Ending a relationship can be an emotionally driven time, especially for the one who was left behind. Filling the void left by the other person can easily become a favorite pastime that if not monitored, could lead to a sex addiction in some cases.
This Good Therapy post highlights the similarities between ending a relationship and falling in love. While the emotions experienced feel very different, the physiological effects on the mind, body and psyche are very similar in their potential to dominate.
In the early stages of a loving relationship, the individuals involved experience changes in the brain that are both exciting and chaotic. In the break up phase, if it occurs, similar chaos abounds. For some, this is an opportunity to heal and grow. For others, it presents an opportunity to fill a void with unhealthy activities.
These activities can include one-night stands, alcohol, multiple sexual partners, drugs, unhealthy eating and more. It’s not uncommon to jump from one emotional experience to another, which can lead to bigger problems. The individual seeking to fill the void with sexual behaviors can find themselves unable to function without that level of satisfaction on a consistent basis.
Addictions are known to develop as a result of seeking to relieve anxiety. When sex is used as the relief, it can serve the same function as any addictive substance – more and more is needed to accomplish the same feeling of “normal” until it consumes the individual.
Preventing such behaviors in one’s own life is a challenge in and of itself. If an emotional event, such as a break up occurs, the person who can identify their own struggles is more likely to seek help and avoid a dangerous addiction.