Love addicts and Narcs...Like Moths to a Flame???

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#1 September 5, 2012 - 8:25am

Love addicts and Narcs...Like Moths to a Flame???

Lately I've been having a very difficult time.

I am going on 1 year NC (we've been broken up for 6...he is re-married.) This month would have been our 10th year there are A LOT of triggers coming up for me.

I've been a wreck these last few bad that I tend to forget that I do have "good" days too...and those good days are becoming more and more frequent.

In the course of the last few days, I've been reading a lot about love addiction and actually found a site that is a message board / support site similar to this one...

I first learned of love addiction on Dr. Drew and dismissed it as not being applicable to myself (I was not one of those serial monogamists jumping from relationship to relationship...NEEDING love. I was just a normal gay guy who had his heart broken by a narcissist.

But then I started doing further research...mainly to figure out why after 6 years, this loss can still bring me to my knees. I learned that there are many forms of love addiction and the one that is most common is being in love with ghosts...meaning being in love with someone who is not there anymore...physically, emotionally, spiritually, or a combination of all...

As a love addict, I tend to put the object of my affection on a pedestal (something I think we all can agree that Narcs LOVE!!!) But why is it so hard to let go? To see them for who they really are? Why do I keep romanticizing my ex when he was so cold and cruel? In the beginning he was prince soon as I reciprocated, he DD'd me...that's when the Love Addiction kicked in...the more he pulled away, the more I grabbed...the more I obsessed.

In my readings about love addiction (which is not nearly as comprehensive as my readings about narcissism, it seems that many LA are attracted to Narcs and vice versa....makes perfect sense...The Narc provides the LA with the unattainable, unrequited love that we are used to...the empty love that causes us to fantisize how it used to be or how it should be and causes us to hold on to "hope" thinkning we can fix the relationship, our mate, and ourselves to get him to love us again. On the other hand, we provide the Narc with the admiration and loyalty that they crave... They know we will not leave, that as LA's we turn everything around on ourselves...blame ourselves (that saves them the task of directly blaming us anyway, which if we didn't do they would GLADLY do for us....)

Any thoughts on this? Any other LA's out there that are as confused and as conflicted as I? LA's tend to be needy, insecure and obsessive...but so are victims of they go hand and hand?

We know NARCS seek out highly sensitive people...but what about love addicts??? It so amazing how we are unconsciously drawn to these people...sometimes their Narcissism doesn't rear it's ugly head for years into the us LA's, the same is true for our's too late.

Madonna has a line in a song that applies to Love Addicts;
" the GREATEST aphrodisiac..."

Makes sense...being as NARCS reject us over and over and over again...and until we become sane...we keep going back over and over and over again...

September 5, 2012 - 8:17pm


I tend to idealise love interests, mentors, special friends like noone else, going along with what they want, loving from afar, even when it's clear there'll be no "relationship". I investigated the "love addict" concept too, as a "torch bearer" but found it disempowering in the end.

I wonder if what they call limerence is actually a natural reaction to getting caught up in a narcissistic relationship? These people present as larger than life, ideal, electrifying. Especially if you grew up with a Narc parent, it's like coming home, and quickly becomes obsessive - you Have to make this relationship work.

I think falling for a normal person wouldn't happen in such an overpowering way in the first place, and if it did (and it wasn't reciprocal), it would end more decisively. Narcs love to be wanted, so it suits their interests (and ego) to keep you hanging on as a "friend", even if it's bad for you.... a normal person would be uncomfortable with this.

September 5, 2012 - 11:42am


I don't consider myself a love addict. But, I was an IDEAL target for my narc because I'm very sensitive and love to be loved. Who doesn't? But your post made me remember another thread on here a few weeks ago about recovery and meeting new partners.

Let me start by saying I was never DD'd. I was IDEALIZED for over two years and thought I had found my perfect partner, a man I knew thirty years ago who popped back into my life when we were both ending 20 year relationships. Cut to the end: I learned he had reunited with the wife he also said was "toxic" and for whom he had no feelings. I was completely blindsided to say the least. It was like going from 60 miles per hour to a dead stop in three seconds. I ended the relationship that day.

My recovery included immediate psychological counseling. My psychologist didn't tell me, as a close friend did, to remain alone and "work on" myself. I knew I needed work, for sure. But a few weeks later I was lonely and bored and felt that forcing myself to remain single was another form of punishment following the break-up with the narc.

