François-Xavier Poudat

Romantic Dependence When Sex and Love Become Addictive Publication date : August 27, 2009

“I'm always falling in love, but it never lasts…”, “I do everything I can to seduce a partner, but when I succeed, I'm always disappointed, and I start looking elsewhere…”,“I must be in a relationship to feel that I exist…”, “I'm so afraid of being abandoned that I'll accept anything...“, “I can't stand sleeping alone, even if it's only for one night...”.

All of these comments — and others like them — illustrate cases of romantic dependence. But love addicts are all different: some are pathologically dependent on seduction, passion and fusion; others cannot “let go” of their partner; others are hooked on sex. But they all have one thing in common: love addicts are incapable of having a mature relationship.

It can be argued that emotional dependence is not love — just another form of dependence. In our love life, as in other facets of existence, we must grow up in order to graduate from dependence to individuation.

This book explains how to overcome an addiction to love and to accept that our partner does not exist simply to satisfy our wants. It teaches us to know ourselves better and to understand our partner and his or her needs. Finally, by teaching us to become autonomous it shows us how to engage in a fulfilling relationship.

A psychiatrist, psychotherapist and the director of sexology courses at the University of Nantes, François-Xavier Poudat specialises in couple therapy and in the treatment of sexual disorders. He is the author of Bien vivre sa sexualité (2004).