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Ambivalent Love Addicts - does this sound like your ex?


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Old 20th November 2013, 12:26 PM   #1
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Smile Ambivalent Love Addicts - does this sound like your ex?

Hi all,

In order to make peace with letting go of someone I cared deeply about, I've been doing some research into the types of dysfunctional lovers there are out there.

I came across a class of dysfunctional love personality known as an Ambivalent Love Addict. These are people that crave love but also fear it, and as a result they find themselves in endless tangled up webs weaved by their own lies, neuroses and general bull**** behaviour.

The Ambilavent Love Addict (ALA) was a term coined by a counsellor called Susan Peabody (you can read more about her here)


Have any of you ever fallen for a person who displays these personality traits (I've highlighted the ones that applied strongly to the person I had to let go)?:

  1. They avoid intimacy altogether by obsessing about love through romantic fantasies about unavailable people.

  2. They only get involved and obsess about people who are emotionally unavailable.

  3. They become addicted through romantic affairs rather than committed relationships.

  4. They become addicted to people and then sabotage the relationships when their fear of intimacy comes up. (pretty much word for word what happened to me. He couldn't function without me as his rock but when I fell for him, he dropped me like a hot brick)

  5. They initiate relationships with more than one person at the same time in order to avoid moving to a deeper level with any one person and then become addicted to the whole group. (see also: shameless man*****)

  6. They break up and make up over and over again in the same relationship and become addicted to this pattern.

  7. They sexualize relationships to such a degree that emotional intimacy is non-existent and then become addicted to the sex and the relationship.

  8. No matter how addicted they are, they cannot commit to the future. They live in the moment.

  9. They can love, commit, obsess and even become addicted, but this will go hand in hand with avoidance tactics like a difficulty with affection and opening up emotionally. They are there and they are not there. They come close and then move away. They let other things outside of the relationships get in the way, i.e. hobbies, work, friends, lovers, addictions—anything. They just cannot open up to a deeper level of emotional intimacy and yet they are unable to let go of the relationship.



I just needed to share this as it was a massive EUREKA moment for me. Everything about it made sense. All of it applied to this dude I felt so beholding to it took 10 years to cut the cord and NC him for good.

I'd really like to know if any of you guys have encountered people like this.

Check out Susan's PDF on Love Addicts too. The 'torchbearer' seens eerily familiar...
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Old 20th November 2013, 12:46 PM   #2
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Eh, sounds sort of like me. I get relationship anxiety with my current boyfriend. These are most like me:

  1. They only get involved and obsess about people who are emotionally unavailable.(current boyfriend is emotionally unavailable and has a hard time opening up also, but has changed a lot nonetheless and is working on things)
  2. They become addicted to people and then sabotage the relationships when their fear of intimacy comes up (with relationship anxiety I have a fear of him leaving me and doing things wrong, so I sabotage and create unnecessary drama/conflict just so I can get the reassurance (that he won't leave me and loves me) I heavily crave/need)
  3. They break up and make up over and over again in the same relationship and become addicted to this pattern.
  4. They sexualize relationships to such a degree that emotional intimacy is non-existent and then become addicted to the sex and the relationship.
  5. No matter how addicted they are, they cannot commit to the future. They live in the moment. (I am more SCARED of the future than not committing to it. I would love to be married one day, but I feel like I am scared of it more than anything)
  6. They can love, commit, obsess and even become addicted, but this will go hand in hand with avoidance tactics like a difficulty with affection and opening up emotionally. They are there and they are not there. They come close and then move away. They let other things outside of the relationships get in the way, i.e. hobbies, work, friends, lovers, addictions—anything. They just cannot open up to a deeper level of emotional intimacy and yet they are unable to let go of the relationship.
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Old 20th November 2013, 1:12 PM   #3
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While it is good to put a label on something for healing and understanding...be sure to take a long look at yourself in the process and why you picked him and or chose to stay in this R for so long.

We pick people for a reason.

Oh and I am not talking at you...I am talking to myself as well.
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Old 20th November 2013, 1:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphcbpa View Post
While it is good to put a label on something for healing and understanding...be sure to take a long look at yourself in the process and why you picked him and or chose to stay in this R for so long.

We pick people for a reason.

Oh and I am not talking at you...I am talking to myself as well.
Oh don't worry, I hear ya. I was never really in a relationship with this dude. He was too messed up to really be in one but kept me around by telling me I was the only good thing in his life and I was his best friend, so I let him 'friendzone' me and became a martyr of sorts (I know, how pathetic, right?).

I've no idea what kept me around for so long. Just a tirade of mixed signals, mind games and emotional vampirism. I should've ditched his ass and went team NC years ago but I felt sorry for him...and I must admit, I think I got off on the heady drama of pining for someone on the other side of the planet for a while there. Last straw was when he let me down for the umpteenth time and I saw him for the self-absorbed narcissist he really was.
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Old 20th November 2013, 1:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlessYourCottonSocks View Post
Eh, sounds sort of like me. I get relationship anxiety with my current boyfriend. These are most like me:

  1. They only get involved and obsess about people who are emotionally unavailable.(current boyfriend is emotionally unavailable and has a hard time opening up also, but has changed a lot nonetheless and is working on things)
  2. They become addicted to people and then sabotage the relationships when their fear of intimacy comes up (with relationship anxiety I have a fear of him leaving me and doing things wrong, so I sabotage and create unnecessary drama/conflict just so I can get the reassurance (that he won't leave me and loves me) I heavily crave/need)
  3. They break up and make up over and over again in the same relationship and become addicted to this pattern.
  4. They sexualize relationships to such a degree that emotional intimacy is non-existent and then become addicted to the sex and the relationship.
  5. No matter how addicted they are, they cannot commit to the future. They live in the moment. (I am more SCARED of the future than not committing to it. I would love to be married one day, but I feel like I am scared of it more than anything)
  6. They can love, commit, obsess and even become addicted, but this will go hand in hand with avoidance tactics like a difficulty with affection and opening up emotionally. They are there and they are not there. They come close and then move away. They let other things outside of the relationships get in the way, i.e. hobbies, work, friends, lovers, addictions—anything. They just cannot open up to a deeper level of emotional intimacy and yet they are unable to let go of the relationship.

I appreciate you taking the time to reply and it's interesting to see it from the perspective of a person who may fit this profile. At least you can identify traits that might not be healthy for you in the long run. Many people are in denial.

I hope you get to a healthier, happier place with yourself. I fear all that drama's gonna wear you down.
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Old 22nd November 2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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Oh yes, I can relate. Especially number 6.

I also found my ex had a lot of Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits, and that I myself was showing signs of being a victim of a person with NPD.

People to whom this has never happened say "oh he's just not that into you" but seriously, nobody sticks their claws in for years (in my case, 7) of ego stroking.
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Old 22nd November 2013, 6:54 PM   #7
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I'd definitely put all these behaviors under the category of "not knowing what you want in a relationship". I was like this for awhile, and I certainly know many people like this, or at least who have had this phase in their life. It certainly seems like part of the learning process for many people towards finding out what they truly must have in who they are with!

Last edited by Elliotte; 22nd November 2013 at 6:56 PM..
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