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Addicted to your ex-girlfriend

Jesse Martin

June 15, 2016

The dictionary definition of being addicted is being physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance.

Typically we associate this condition with drug use, but doesn’t heartbreak display a physical and mental dependency as well?

Author of How to break your addiction to a person, Howard M. Halpern, would agree. He identifies four characteristics to an addiction:

Compulsiveness. Panic — felt at the possible absence of the substance. Withdrawal — felt when not indulging in the substance. Liberation — felt when breaking the addiction. As you can imagine, all four could apply to a relationship as well.

As Helen Fisher from Why We Love points out, all addictions are associated with elevated levels of dopamine.

Dopamine involvement may even explain why love-stricken men and women become so dependent on their romantic relationship and why they crave emotional union with their beloved. Dependency and craving are symptoms of addiction.

Is romantic love an addiction? Yes; I think it is--a blissful dependency when one’s love is returned, a painful, sorrowful, and often destructive craving when one’s love is

Are you an addict?

Here are some questions to help you explore whether or not you are, or were, addicted to your relationship.

  1. Despite ample evidence telling you that the relationship was bad for you and that you could not expect improvement, you did not take steps to break it off.
  2. You convinced yourself to stay in the relationship using arguments that don’t hold water.
  3. The thought of ending the relationship caused you to feel anxious.
  4. When you took steps to end the relationship, you suffered withdrawal symptoms that could only be relieved by re-establishing contact.
  5. When the relationship is really over, you feel lost and empty, often followed or even accompanied by a feeling of liberation.
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Get her out of your head

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