What’s the Difference Between Love Addiction and Codependency?

When we think of love, we often imagine a fairy tale relationship where we find our soulmate and live happily ever after. In reality, love is much more complicated than that.

There are many unhealthy relationships that masquerade as love. And in this blog post, we will discuss two unhealthy manifestations of love—love addiction and codependency.

What is Love Addiction?

Love addiction is a term used to describe a pattern of unhealthy behaviors that revolve around love and relationships. Love addiction is about needing another person to feel complete. It is an obsessive form of attachment that can cause sufferers to lose sight of their needs and desires.

Love addicts are often attracted to toxic relationships, and they may stay in unhealthy partnerships long after it is clear that the relationship is doomed. People suffering from love addiction often struggle to form and maintain healthy attachments. They may not be able to set boundaries or cope with rejection. This can lead them to find themselves in a cycle of unhealthy relationships.

Love addiction may be motivated by a deep fear of abandonment or a need for approval. It is a real phenomenon that affects people of all ages and walks of life. Although it is often dismissed as a harmless romantic fantasy, love addiction can actually be a very destructive force.

What is Codependency?

Codependency is a pattern of behavior in which someone constantly relies on another person for support and validation. This is usually characterized by an excessive need for approval, fear of abandonment, difficulty setting boundaries, and low self-esteem.

Individuals often consider romantic relationships in which one person is needy and feels unable to function without the other. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship between parent and child, friends, or even co-workers. 

Codependent relationships are characterized by a lack of healthy boundaries and a sense of feeling responsible for the other person’s happiness. This can lead codependent people to become too involved in the lives of others and neglect their own needs. 

Codependency is when someone is overly dependent on another person for their emotional or physical well-being. It’s often seen in relationships where one person is struggling with addiction or mental illness, and the other is trying to help them by enabling their behavior.

What’s the Difference Between Love Addiction and Codependency?

There are often confusion and overlap between the terms love addiction and codependency. Both love addicts and codependents share a common need for approval and validation from others and an intense, obsessive kind of love, but there are some key differences between the two.

Love addiction is defined as an unhealthy attachment to another person. Love addicts are usually obsessed with their partners and cannot bear to be apart from them. They may constantly worry about whether their partner still loves them or if they’ll be abandoned.

Love addicts often neglect their own needs in favor of their partner and can be very possessive and jealous. Love addicts also tend to idealize the object of their affection, and they may feel they cannot function without them.

Individuals who suffer from love addiction become addicted to the high they get from being in love. They tend to be very impulsive, jumping into relationships without thinking about the consequences. They also find it challenging to commit to one person and may juggle several love relationships at once.

Codependency, on the other hand, refers to a kind of unhealthy dependence on another person. Codependents often put their needs aside to please or make their partner happy. They may also stay in abusive or toxic relationships because they feel they can’t do any better.

Codependency refers to dependency on another person to feel good about themselves. Codependents often stay in a relationship even when they’re unhappy and may have difficulty setting boundaries.

Codependency is more focused on the relationship itself than the individual. They may stay in unhealthy or abusive relationships because they need to fix or change their partner. Like love addicts, codependents are also afraid of abandonment, but it’s more about the fear of being alone than being rejected by a particular person.

Love Addiction Is Characterized by an Obsessive Preoccupation With a Person or Relationship, While Codependency Is Characterized by an Excessive Need to Be Needed by Another Person

Love addicts are obsessed with love and relationships, constantly seeking out new partners, even when they’re in what seems like good relationships. They’re addicted to the high of love and often end up disappointing themselves and their partners.

A love addict may feel consumed by thoughts of their partner and become possessive and controlling. To maintain the relationship, they may engage in risky behaviors, such as stalking.

On the other hand, codependency is characterized by an excessive need to be needed by another person. A codependent person may neglect their own needs to take care of their partner. They may also enable their partner’s dysfunctional behavior.

They enter into relationships not out of love but out of a need for attention and validation. As a result, they often end up in dysfunctional and toxic relationships.

