How to Recognize the Symptoms of Obsessive Love Disorder

Obsessive Love  Los Angeles Life and Relationship Coach Leslie J Saul

Obsessive Love

Love is a wonderful feeling, and the start of a relationship is such an exciting time of getting to know one another, mixed with the feeling of not being able to get enough of each other.

Wanting to spend time together is completely normal, but in a healthy relationship both parties need to be able to function and be happy, without having to be joined at the hip. When you become reliant on the other person for your own happiness, the situation starts to transform from a healthy love – to an obsessive love.

This obsession can present itself in many ways, and sometimes we may not be aware of it straight away.

  • Do you get jealous of your partner spending time with other people, when they could be spending time with you?
  • When you aren’t together, do you feel compelled to know exactly where they are, and who they are with?
  • Are you incapable of being happy or living a functional life when they aren’t around?
  • Have you ever accused your partner of infidelity with no evidence or reason, besides your own insecurity?
  • Do you live in a constant fear that the relationship is going to end?

These are classic feelings of anxiety and insecurity that manifest within people suffering from Obsessive Love Disorder. However, it’s not only when you are in a relationship that this disorder can be a problem.

Breakups are a painful part of life for everyone. It’s like a grieving process that we have to go through to heal, and move on. People who suffer from Obsessive Love Disorder struggle with letting go, and instead of accepting the fact that the relationship is over, they obsess about getting the relationship back and truly believe that this person is their sole reason for living, and that life can’t go on without them.

  • Are you in denial about a breakup?
  • Do you constantly monitor your ex’s social media profiles to see changes to their status, profile picture or friends list?
  • Have you ever driven by your ex’s home, workplace or known hangouts just to see where they are and who they are with?

There can be many causes of Obsessive Love Disorder, with most of them stemming from childhood experiences of abuse, abandonment or feeling unworthy of love. Lack of self-esteem is a big contributor to the feelings of insecurity and dependency.

Whatever the underlying issue is, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Hypnosis, Life Coaching and NLP can have a huge impact on those negative emotions by allowing you to discover your true self-worth, while changing your destructive behaviors and beliefs.

Have you ever experienced any symptoms of Obsessive Love Disorder? How did you deal with it?

Lovely comments so far...

  1. I met my boyfriend when we had French class together. He wasn’t always warm nor affectionate, but he was always attentive to me. He took it upon himself to look after my every need, my every want. He was utterly devoted. Back then, I was happy, for nothing seemed amiss at the time.
    but then 18 months into our relationship, i noticed something really odd and things were not quite as perfect as they first appeared, He guarded me zealously, Even when I went about my daily business by yourself, he would always be on the hunt for me. And whenever I encountered him, he always demanded answers; “Where the hell have you been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you. …What exactly have you been up to all day? …And who have you been talking to?” Those were the questions he kept asking you, from dawn until evening.
    That was when things started to get uncomfortable itt felt more like an interrogation than ordinary small talk. His questions were prying. Invasive. And with each passing day, he became more and more reluctant to let me out of his sight. He sulked when I told him I was tired of his incessant questioning. Most unnerving of all, he seethed with discontent whenever he saw me interacting with someone else. Especially if it was a man. I began to realized that this wasn’t the man I loved back then. And instead of feeling secure and blissful, I felt fear, caged, imprisoned, and not to mention that he had hurt me, His touch became cold and rough. His embrace became crushing. His words became toxic. Venomous. Where there had once been kindness, there was now only accusations and thinly-veiled threats. And finally I weren’t about to stick around long enough to find out, however. I wanted my freedom back. That was why, eventually, I told him that enough was enough. I wanted out. But he did not take it well at all, then right there he just kind of choked me, luckily I knew this was coming and I got my brother not to far off before hand. So my brother came to my rescue and threatened him to call police. And my boyfriend left after that. It’s been 6 months after that incident and I never see him anymore. I hope I never see him. But still deep down inside, I still love him but in the other hand I scared, so much, that he would come back for me and those painful memories would happen again.
    I thought I need to share this. I’m sorry I know this is long. But I hope this well help someone.

