When we fall in love, everything else becomes hazy. We become intoxicated. We want to soak up every bit of our partner’s being.
As Dr. Seuss put it, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Unfortunately, there is a dark side to this dynamic. What begins as a healthy sense of adoration can turn to infatuation, obsession, and even addiction. The problems begin when we abandon our own sense of self and personal well-being in favor of our relationship.
How do we know when we’re crossing the line?
Here are sixteen signs you may be forming an unhealthy addiction to your partner:
1. Your work, friendships, and family connections have suffered as a result of your relationship.
2. You set healthy boundaries with your partner, and you do so with every intention of keeping them. However, you always end up breaking them in the end.
3. The thought of losing your partner induces feelings of panic or grief. You honestly don’t know what you would do if they were to end the relationship.
4. You have abandoned hobbies and interests that used to make you happy. You only remain active in activities if you can engage in them together as a couple.
5. You find yourself starting fights with your significant other for no real reason. This usually happens when you are feeling ignored or insecure.
6. You feel offended when your partner is excited about anything that does not include you – for example, an upcoming marathon they are running in or a friend’s bachelor/bachelorette party they plan to attend. How dare they enjoy it if you can’t be there?
7. You keep score when it comes to attention and romantic gestures. You often wonder – and worry – which of you loves the other more.
8. You dress to please your partner, rather than to reflect your own mood and sense of personal style. If he doesn’t approve of your beloved new dress, it has got to go.
9. You no longer get excited about plans with friends or family if they do not involve your significant other. You find yourself bored when they’re not around.
10. You pretend to be interested in things you are not in order to spend more time with your partner.
11. You spend money you do not have on your relationship. This includes vacations, gifts, and even simple nights out. You may even find yourself in debt from these behaviors.
12. Your public displays of affection make other people feel uncomfortable.
13. You feel anxious or empty when you are separated from your significant other. You can no longer bear to spend time alone.
14. You insist on bringing your significant other to places you know they are not welcome, such as a special guy’s night out or girlfriend getaway.
15. You often engage in sexual activity with your partner during inappropriate times and/or in inappropriate places.
16. You choose to spend time with your partner when you should be attending to personal or professional responsibilities. For example, you find yourself snuggled up on the couch with them when you ought to be editing your term paper or attending your grandmother’s birthday party.
“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.”
― Neil Gaiman,
Did this list worry you? If so, try taking this more in-depth questionnaire about love and sex addiction. Seek help if you need to. Don’t allow something beautiful to take you down.