Love Addicts Often Idealize Their Partners, While Codependents Often View Their Partners as Needing Their Help in Order to Be Happy and Fulfilled

One of the critical differences between love addicts and codependents is how they view their partners. Love addicts are fixated on the object of their obsession and often idealize them, while codependents are focused on the need to be needed and often feel powerless in their relationships.

Love addicts often idealize their partners, seeing them as perfect in every way. This can lead the love addict to chase after the person they’re in love, trying to win their approval and love. 

Whereas codependents often view their partners as needing their help in order to be happy and fulfilled. This can lead the codependent to be overprotective and always want to fix things for their partner. Codependents can enable their partner’s bad behavior by making excuses for them, hiding their problem from friends and family, or even taking on their responsibilities.

While both love addicts and codependents can be possessive and controlling, the love addict is more likely to see their partner as an extension of themselves, while the codependent is more likely to see their partner as someone who needs their help.

Love Addicts Tend to Be Very Possessive and Jealous of Their Partners, While Codependents May Allow Their Partners to Control Them in Order to Keep the Peace

Both love addicts and codependents may have difficulty being alone, but love addicts tend to be more obsessed with their partners, while codependents may be more focused on pleasing their partners. 

Love addicts often become obsessed with their partners, needing constant reassurance and approval. They may try to control their partners to keep them from leaving. They may become jealous easily and try to control their partner’s behavior to feel more secure. This type of behavior can be suffocating for the other person, and can ultimately lead to the relationship breaking down.

Codependents often stay in relationships even when they are unhappy to avoid conflict, feel alone, or don’t believe they deserve better. They may allow their partners to control them or may put their own needs aside in order to please their partner and keep the peace. This type of behavior can be damaging to both parties involved, as it keeps codependents from asserting themselves and living their best life.

Love Addicts May Engage in Risky or Harmful Behaviors, While Codependents May Tolerate Abusive Behavior From Their Partners

Love addicts may engage in risky or harmful behaviors in order to keep the relationship going, while codependents may tolerate abusive behavior from their partners out of fear of being alone. Both love addicts and codependents have a deep-seated fear of abandonment, which drives their behavior. 

Love addicts believe that they will be left behind if they don’t give their all to the relationship. As a result, they often engage in desperate actions and engage in risky or harmful behaviors in an attempt to keep the relationship alive, regardless of the cost to their own well-being. This can include anything from trying to control their partner’s every move to sabotaging the relationship in order to get attention. 

Meanwhile, codependents may tolerate abusive behavior from their partners out of fear of being alone or losing the relationship. They may also have difficulty expressing their own needs and boundaries.

They convince themselves that staying in an unhealthy relationship is better than being alone and unloved. Codependents may also feel responsible for their partner’s happiness and believe they can ‘fix’ their partner’s problems.

Love Addicts Often Blame Their Partners for Their Problems, While Codependents May Blame Themselves for the Problems in Their Relationships

Love addicts are often more clingy and demanding. Love addicts often have unrealistic expectations of their partner and tend to focus on the negative aspects of their relationship.

As a result, they are often quick to blame their partners for any problems that arise. Love addicts may find themselves constantly needing love and attention and blame their partners when they can not give them what they need.

With codependency, the person often blames themselves for the problems in their relationship. Tend to be more supportive of their partners. They may feel like they are not good enough for their partner and that they need to do more to make them happy. They may feel like they are responsible for their partner’s happiness and feel guilty if they are unable to meet those needs.

Is love addiction and codependency a form of love?

Love addiction and codependency can be considered forms of love, but they are unhealthy ones. Love addiction is when someone is addicted to the feeling of being in love and becomes obsessed with their partner. Codependency is when someone is so focused on pleasing their partner that they lose sight of their own needs.

Both love addiction and codependency can be harmful to a relationship. When someone is addicted to love, they often become controlling and demanding. They may try to isolate their partner from friends and family and even resort to violence or threats if they feel threatened by someone else.

