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Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things go Wrong

by Lauren D. Costine Rowman and Littlefield
Pub Date:
Pbk 186 pages
AU$37.99 NZ$39.12
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.

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Everyone makes mistakes in relationships at one time or another. Sometimes they learn from those mistakes. Other times, they return to those behaviors and cycle through failed relationship after failed relationship. Sometimes those behaviors become an addiction to love that may leave a person feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, lonely, or worse. Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things go Wrong makes visible the elements of love addiction that many lesbians suffer from.


Love addiction for lesbians comes in many forms. Some struggle by sexually acting out and others are serial relationship junkies, jumping from one relationship into the next. Some are addicted to the high of falling in love and once that wears off don’t know how to handle the day-to-day realities of a committed relationship. Some are even addicted to fantasy and intrigue, while others are love avoidants and sexual anorexics. Love avoidants may be able to get into a relationship but once they are fully committed, struggle with feeling smothered. Others may avoid intimate or sexual relationships all together, becoming sexually anorexic. Some may even vacillate between all of these. The underlying component and common denominator in all of these scenarios is the “Urge to Merge.”


Lesbian Love Addiction is designed to help ameliorate at least part of this problem. Lauren D. Costine offers insight for lesbians, bisexual women in relationships with women, queer women, and more specifically, any woman who loves women, as well as their family and friends, and health care professionals, into the psychology of lesbian love addiction. It will give those who struggle with and suffer from love addiction ways to understand, cope, and heal from this debilitating addiction. It will give those who work with this population new tools to use to do this more effectively. Mostly, it will help lesbians understand their relationship failures and how to heal from problems associated with them, so they may grow and cultivate happier, more fulfilling connections in the future.

Foreword: Rob Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S
Introduction: Once Upon a Love Addiction
1.The Power of Our Physiology
2. The Way We Connect
3. What is Unique About Lesbian Love Addiction?
4. How We Merge and Spiral
5. Withdrawal: What It Is and How It Benefits Us
6. How to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Yourself and Others

Dr. Costine created a thought-provoking platform and . . . her greatest talent is in connecting the dots. Theology, history, physiology, psychology and sociology intermingle to a specific end. She takes truths, re-examines and perhaps, repurposes those truths to create an interesting hypothesis. Lesbian Love Addiction shines a light on a particular manifestation of humanity and in better understanding that perspective; we're all positioned to better understand ourselves. Clearly, whether it's ancient Vikings, pre-Christian patriarchs, contemporary talk show hosts fretting about femi-nazis or presidential contenders wallowing in sexist slurs, the modern feminist has an ancient torch to bear. Dr. Costine is a gifted speaker, writer and philosopher and her work will continue to generate both heat and light. - Gay San Diego


Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong discusses the phenomenon of love addiction that many lesbians suffer from, discussing the kinds of behaviors that lead to constant failed relationships and how the drive to merge with another at the cost of one's identity results in dysfunctional relationships. It's a common adage that lesbians meet, fall in love, and move in with one another in very short time frames; but Lesbian Love Addiction analyzes why, and provides important insights not just into behaviors, but how to modify them for greater success. The result is highly recommended for any psychology or women's issues collection. - Midwest Book Review


Lauren Costine's voice illuminates a path for women outside dominant, heterosexist margins as they navigate love and desire. With excellent research, Costine offers sound theory and practice for lesbians suffering from addictive love and sex. A wonderful resource and a much needed addition to the emerging literary canon for women. - Kelly McDaniel, LPC, NCC, Author: Ready to Heal: Breaking Free of Addictive Relationships


Nothing aids recovery more than the deep identification between one addict and another addict. My own experience has allowed me to help many love addicts. Lauren Costine's thoughtful and well-researched book gives me the opportunity to see love addiction through a "lesbian lens," to better identify with and help even more women. I am grateful to her. - Ethlie Ann Vare, author of Love Addict: Sex Romance and Other Dangerous Drugs (2011)


Lesbian Love Addiction fills a critical gap in the literature on sex and love addiction. Lauren Costine uses research and field knowledge to shine a light in a problem area that desperately needs to be addressed, and her examples make the reading easily accessible for all. It's a welcome resource for professionals, lesbian love addicts, and their loved ones. - Samantha Smithstein, PsyD, licensed clinical and forensic psychologist


Lauren has cracked the code to why so many of my family, friends and clients attach the way they do – in spite of the results. She then prescribes a new way of doing that is understandable and actionable. Brava! - Brad Lamm, CIP, Founder of Breathe Life Healing Centers; Author of How to Help the One You Love
Lauren Costine, PhD, is an LA-based therapist specializing in therapy with for lesbians. In addition to her therapeutic practice, Costine is an educator, activist, administrator, and author. She is currently the Chief Clinician and Founder of The LGBT-Affirmative Track at BLVD Treatment Centers – an intensive outpatient treatment center in Hollywood. She was one of the founding members and developers of The LGBT Specialization in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles (AULA), the nation’s first LGBT-Affirmative program where she still teaches. Her involvement included the development and teaching of such popular courses as LGBT History & Myth, Lesbian Liberation and LGBT Community Action.. Professionally, she has presented workshops at various national and regional conferences and has published a number of articles in such magazines as SheWired, Addiction Professional Magazine and Smart Lesbian Online Magazine. As an activist, Costine has helped produce a variety of grassroots psychological cultural events aimed to promulgate LGBT-Affirmative psychological ideas for the community in accessible ways through various mediums via The LGBT Specialization. She has a monthly written and video blog on her website, href="">, titled “Dr. Costine’s Commentary.”