believe there is a very clear causal relationship between love addiction
and teenage pregnancy, abusive relationships, promiscuity, and the
transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. In my opinion, treating
the love addiction will result in a lower occurrence of these problems.
addicts typically lack self-esteem. They are impulsive. They romanticize
everything and fall in love too quickly. They do not discriminate
when they fall in love. For a teenager this is a lethal combination.
there are adult male love addicts, teenage love addicts are generally
female. The addiction can start as early as the sixth grade.
love addicts have usually suffered from abuse, neglect, and/or peer
rejection as children. (Sometimes the neglect can be mild, but still
have devastating effects, if the child is very sensitive to her
surroundings.) As a result of these three things, maturity becomes
stalled and self-esteem is severely compromised during adolescence.
This results in an emotional roller coaster of anxiety and depression,
as well as unwise choices concerning boys and sex.
love addicts romanticize conception, pregnancy, and motherhood.
They fall in love and want to have “his” baby. They
lack the maturity to set aside this inclination and use birth control.
Sometimes when a teenager gets pregnant and gives birth, her love
addiction gets transformed into a strong maternal instinct and she
becomes an inexperienced, but adequate, mother. More often, the
love addiction takes hold and taking care of the child takes a back
seat to being with the father of the child or to begin this cycle
again with a new boy.
love addicts are often attracted to troubled boys whom they hope
to “fix” with love and attention. This can be the start
of codependency that carries on into their adult years.
love addicts are anxious to please boys. As a result they will not
insist on using condoms when they should. This can lead to pregnancy
and sexually transmitted diseases.
Teenage love addicts crave attention from boys to make up for neglect
in their family of origin. They often use sex to please boys and
sometimes end up being promiscuous.
teenage love addicts lack the ability to choose a healthy boyfriend.
They become involved with whomever they are attracted to or whomever
gives them a lot of attention. They are particularly susceptible
to the seduction of boys because of their low self-esteem.
involved in toxic and abusive relationships, teenage love addicts
find themselves unable to let go. Love addicts, in general, cannot
end even the worse relationships, and teenagers are even more susceptible
to this phenomenon. There is so much pressure to have a boyfriend
in high school, that girls who don’t, feel unpopular and undesirable.
love addicts who have grown up in a dysfunctional home will have
a high tolerance for neglect and abuse and may not even see their
relationships as unhealthy. Even if they do, they may be too “in
love” to get out. The “battered woman syndrome”
can start during the teen years.
Early intervention is imperative. Potential love addicts should
be identified (see High Risk Assessment Questionnaire), and placed
into special classes that educate them about this disorder. This
should be followed up with professional counseling and peer support
groups. They should also be exposed to the hard work of caring for
a child and encouraged to delay motherhood. Most of all, teenage
love addicts need to be taught impulse control and shown how to
raise their self-esteem. Much attention should be given to what
a healthy relationship is—how it looks and feels.
Outline for Educators
Risk Assessment Questionnaire
Love Addicts & Self Esteem