At Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, one of our most popular intensives is the Love Addiction/Love Avoidance workshop. The people that attend are often in severe Love Addiction withdrawal—it is real and it is gut-wrenching. Or, for those who are love avoidant, they have found that the pain of enduring loneliness has superseded the fear of being consumed in a relationship.
How Your Love Life Replicates Childhood Dynamics
The Meadows Senior Fellow Pia Mellody, author of Facing Love Addiction, coined the terms “love addict” and “love avoidant” and detected the cyclic dance between the two. Both of these conditions are considered attachment disorders that are borne out of childhood pain. Unintentionally, love addicts and love avoidants attract one another like magnets.
Early in treatment, Willow House at The Meadows therapists are able to identify patterns in the patient’s love life, or lack thereof, which replicate childhood dynamics. The therapists are able to turn the patient’s attention from the most recent relationship disappointment to childhood relational trauma. That is because unconsciously we draw to us people that rupture our old wounding in an effort to heal that wound.
The love avoidant learns how, to be honest, and real with others and develop healthy boundaries so they can safely engage without becoming overwhelmed.
So, what’s love got to do with it? Everything! Learning to love oneself unconditionally and how to be real with and connect with others is well worth the effort. It is truly the greatest gift one can attain and give others.