Science Says There Are Two Kinds Of Love Addiction And You've Likely Experienced One

by Candice Jalili

You're pretty sure you're in love, but how do you know?

Well, when you're with him, you can't stop smiling like a lunatic, and when you're not with him, you're obsessively checking your phone for a text or call from him.

And don't even get me STARTED on the increasingly large empty feeling in the pit of your stomach when there is no text or call. Then, of course, the text or call finally comes, and you're back to smiling like a buffoon.

You know this is what being in love feels like. But doesn't it also feel a lot like you're addicted to a drug, that drug being the person you're in love with? When you have his attention you're feeling high, and when you don't you're feeling low.

Studies in the past have already found the neurological similarities between being in love and being addicted to drugs, but a new study conducted by researchers at Oxford University Center for Neuroethics decided to dive a little deeper into what exactly being addicted to love does to our brains.

One of the study's authors, Anders Sandberg, explained in the New Scientist that there's a certain line that's crossed when regular love turns into something more related to addiction:

I think it is when you realize you do not want to be in love yet cannot avoid it, and it causes bad things, like abuse, that we cross the line into something addiction-like.

To conduct their study, researchers analyzed 64 studies on love and addiction that had been published anywhere between 1956 and 2016. In their research, they found that there are two types of "addiction-like" feelings when it comes to love: "narrow" and "broad."

The "narrow" view is the one we typically associate with negative addictive behavior. According to the researchers, "the narrow view counts only the most extreme, harmful forms of love or love-related behaviors as being potentially addictive in nature."

Simply put, this kind of love is extreme. The highs are incredibly high and the lows are really low.

On the other hand, the "broad" view is more commonly associated with "normal" love. When you have a broad view, your addictions are more like manageable "cravings."

This means you can usually control your gut-wrenching need for your partner, but if it goes on for too long, it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore.

While some other scientists don't consider the "broad" type of falling in love to actually be addictive behavior, the study's lead author, Brian Earp, argues that it can become a form of addiction when our cravings start to take over our other interests.

In other words, when nothing brings you as much joy as hanging with your BAE, it's time to consider the possibility that you might be addicted.

If you've ever been in any sort of love, I'm willing to bet you've experienced one of these two types of love addiction. The question is, which is it? Comment below!

Citations: Autonomy, Well-Being, Disease, and Disability (PhilPapers), 'I Can't Quit You Baby': Scientists Reveal Two Types Of Love Addiction, And How It's Similar To Drug Abuse (Medical Daily), Addicted to love? Craving comes in two forms, and both can hurt (New Scientist), Addicted to love: What is love addiction and when should it be treated? (NCBI)