Relationship Dependence

It is possible to become addicted to relationships and love, just as you can have an addiction to alcohol or nicotine. The first few stages of the relationship, where the parties are just getting to know one another, is where the “high” that the addict is seeking occurs. Relationship and love addictions can lead to a lack of strong romantic relationships, as well as other impulsive behavior.

Signs & Symptoms of relationship dependence

  • Enjoying the beginning stages of a relationship more than the rest of it
  • Jumping from one relationship to another
  • Obsessing over your current love interest
  • Remaining dependent on the other person to the point of smothering
  • Fear of being alone/not in a relationship

When is it time to get help?

If you find you are unable to, and uninterested in maintaining a long-term relationship, but aren’t at ease without being in a relationship, it may be time to connect with a therapist. If you get bored easily after the thrill of the chase or the adrenaline of a new relationship, or you are repeatedly told that you are overly needy or smother your partner – you may have an addiction.

Treatment Methods for Relationship Dependence

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how your thoughts, emotions and beliefs influence your behaviour and how you perceive yourself, others and the world. CBT has been shown to be effective in dealing with anxiety because it helps you to change those negative thoughts, feelings, emotions and projections on a subject matter or circumstance and help you to learn more effective ways of dealing with your anxiety. This approach uses sound techniques to slow down, halt and eliminate your own learned reactions. Ultimately, CBT deals with those circumstances and events that you’re aware of, rather than dealing with circumstances and events relating to your unconscious. Through a sound therapeutic process, you’ll learn to respond differently to issues and circumstances, and you’ll learn healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Behaviour Therapy includes the thinking processes, attitudes and values which typically impact an individual. Generally speaking, Behaviour Therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment. Behaviour Therapy also looks at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes overt behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes. Typically, treatment goals are more concrete and objective with a strong focus on measuring progress over time. Ultimately, the goal of therapy is to create new learning and/or new conditions for learning that will ultimately impact the problem behaviour.
  • Existential Therapy is focused on providing the client with a greater understanding of self including self-development, and self-awareness. This therapy works on the individual’s unique set of choices and the meaning behind them. Furthermore, the therapy emphasizes an individual’s agency to make those unique choices and the need to be responsible for the consequences. The therapy makes known that the individual can not blame their decisions and the repercussions entirely on past conditioning and/or genetics. The therapy tries to employ a sense of meaning to the individual’s life and to clarify the right way to make sound choices that are constructive and rewarding.

What will I get out of addictions treatment with Insight Psychological?

If an addiction is affecting your life, you should know that you’re not alone. Our therapists utilize a variety of effective treatment methods that can support you on your journey to finding healthy ways to cope, to stop self-medicating and to reclaim your life. With time and the proper support, it is possible to work through your relationship addiction or love addiction and be able to sustain a lasting relationship. However, the type of support and treatment varies from person to person. Your therapist will work with you to determine the best plan for your needs.