From an etymological point of view, "love addiction" is a contradictory term. Love is all about building intimacy through honesty and sharing of oneself. Addiction is all about drying positive feelings and prevention from knowing oneself. Although the term doesn't seem to make sense, there are people who confuse love with obsession by attaching themselves fixatedly to destructive relationships. And this is how love addiction occurs.
From a psychological point of view, "love addiction" refers to a fake pseudo love, which basically fails to reflect the stereotype of genuine love. Love addicts do not admit they are addicted as identifying and accepting a destructive behavior is a difficult feat. They are trapped in a vicious cycle of pain, where they cannot distinguish between intimacy and control. As soon as one relationship is over, they instantly attach themselves to another person because they cannot see themselves standing on their own. They get attached to their partner in a pathologically controlling and pathetically manipulative way, which orders pursuing intimacy with a vengeance. Love addiction is all about harmful dependency and low self-esteem.
Studies report that, in most cases, people, who get addicted to their partner, have been brought up without the proper nurturing and attention from their parents and broader family. Feeling isolated from their peers and detached from their relatives, they develop a tremendous need to attach to their partner considering their relationship the only way to belong somewhere and to give a meaning to their life. However, in the fear of abandonment, which emanates from a damaged sense of identity, love addicts cannot function properly into a relationship. Often, they enjoy the drama they create by being jealous, controlling, and afraid to trust their partner, but mostly themselves. They experience an extremely painful reality, which makes them feel worthless.
Love addiction is about staying into a relationship at any cost and has nothing to do with being in love. Love addicts continuously question their values and they typically mistake sex for love. They develop an intense need for sexual activity in order to feel attractive and loved.
However, this feeling of obligation enrages the love addict, who seeks to avoid rejection and desertion at any cost. All this weird psychology often results in depression. Studies report that suicides, murders or crimes of passion root in love addiction. This is typically the result of a hidden pain, which gradually evolves into an increasing tolerance for high-risk behavior. This means that no matter how extremely they behave, love addicts consider their behavior normal. Basically, what they do is using their relationship as an outer faade of happiness in order to hide their internal disintegration. So, when they feel the outer faade is about to collapse, they become miserable, aggressive and destructive.
The partners of people who are addicted to love have a really tough time. In fact, it is extremely difficult to attempt to fix an abusive behavior and it takes a lot of courage to accept that your partner is a love addict. At the same time, it is equally difficult for love addicts to accept their controlling mindset and obsessive attachment to their partner. In most of the cases such relationships do not work. The only way to develop a healthy and loving relationship is to learn first to accept, love and trust oneself. Only then, people are able to exist on their own and not exclusively through their partner.