Healthy addiction in love, according to Brené Brown

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Healthy addiction in love, according to Brené Brown

Cultivating addiction in love means allowing yourself to be vulnerable with your loved one. Knowing how to emotionally open up to the other, knowing that you are understood and respected. Having the best ally in life in your partner.

Last update: May 27, 2022

A healthy addiction in love exists and is based on intimacy. It consists in knowing how to establish a positive attachment with the partner fueled by mutual affection, mutual attention and also by trust.



Brené Brown, famous writer, lecturer and researcher at the University of Houston, explored this aspect of romantic relationships to better clarify it.

The negative and dangerous consequences of addiction in couple relationships have been underlined for years. An example of this are many precepts and ideas transmitted by the psychologist and also successful writer Walter Riso. In fact, there are numerous adverse variables associated with this dimension.

However, a certain level of dependence will always and inevitably build up in a relationship, as it is based on mutual support and a constant work to build a shared refuge in which to grow together. Without ever ceasing to be oneself and, even less, without trying to dominate the other.

This is the secret: knowing how to build a strong and healthy union in which one feels identified through satisfying, precious and reciprocal dynamics.

Being vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to connect with the other person.

Brene Brown

The happy couple relationship takes advantage of a healthy balance in terms of addiction

How to get a healthy addiction in love

The terms "healthy" and "addictive" may seem like an oxymoron. Since when is it healthy to need a partner? The truth is that the human being needs the likes of him to ensure his emotional well-being. Love needs a healthy attachment to survive and develop.



Neurologist and psychiatrist Amir Levine along with social psychologist Rachel Heller have written an illuminating book on the subject. In Tell me how you love and I'll tell you who you are they define a healthy addiction as an essential component in a relationship. It is a coexistence based on intimacy and complicity, where there is no room for fear or discomfort.

Similarly, Brené Brown provides a more detailed description in his book The Strength of Fragility: The Courage to Make Mistakes and Be Reborn Stronger Than Before. A healthy addiction in love is one in which we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with the partner.

The honest closeness of one to the other gives rise to a fortifying alliance. We know we can enjoy undisputed support in our loved one, which makes us happy.

We all need to create a bond of healthy addiction in our relationships. It allows us to love and be loved, to help and be helped, and also to have that special figure with which to allow us to be vulnerable and reveal our deepest needs.

Mutual emotional commitment

The partner must offer support, not the feeling of a minefield in which we never know where to put the foot so that the other does not get angry. A couple relationship must give calm and not storms.

Knowing that you can rely on someone to whom exposing weaknesses, fears and needs gives us an authentic psychological well-being. A healthy addiction starts with the connection that goes beyond simple sexual gratification.


We depend on the partner because he is the person with whom we share every day from anecdotes to problems. A vital and emotional ally, not a simple acquaintance. The greater the emotional involvement, the more valuable the relationship will be.

Independence and addiction in love: happiness is somewhere in between

If a healthy addiction in love is fundamental in any relationship, so too is healthy independence. These two dimensions, far from being antagonistic, complement each other.



In any relationship, you undoubtedly need closeness, support and love. But we also want and need autonomy and personal growth.

Truly fulfilling love is what, instead of subordinating, it offers impetus and freedom for the personal fulfillment of both. Happiness lies in the balance between attachment and freedom, between dependence and independence. This dynamic of forces will always be possible thanks to a necessary element: trust.

Research work carried out at the University of Friborg, Switzerland, confirms that trust is and will always be an essential requirement for a couple to be happy.

Partners who trust each other know how to maintain the right balance between dependence and independence.

Healthy relationships offer support and are emotional havens

A healthy addiction in love means not needing the other to the point of not being able to live without him or her. It means rely on your loved one to make your own decisions and carry out your vital projects. All in the knowledge that the partner will always be the best ally, the best refuge, the best daily accomplice.


Building healthy relationships isn't easy, as certain concepts need to be clear. Above all, it should never be forgotten that without intimacy, without the ability to be vulnerable to one another, the relationship will never be satisfying.

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