"Addicted to Love" is more than just the title of a Robert Palmer song; it is a form of sex addiction and can be as destructive as any other sexual behavior taken to an extreme.
Also called seductive addiction, this is a case where the addict is compelled to seduce another or frequently enter into new relationships. While in other types of sex addiction the person is after the feelings and brain chemicals produced by physical sex acts, here the goal is the heady feeling one gets in the first stages of a romantic relationship.
Most humans can appreciate, in one form or another, the feeling when one is first falling in love. Their thoughts revolve around the other person, their behavior changes, and they see the object of their interest, and perhaps the world in general, in a better light. The condition has been portrayed in all forms of media going back as far as those media have existed. Books are written, movies are made, songs are written, blogs are created, articles are written, poems created, and so much more to honor the feeling of falling in love. It's a powerful feeling, and one around which a person can develop an addiction.
In a healthy relationship, those intense emotions work to form deep bonds and fade over time into something different and more sustainable. An analogy often used compares the first stages of a romance to a roaring fire whose flames, over time, burn down to glowing coals. Many sex and relationship advice experts talk about "rekindling romance" and "finding that old spark."
After all that, the sex addict will build a new fire, and another, and another, and another. Their brain is seeking that love-at-first-sight feeling, that thrill of wooing another into a relationship. When that feeling dies down, they move on to do it again.
Of course it's not unusual and is, in fact, the norm for a person to have had a few relationships like this before settling on one that is more long term. Once the "honeymoon is over" so to speak, two people may learn they are not matched well enough to carry on a long-term relationship and will break it off one way or another. Most experts would hesitate to put a firm number on the number of relationships that constitutes normal. Sex addiction cannot be readily identified using any kind of numerical criteria or formula. The frequency and intensity of the relationships are all factors to be considered in diagnosing this addiction.
The negative consequences of such a sex addiction can be a string of jilted lovers, stress from being in a constant state of emotional chaos, and, if the love addiction ritual involves copulation, possibly even sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancies. Because of our cultural norms and mores, females with love addiction can open themselves to stigma, being labeled "whores" or "sluts" by others, or can feel that way about themselves.
Men may find this behavior encouraging, being labeled a "ladies' man" or a "player." They may never seek treatment for it, not seeing it as a problem.
For women this is one of the most common forms of sex addiction. Women tend to be more subtle about their seduction methods but will go through lovers as fast as men with a sexual addicted.
The media, to some degree, can contribute to this distorted sense of relationship. Stories tend to focus on that initial romantic fire, while significantly fewer songs are sung and fewer movies are made about a mature relationship with many years behind it and more to go. Perhaps more than a few love addicts started developing their sex addiction merely by being poorly educated on what a good relationship entails, thinking that intensity at the start is not supposed to fade. Most people learn differently, and it's not a given that a sex addict or love addict is unaware of how a relationship should be. A sex addict may even form a long term relationship and sabotage it with affairs as they seek romance on the side.
A sex addict with a truly distorted view of a healthy relationship may see love and romance as simply the art of seduction and sexual encounters. To them, romantic partners are not people to form connections with, but targets or prey to be won over, wooed, seduced, and conquered. The relationship ends with the act of sex, and when they finally decide to go for a "real" relationship, the sex addict can find maintaining one difficult