Codependents often neglect their own needs. They are consumed with ensuring their partner is happy and often ignore their feelings and desires but may eventually resent their partner for taking advantage of them.

Everyone must decide whether their relationship is built on healthy love or something else. If you feel you are addicted to love or codependent on your partner, you should seek help.

What is the root of love addiction and codependency?

The root of love addiction and codependency is often a need for approval and validation. People who struggle with these issues often feel they are not good enough on their own, so they become dependent on others to make them feel wanted and loved. This can lead to unhealthy and destructive relationships in which the addict or codependent person gives up their own needs in favor of their partner’s.

Another cause of love addiction and codependency is often a lack of self-love. People who struggle with these issues usually do not feel good about themselves and rely on others to make them feel complete. This can lead to unhealthy attachments and dependencies.

People in codependent relationships often make excuses for their partner’s bad behavior, enabling them to continue their destructive patterns. They do this because they fear being alone or believe they can fix their partner. But this is not possible and only leads to further pain and disappointment.

How do you break the cycle of codependency?

Breaking the cycle of codependency can be difficult, but it is possible. The first step is to become aware of the pattern and its impact on your life. Once you have identified the problem, you can begin to make changes in your behavior.

This may include setting boundaries with the person you depend on, learning to say no, and developing healthier ways to cope with stress and emotions. It is also important to have support from family and friends who can help you stay on track.

Finally, do not be afraid to seek professional help if you feel you struggling to break the vicious cycle on your own. A therapist can provide guidance and support you in overcoming these issues.

What is the healthy version of codependency?

Codependency is a type of relationship in which two people are so closely attached that they lose their sense of self. It often develops in families where one or both parents are overly nurturing to their children. Children in these families learn to rely on their parents for everything and become very good at caring for other people’s needs. 

But while codependency may seem like a healthy way to bond, it actually isn’t. In healthy relationships, couples feel closely attached and intertwined but are still capable of making their own decisions.

Interdependency is a healthy counterpart of codependency. It is the state of being autonomous yet connected to someone. This means they can make their own decisions but are also connected or dependent on each other. In a healthy relationship, couples feel closely connected and intertwined but can still make their own decisions.

This allows them to maintain independence while relying on their partner for support. Interdependence is essential for couples because it creates a sense of security and stability. It helps them feel connected and supported, which can be helpful in difficult times.

Why is it so hard to break love addiction and codependency?

Love addiction and codependency are hard to break because they are based on an emotional need that is not easily broken. When two people are in a codependent or addictive relationship, they rely on each other to meet their emotional needs. This creates a strong bond that is difficult to break.

In addition, breaking free from love addiction or codependent relationships can be difficult because it often involves facing painful emotions. These emotions may include loneliness, self-doubt, and insecurity. People in love addictions and codependent relationships usually avoid these painful feelings by clinging to their partner.

Furthermore, breaking free from love addiction or codependent relationships can be difficult because it requires courage and determination. It takes courage to face the pain associated with a breakup. It takes determination to make the necessary changes in order to create a healthier relationship.


Love addiction and codependency are two different conditions, but both can be associated with an unhealthy obsession with another person. Love addiction and codependency are both characterized by a strong emotional response, but they differ in important ways.

If you think you may be struggling with either condition, it’s important to seek professional help. Treatment can involve therapy, support groups, and medication. With treatment, you can learn to build healthy relationships, find true satisfaction in your life, and help you develop a healthier sense of self.

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Clariza is a passionate writer and editor who firmly believes that words have great power. She has a degree in BS Psychology, which gives her an in-depth understanding of the complexities of human behavior. As a woman of science and art, she fused her love for both fields in crafting insightful articles on lifestyle, mental health, and social justice to inspire others and advocate for change. In her leisure time, you can find her sitting in the corner of her favorite coffee shop downtown, deeply immersed in her bubble of thoughts. Being an art enthusiast that she is, she finds bliss in exploring the rich world of fiction writing and diverse art forms.