Thank god we all had our feelings surgically removed a long time ago, because love doesn’t just make you blind, crazy, and/or annoying to everyone you encounter. Apparently, love is literally an addiction for some people, and now that I think about it, everything makes so much more sense now. Kylie and her ultra-mediocre rapper ex? The contestants of The Bachelor Nick Viall? My friends who blatantly disregard my romantic advice even though they fucking asked me for it? They’re all love junkies—and clearly I need to stop enabling them by listening to their problems/buying Kylie lip kits/watching anything Nick Viall ruins with his presence.
In a paper published this spring, psychologists pointed out that there are a bunch of surface similarities between romantic relationships and substance addictions: personality changes, obsession with the source of the addiction, and doing weird shit to get their fix. If you have basic powers of observation, this should sound familiar—who hasn’t been forced to sit back and watch as their friend totally changes for some fuckboy? If you don’t believe me, believe science. To prove their point, researchers analyzed 60 years of studies on romantic love and addiction. Their conclusion? People can absolutely get addicted to love, but it’s not always a bad thing (or so they claim).
The authors of the article described two theories of love addiction: narrow and broad. The “narrow view” could pretty much be summarized by Taylor Swift’s love life/general existence. This kind of addict feels alone and desperate when they’re single, so they immediately replace failed relationships with a new one even though yesterday, they literally said they would never love again. When they’re in relationships, they tend to be clingy, possessive, and prone to mind-games. Wow, was Taylor the main subject of this study or did we just hit the jackpot?
Researchers think that this behavior could stem from untreated daddy issues the same kind of abnormal brain processes that are present in other addictions—and much like substance abuse, it tends to fuck up your relationships with everyone, not just the boyfriend du jour. So is T-Swift secretly a drug addict? I mean, this does explain her weird obsession with cats. The paper describes this theory as the “narrow” view because it only applies to extreme cases—the criteria for fitting love addiction is, ya know, narrow.
The “broad” view of romance, though, looks at love addiction as a spectrum. According to the psychologists, love is just another “appetite” to satisfy, like eating when you’re hungry or chugging a bottle of wine when you’ve had a shitty day. In the same way that most people can eat without bingeing (much), most of us can get our romantic fix without turning into a psycho. Basically, this theory claims that we’re all a little addicted to love, and it’s only extreme cases that we have to worry about IRL. Which totally explains why most of the time you DGAF about guys and your heart is the temperature of a meat locker until Jason didn’t text you back last Thursday even though he was supposed to come over so you drove by his house and left him 30 voicemails.
Researchers didn’t pick one theory over the other, but either way, they concluded there’s plenty of support for the claim that love can become an addiction. Besides, a bunch of other studies have shown that love activates similar brain pathways as drugs—so Kesha was right. The only difference being that molly makes you fun at parties, while love makes you write unnecessary Facebook posts. So does all this mean we can get Taylor Swift into a rehab program so she can stop annoying us for a minimum of 30 days? Please let that be the case.