Sex addiction, says Sarah Osborne, Director of Clinical Operations at Mountainside Treatment Center, involves preoccupation with sexual acts, and over time, the need for increased risk level associated with them. The sexual acts aren’t about the partner, only about the ‘high’ from the acts.
“A person becomes restless or irritable when unable to engage, and the person with the sex addiction is often aloof or avoidant of developing emotional bonds with their partners,” she said.
Love addiction, on the other hand, is qualified by a person using relationships to avoid life issues. A person with love addiction feels the high from the romance, fantasy, and intrigue of the developing relationships and the perceived connection of being “with” someone, and becomes uneasy when away from the person.
“Their relationships are often chaotic with a ‘come here but go away’ style of connection due to the inability to develop true intimacy,” says Osborne.