So I slowly started putting out feelers and began dating. It gave me something, or someone, to think about rather than the N. The key for me was definitely seeing each date CLEARLY and not as some perfect partner to "complete" me. I just enjoy the company that a romance brings, i.e., the friendship, the laughs, and, yeah... the sex. I'm over 50 days NC and think about the man I was with last night a lot more than my ex...not the way I thought about the N when we were together in that dream world I created, but definitely in a healthier way that contributes to my happiness but wouldn't hurt so bad to lose.

My psychologist said the need or desire to have a significant other is different among people. Some people enjoy solitude, others don't. There's no pat answer on whether or not someone is addicted to love or simply prefers to have a love interest. I think you're on to something when you relate a "love addict" to an ideal narc victim, but I also think that many of us are simply lovers of love and how it enhances, but not fulfills, our lives.

You've definitely brought up an interesting topic, though. I'm going to read more about love addiction and its symptoms. But again, I think a highly-skilled and intelligent narc like I was with created a condition that I perceived as "love" but, as we all learn later, is really more of a drug-like feeling that we'll never recreate again because, quite frankly, it's not honest nor authentic. It's just the feeling that we conjure up in our heads to convince ourselves that he or she is "the one."

September 5, 2012 - 12:05pm (Reply to #3)

Thanks Lacey!

I really appreciate your feedback!

You actually summed up what I was trying to say in your last paragraph:

" I think a highly-skilled and intelligent narc like I was with created a condition that I perceived as "love" but, as we all learn later, is really more of a drug-like feeling that we'll never recreate again because, quite frankly, it's not honest nor authentic. It's just the feeling that we conjure up in our heads to convince ourselves that he or she is "the one."

That is EXACTLY what love addiction is...the drug-like "high" that I had, and have yet to experience again (mainly, because as you was not honest or authentic..."

Someone who suffers from love addiction gets a similar high that one experiences on cocaine...and it's even more difficult of a habit to break. A love addict often describes themselves as "a hopeless romantic"...and a NARC truly knows how to play that person and be their Prince Charming or Knight in Shining Armor.

I agree with you completely that some people who prefer to have a love partner are not a love addict...they are healthy individuals who are not looking for a perfect fairy tale, or someone to complete them...that is the type of person I am striving to be; however, since my ex played into all of my fantasies about love, it's hard to let go of that "love at first sight" feeling and the subsequent "high" that I felt for that first year. Nothing compares to that...because it wasn't real,but like a drug, it's the high that I, as a love addict, associate with love and like any drug that gives you a high, coming off that drug can be hell on earth...the crash can literally kill you.

September 5, 2012 - 1:36pm (Reply to #4)

But that's different

Kevsmart: I ABSOLUTELY understand what you're saying. But, did you find your disordered partner TOO infused with love, i.e., constant compliments, always noting how "perfect" you were as a couple, always denying an attraction to another because the other man wasn't you?

It's the damn ABSOLUTES that I heard over and over...he could NEVER love another woman, he never LOVED anyone like he loved me, nobody UNDERSTOOD him the way I did. It was all bullshit, but I didn't know it then. He was too PERFECT in every way imaginable: his classic looks, his personality so much like mine, our mutual memories and loves for the same food, music, and all the rest. I'm an English teacher so the bastard wrote me over 300 poems infusing all of our little references and private jokes. In hindsight his interest in me was OBSESSIVE but that didn't hit me then. I thought I had won the friggin' lottery.

Perhaps you're not a love addict. Like me, you're still working on some cognitive dissonance that allows you to romanticize that relationship as something more than just his need to CONTROL your thoughts and actions. My NC gets easier every day, but I'd be lying if I said I have no feelings for my monster. He definitely made me feel that I was in the best relationship in my life. THAT'S what I fell in love with, not the man himself who turned to ice when I confronted him about his condition.

We can't flip a switch on our feelings of course. But I have to say that being in an AUTHENTIC relationship with someone now who doesn't give me HALF the euphoria the N did is still a good thing. I know I'm not a love addict because I'm neither possessive nor obsessive about what this new guy and I have. But it's FUN just for fun's sake, if that makes sense. He's no romance expert like the N but that's what makes his romantic gestures that much more appreciated. I'm in the real world now and have a grounded feeling that I didn't have, but never realized was missing, when I was with the N. I swore a year ago I couldn't live without the N... and I know today that it's my CHOICE to ignore the hoovers and live with honesty and integrity.

September 5, 2012 - 11:45am (Reply to #2)


A very insightful post and well thought out....
I like it!!!

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