Two important and surprising things happen when you meet someone you’re really fond of. One, your brain creates certain chemicals that allow contact with this person to feel really good, and two, you crave more and more of this contact as a more solid bond forms.
The downside, however, is that some people begin a pattern of love addiction this way. Others are already in a serious relationship or married when they become deeply bonded to another person, creating a situation referred to as “emotional sex.”
A recent HuffPo article looks at the ways the concept of emotional sex relates to other types of sex and love, including the ways it creates similar brain changes and responses. This emotional attachment gets stronger over time, can consume a person’s thoughts and lead to physical sex and strong cravings for that person – much like a drug.
Similar to drug addictions, research is revealing more about the changes at the brain and biological levels related to love and sex, including symptoms of withdrawal. When a person has an addiction to love, they have continual urges and cravings for affection in a romantic relationship.
They may use sex as the lure to start another relationship, moving quickly from one to the other. The thought of going without this relationship is painful, much like drug withdrawal for many people living with the addiction.
The article also gives signs for how to know if a friendly relationship is going beyond the boundaries of “just friends,” including keeping a close watch on the types of texts, emails and other online communications that may go on between two people.
The accessibility of online communications means more people find themselves in unplanned emotional or sexual relationships, and they may not even realize they had negative emotions they were seeking to avoid until it’s too late.
Like drug addictions, the desire to escape or avoid a stressful or negative emotion can be a very strong factor in the development of an “emotional sex” relationship, or in developing an addiction to sex or love. These addictions are real, are powerful and require professional help to reach recovery.