characteristics of people who love too much

- Typically, you come from a dysfunctional home in which your emotional needs were not met;

- Having little real nurturing yourself, you try to fill this unmet need vicariously by becoming a caregiver, especially to people who appear, in some way needy;

- Because you were never able to change your parent(s) into the warm, loving caretaker(s) you longed for, you respond deeply to the familiar type of emotionally unavailable person whom you can again try to change through your love;

- Terrified of abandonment, you will do anything to keep a relationship from dissolving;

- Almost nothing is too much, takes too much time, or is too expensive if it will "help" the person you are involved with;

- Accustomed to lack of love in personal relationships, you are willing to wait, hope, and try harder to please;

- You are willing to take far more than 50% of the responsibility, guilt and blame in any relationship;

- Your self-esteem is critically low, and deep inside you do not believe you deserve to be happy;

- Rather, you believe you must earn the right to enjoy life;

- You have a desperate need to control your partners and your relationships, having experienced little security in childhood;

- You mask your efforts to control people and situations as "being helpful";

- In a relationship, you are much more in touch with your dream of how it could be than with the reality of your situation;

- You are addicted to relationships and to emotional pain;

- You may be predisposed emotionally and often biochemically to becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, and / or certain foods, particularly sugary ones;

- By being drawn to people with problems that need fixing, or by being enmeshed in situations that are chaotic, uncertain, and emotionally painful, you avoid focusing on your responsibility to yourself;

- You may have a tendency toward episodes of depression, which you try to forestall through the excitement provided by an unstable relationship;

- You are not attracted to people who are kind, stable, reliable and interested in you - you find such "nice" people boring.

Copyright 2002 Robin Norwood

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the 12 steps of love addicts anonymous

1. We admitted we were powerless over sex and love addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with a Power greater than ourselves, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to sex and love addicts, and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.

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just for today

Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not try to tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appal me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. Most folk are as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my "luck" as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways. I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; if anyone knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don't want to do - just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I won't show it.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk low, act courteously, criticize not one bit, not find fault with anything, and not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself.

Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself, and relax. During this half-hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

Copyright 2002 Alcoholics Anonymous


My attitude to love was too experimental to allow for any real development of intimacy; I was too frightened and too numb, too careless with myself, unknowingly dishonest. It was less debilitating to have a mask rejected, certainly. And so I absorbed their needs and wants, half-losing myself in the process and in turn, resenting them for that half-loss. To Kunz, sex was perverted in the absence of love; to me, this was the norm. Mathematical formulae are no less accurate for want of compassion in their computation. And how could I have known differently? This was my way, what I had come to understand as interaction.

When dealing with abstractions or symbols, the shape of the abstraction or the symbol is irrelevant.

- from The Pure Weight of the Heart, by Antonella Gambotto

Unhappy with your job?
Unhappy with your relationship?
The biochemistry of hope
A healthy life
The laughter page
Heal the world through laughter
Optimism - the key
Failure is wonderful
Tough times?

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Your next Sex + Love Addicts Anonymous meeting
Inspiring material on recovering from addiction

Links to various 12 Step programs
How to find romance with healthy people
Spiritual sisters
Great free guided audio online relaxation exercises