Love or Addiction

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I have to learn to stop breathing for others.
Mary Smyth

Stanton Peele, a researcher on both love and addiction, lists the following contrasts between the two:

1. Rather than love as an absorption in and by another, love should be an awakening, expansive experience that opens the individual to 
opportunities within and outside the person not previously available.

2. Rather than love as an idealizing of another, love can be a helping relationship that recognizes the limitations of the other person. Doesn’t loving a person mean that we want them to be all they can be?

3. Rather than love as something to satiate one’s internal hunger, the love assumes a mutual value of each partner, each being worthy of admiration and love.

4. Rather than love as something painful or as a refuge from a painful world, love can be an intensification of the pleasure and an inspiration in life.


5. Rather than love as something that incapacitates, it can enhance a person’s abilities.

6. Rather than love as an accidental or volatile experience, it can be a natural outgrowth of life.

7. Rather than something immeasurable, it can be measured like friendship and affection.

8. Rather than love as an uncontrollable urge, love can be a heightened state of awareness and responsibility.

The implication of what Peele has stated is that the same addictive drives for drugs or alcohol or other obsessions, are often identified as romantic love, and, in fact, give real romantic love a bad name. 

There is No Unhealthy Love.
There is no such thing.