Characteristics of a Sex and 'Love' Addict

From: Bethesda Workshops

Characteristics of a Sex and Love Addict *

The following are some characteristics of sex and love addiction that we have used to hide the progressive loss of self, which is the heart of the disease:
1.) Having few healthy boundaries, we become emotionally and sexually involved with people without knowing them.
2.) Out of fear of abandonment or loneliness, we stay in or return to painful, destructive relationships, always struggling to conceal our dependency. Real intimacy is rare, if it has ever existed.
3.) Fearing emotional or sexual deprivation, we compulsively pursue and involve ourselves with one relationship after another, sometimes having more than one sexual or emotional affair at a time.
4.) We confuse love with such things as neediness, intensity, pity, sexual or physical attraction, being a victim or being a rescuer.
5.) We feel empty or incomplete when we are alone. Though we fear both intimacy and commitment, we continually search for relationships or sexual contacts.
6.) We sexualize stress, guilt, loneliness, anger, fear and envy. We use sex or emotional dependence as substitutes for nurturing, support and understanding.
7.) We manipulate and control others with drama and sexuality.
8.) We become immobilized or seriously distracted by sexual or romantic obsessions and fantasies.
9.) We avoid personal responsibility by attaching ourselves to people who are emotionally unavailable.
10.) We stay in denial about our addiction to emotional intensity, romantic intrigue and compulsive sexual activity.
11.) To avoid feeling vulnerable, we may retreat from all intimate involvement, mistaking sexual and emotional anorexia for recovery.
12.) We assign magical qualities to others. We idealize and pursue them, then we blame them for not fulfilling our fantasies and expectations.
* The Characteristics are typically read at meetings of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

Related:
Twelve Steps of Sex Addicts Anonymous involves getting right with those who’ve been hurt — so we can BE FREE! | I’m ADDING MORE STEPS.
All of my Lust Freedom! posts. We can be free!!!

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