devote every waking second to your partner. You hardly see, let alone talk to, your friends anymore, and your family is always concerned about your well-being.
Sure, you find it annoying, but they’re concerned for a reason. You push everyone away, and it is one of the signs you’re addicted to your partner.
52. You can’t be alone
Your biggest fear is being alone. It’s okay to feel this. Everyone is scared of loneliness.
But this is different. You’re not scared of loneliness, you’re scared of being alone. This just means you need someone beside you. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t feel lonely.
53. You have the same habits and traits as them
This isn’t because you are twins. When addicted, you mimic them because you want them to like you.
You may not even like the same music or movies, but you pretend you do because you like them. This isn’t healthy.
If they like you for who you are, then great. Eventually, the real you will show.
54. You don’t do things for you
Maybe you used to take painting classes or have a movie night with your family every Thursday, but now that you have your new partner, you dropped everything.
You don’t do anything you love to do anymore. This could be because they don’t share those interests or it could be because you can’t spend a moment away from them.
55. You break your own personal boundaries
Everyone has their own personal boundaries of what makes them feel comfortable and uncomfortable.
We have these boundaries so that other people don’t cross our personal lines. But when it comes to your partner, you allow them to cross all the lines even though you’re uncomfortable.
56. You fall instantly head over heels, every time
If you find you are in love more than you are ever out of it, then you might be a relationship addict. Love addicts grow close super soon in a relationship.
Although, typically fine when on their own, the minute they think they found love, they become helpless and lose all ability to stand on their own.
57. You are a hopeless romantic in your own life even when it isn’t real
Someone addicted to relationships doesn’t see that love isn’t about sunshine and flowers all the time.
Having an unrealistic expectation about how someone should love and treat you, if the person you believe you are in love with doesn’t behave exactly as you want and expect, you experience extreme fear and anxiety.
58. You stay with someone even if you aren’t happy
When you are a relationship addict, you don’t care about the consequences of your relationship.
People addicted to relationships stay in them no matter how bad they are. They lose themselves and their self-esteem, surrendering it unconsciously to the person they “love.”
No matter how awful things get, as a relationship addict, you beg your partner back even if it isn’t good for you.
59. You don’t just want the person you are with, you need the person you are with
There is a difference between being in love and wanting to be with the person you are with and needing to be with the person you are with.
If you find the mere thought of losing the person you “love” sends you into severe anxiety and fear, you are addicted to being in love instead of being in any real relationship.
60. You are a serial monogamist
Constantly looking for love, support, and acceptance, at the first hint they might have found it, a relationship addict will willingly give up everything and connect immediately.
If you jump from one serious relationship to another, you love the idea of being in love and really hate the idea of being alone.
61. Your idea of love is everyone else’s idea of infatuation
The relationship addict’s experience of love isn’t normal. It is an infatuation or an obsession. It overtakes pretty much everything in the relationship addict’s life.
They give up their friends, money, and anything really that they have to give, just to stay in their current relationship. Needing it like a drug addict needs drugs, love is extreme and dangerous to someone addicted to love.
62. You put way too much energy into your relationship
Relationship addiction isn’t different from any other kind of addiction. It leaves you constantly thinking about your next high.
Where it will come from always preoccupies with the thought of getting love, gaining approval, and having unconditional acceptance.
If all you can talk about is the person you love, have no other hobbies, and really can’t think about anything but them, then you just might be a relationship addict.
It is normal to think about the person you love, but not to spend all your waking moments thinking about them and your relationship with them.
63. You stop thinking you can live without your significant other
When relationship addicts find love, they think they can’t live without the person they love. The worst possible thing they imagine is not having the love they are addicted to.
It soon becomes tantamount to breathing. Suddenly someone gives up all that they are to maintain a love affair with another person.
64. You mistake intensity in your relationship with intimacy
Relationship addicts often confuse feelings of intensity with intimacy. That makes for a seriously dangerous relationship.
When a relationship addict mistakes intensity for intimacy, if they feel they are losing the person they love, they create unimaginable intensity to feel close to them.
That is why most relationship addicts are in tumultuous relationships. There is no downtime. A cycle of love, fear, and then explosion to find feelings of intensity, it drains like the cycle of any drug habit.
65. You have an extreme fear of losing the one you love
Most of us in relationships with others are afraid of losing the person we love. But for a relationship addict, that fear is about two thousand times greater.
Loss is all they think about. If they aren’t feeling feelings of complete elation, then they search to find feelings of love and intensity. It is easy to see how relationship addiction destroys someone.
How to stop being addicted to a relationship
Breaking the cycle of your relationship addiction will not be easy. Just like any other addiction, you’ll need support, guidance, and strength.
Learning how to stop being a relationship addict requires you to work on yourself, not the relationships you find yourself in.
The relationship is only hurting you and to put yourself first and leave that place means you must believe you are worthy of that care and attention.
To really let go of this addiction, and let go of unhealthy relationships, you have to believe you are worthy of being happy. And acknowledge that you deserve to be in a better place than this.
That can take time. And it will be difficult. To really make it through, not only will you need the support of friends and family, but the help of a therapist will ensure you focus on the proper steps to take.
A therapist can help you rework the way your mind shifted due to this addiction. In order to break this habit and break the pattern of an addictive relationship, you must dig deep and uncover what led to this in the first place.
Work through the pain of your past to focus on a better future.
While being addicted to relationships can sound like a cute, innocent problem, it is a problem nonetheless. If you think you might be a relationship addict, take a look at these signs and you’ll know for sure.
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.