  2. Anonymous in Roseville says:

    In an instant I didn’t realize it was love at first sight but the minute I met him, I first called it that lightning struck me. The whole thing was intense from the get go. Intense ups or intense downs. I do not even understand or know what the situation was all about. The reason I know it was obsessive was I was the one initiating outside contact. The person eventually ignored me and got mad after I expressed my feelings of positive feelings. Now it’s just the pits and I now see the person’s true colors. I saw early signs of the coldness, and gradually see more as time goes on at how much of an a** this person is. I’ve been told by many supportive loving friends I need to not be around this person anymore & it’s unhealthy for me. It’s very hard as I felt such intensity along with the good but also the bad… I have to remind myself of the bad so I can move on without him and without any further outside contact cause it hurts so much when the person is mean to me. I’m grateful to have a good support system of friends and a pastor or I would really fall apart so that is how I deal with my obsessive love. I also know I’m due to go get counseling so this doesn’t happen EVER again. That is also how I will overcome this love.

  3. My husband and I met in highschool 20 years ago. We never dated (although we had a huge crush on each other, one or both of us was always dating someone else at the time). We shared a locker, had homeroom together, we even kissed a few times and talked on the phone for hours every night.

    Eventually I changed schools and moved out and we lost touch.

    Fast forward 18 years and we reconnect via facebook. By this point we’ve each had our fair share of intimate encounters and long term relationships.
    We start talking and it’s like nothing has changed, so completely comfortable, relaxed and wonderful. Obviously this is accompanied by butterflies, constant thoughts of each other, big ass smiles on our faces 24/7 etc…
    Within a week we’re dating and madly in love, living together within 1 month and married on our 3 month anniversary. *Would like to point out that my grandparents got married after dating for 3 months and they were happily married for 60 years*

    We are coming up on our 2 year wedding anniversary and have never felt happier in our lives. I don’t doubt our love, not even for a one second. I truly believe with every fibre of my being that my husband is my soulmate and that God brought us together again when the time was right for us to finally be truly happy in our lives with the right person by our side. My husband has often told me how he knew the day we met in highschool that he was in love with me and that one day we would be married.

    As I said earlier, we’ve both been in previous relationships, both short and long term. In previous relationships neither of cared to cuddle, kiss, have sex, care whether our partners cheated or treated us badly (always knowing deep down that they were the wrong people for us).

    I feel like it’s important to get all of the above information out there. When we were apart all those years, it wasn’t like we obsessed over each other, I’ll admit that I thought of him occasionally, I know he thought of me as well.
    Neither of us have ever been incredibly social people (except during the late teens/early 20’s, party time), so it’s work and then our off time is spent at home together.

    Based on conversations that my husband and I have had, I believe that what we have may be an Obsession of some sort, but I do believe that it’s true love. It’s also a mutual feeling. We have the same feelings, fears etc. We don’t fight, we don’t down talk or say negative comments/name calling at all. I’ll admit that I suffer from anxiety, which gets a million time’s worse if I feel like we’re having a little argument or if I let my insecurities get to me.

    I’ve been reading a lot of information regarding this subject and for the most part it seems to be one sided, or even somewhat delusional thinking (involving someone that you are not in a relationship with, but building one in your head anyways).

    We are both fully functioning adults, he works fulltime outside of the home, I’m an artist who works from home. I don’t get jealous or upset if a girl looks at him (he doesn’t even notice them anyways, he says since we got together he only has eyes for me and has no interest in checking anyone else out… I’m the exact same way, I used to be notorious for checking other guys out while I was with my partners, but since hubby and I got together, I have zero interest). I don’t need to know where he is every second of the day ( I know he works and comes home, but sometimes he goes out thrifting without me). We don’t text or call every second of the day. We text or talk on his breaks for 2-3 minutes and that’s it. I just know that before we were together we pretended to be happy, we wasted time with idiots (or what I like to refer to as practice relationships), we never said “I love you” to our previous partners, it was always “luv ya”.

    Almost every part of our relationship is unique and new to us, consisting of things that neither of us have done previously because it never felt right before. To me that doesn’t sound obsessive, it’s sweet and uncommon.

    I don’t wish to change him, nor does he wish to change me. We are similar in a million ways and just as different in a million other ways. Sharing the same dreams, goals, ambitions, morals and values only serves to add to what we share in our marriage.

    I feel there is a big difference when negative influences come into play in a relationship. Feeling the need to control, spy, berate, exhibit violent/threatening tendencies towards your partner or yourself, guilt tripping, smothering etc…
    If neither partner is doing any of the above negative things but still exhibits the positives of what can be viewed as obsessive love and both partners are happy and fully functioning even when they are not in each others company can be a good thing, something that I think a lot of people maybe wish they had.

