Addicted Lover Archetype

Learn all about the addicted lover archetype, including definition, characteristics, examples and how it relates to the Lover archetype.

What is the Addicted Lover Archetype?

The Addicted Lover is one of the shadow archetypes of the Lover archetype, which results when an individual cannot harness the qualities of the Lover effectively.

This archetype is constantly searching for something which will make them feel really alive and energized, be that an individual or an experience.

However, addicted lover archetypes are never able to find whatever it is that they are searching for, sometimes unaware themselves of this never-ending search which they are engaged in.

Addicted Lover Archetype Characteristics & Traits

  • The Addicted Lover seeks a constant stream of relationships and conquests in an aim to find the next great experience or high.
  • Rather than being a mature lover, they seek only their own pleasure and the experience that the moment at hand can bring. They are unable to connect on an intimate level with other individuals.
  • If they are rejected by a potential lover their self-esteem is enormously damaged, something they find difficult to cope with.
  • In addition to the romantic features of the archetype, the addicted lover is also an individual who has many creative ideas but never has the staying power to follow those ideas through.
  • For example, they may have many ideas for beginning a business or for inventions which they could create.
  • However, they soon run out of steam when trying to implement these ideas, quickly moving on to something else in their search for fulfillment.
  • The Addicted Lover is also prone to addictions of other types, such as alcohol and drugs, finding that they lack self-control.
  • They are unable to manage their wants and desires effectively, or to establish proper boundaries on their behaviour in life.
  • This lack of control means that the Addicted Lover can lose grip on reality and morality, willing to justify almost any behaviour in their own mind as part of their pursuit if the next sensual experience.

Addicted Lover Archetype Examples

An example of the Addicted Lover in literature is Don Juan, the legendary fictional libertine or Spanish and Italian literature.

The character is a rich libertine who has dedicated his existence to the seduction of women. Don Juan prides himself on being able to seduce women of all ages and backgrounds, using disguises and trickery where necessary to do so. He also enjoys indulging in other vices such as gambling, drinking and violence.

So associated with the archetype is the character that ‘Don Juan’ has become modern parlance for a womanizer, or in other words for the Addicted Lover archetype. Don Juanism is also a recognised non-clinical psychiatric term for men who desire to have sex with many partners.

Further Reading

Further reading on the addicted lover archetype includes:

  • King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine – by Robert Moore (Author), Doug Gillette (Author)
  • Sex Addiction: A Critical History – By Barry Reay, Nina Attwood, Claire Gooder
  • Unholy Hungers – by Barbara Hort
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