By Lauren Richey
Tampa Tribune, Fla.
Relationships aren’t easy.
You’ve probably had at least one that really messed you up — the one who got away, or the one who stomped all over your heart.
It’s not something you can easily forget, and for a while your life is consumed with longing, loneliness and desperation.
But what if this was every relationship? What if every date had the capability of halting your whole life, if every romance was all-consuming and sent you spiraling into an overwhelming obsession with a single person’s attention?
That’s the reality many people with love addiction face.
Love addiction, as well as sex addiction, has affected 6 percent of the population in the United States, according to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic. That’s more than 10 million people dealing with uncontrollable anxiety over finding a mate for life.
You may know a love addict and not even realize it.
Shary Hauer, a successful career coach who lives in Clearwater Beach, delves into the gritty details of her own love addiction in her upcoming book, “Insatiable: A Memoir of Love Addiction” (She Writes Press). In it, she reveals every toxic relationship throughout her life and fleshes out the reasons behind them, even going back to her childhood and college years.
Hauer says love addiction is a chronic craving for or pursuit of romantic love in an effort to get a sense of security and worth from another person.
In the introduction to “Insatiable,” she provides a taste of how intense love addiction really is:
“Immediately, I started reconfiguring my life around him. I had to get a bigger bed — he was six foot two — and a slew of new dresses and Botox. I’d need to book hair and nail appointments. Get a bottle of Shalimar. And shimmery body butter. A lingerie overhaul was essential. The kitchen required a new coat of paint, and I had to call the landscaping guy. Then order new silk sheets and fluffy towels. I was manic, wired, not sleeping for days. The frenetic high of a cocaine-like craving. FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, WE HADN’T EVEN HAD A SECOND DATE.”