    Far too often I’ve heard friends and family say that they look forward to work at a job they despise because they get a break from their partner. To me that is sad, it’s almost like they can’t stand to be around them, why continue being in a relationship with someone that you don’t want to be around? I do agree that often people develop an obsession with someone they barely know and they wind up heartbroken most of the time, because they pushed things to go way to fast.

    • Thanks Louise! Very heartfelt and insightful. I am sure my readers will love what you posted! It sounds like you have a very nice connection with your partner…Cherish it.


  4. Have been in love with someone for 14 years. It was love at first sight. Over the years we have each been with other people. I had two one night stands and a two and a half year relationship. He has been married and divorced three times. Each time he goes thru a divorce I reach out to him and he always responds back. This last time we were together eight months. I told him that I wanted a companionship and he said he wanted the same.

    Then one day he was busy with helping his son which he told me where he was and what he was doing. But things were changing and I knew it after being with him before. He started slowing down on spending time with me. When I finally asked him about it he said, you have feelings for me that I do not share and it is time to move on. It has been a year and I can’t move on. I do the block calling,texting and was emailing him. We are to the point now where he has blocked everything. I’m ashamed of my behavior and know I need help. My self esteem is shot, I’m depressed more so than I was before. I don’t feel suicide tendencies. No man is worth ending my life over. Help me please!

  5. caitriona says:

    Hi looking for some advice, i have a boyfriend who doesnt want to be with anyone else but me

  6. What if both partners are in obsessive love, since it is mutal does it become real love? Also what about if the obsession is the first and only love either of you have experienced?

    I have had numerous relationships but only loved one person. We split up because we both recognized how dangerous our love for one another was. We purposely moved thousands of miles away. Now over a decade apart and in one email we feel exactly as we did in high school, obsessed. I have been obsessed with him everyday since I last saw him, but wanted so much for him to be happy that I avoided him at all costs while stalking from afar. He has multiple diaries filled with poems, letters, etc that he wrote to me and about me as we’ve been apart. But he too wanted me to have a better life, which was not possible when every waking moment we just stared at each other and felt extreme anxiety if he even had to go to work.

    We are now in a place where we talk for 7 hours a day and never get bored by the other person. Yet everyone else we have been with quickly annoys us. We know it is unwise to see each other or speak to each other, but cannot stay away. We are in our thirties now and neither have children or are married because the only person we could see being committed to forever is each other. This despite being with other partners for long periods of time, like 7 years.

    Again, I just wonder if it can be obsessive love if you both feel the same thing for each other? What is the difference between a once in a lifetime deep love and obsessive love? Could it be that falling in love the first time could possibly alter your brains chemistry so much that nothing can ever replicate that?

    • Dear Emily,

      Infatuation starts in the early months of a new love interest and wanting to spend every waking moment with each other and persistent thoughts when apart are pretty normal-It’s the honeymoon phase and it’s fabulous. However, there is a clear difference between a healthy relationship evolving over time and an obsession.

      Obsessive love has been romanticized over the years through movies, literature and can have devastating results if taken too far. Although we all love the romantic story of Romeo and Juliet, that didn’t end so well did it? Great love is something we all seek. However, when the object of our affection becomes extreme, it is unhealthy.

      If your relationship has addictive qualities and/or goes to extremes, it could be unhealthy and fall under “obsessive love.”
      When the relationship is healthy both people will feel loved and cared for. There is mutual respect for each other as an individual being, their professional lives, friends and social activities outside the relationship.

      It is best to contact a mental health professional to get evaluated and determine what type of love you are dealing with. Balance in our lives is important and you owe it to yourself to find out.

      My thoughts based on what you wrote is pretty cut and dry. You took the time to ask the question and it appears the answer has already presented itself.

      The real question…What do you plan to do about it?

      Feel free to give me a call to discuss further-

  7. My son likes a girl. After reading Leslie Saul’s article I think he is in an obsessive love relationship. He has known this girl since the sixth grade. Everything was fine between them for six years, but something happened in their Junior year in highschool. She turned him into the principles office so that he would leave her alone. Now that she is homecoming queen of the school the tables are turning over where I think she only wants to be ‘just friends’ with him and that’s it. So, now she is following him on fifth floor standing by his locker, showing him that she has men friend’s around, changing her appearance, and they even have to share the same friends. I am a concerned parent since I don’t know who is at fault here. Is this just a big game or does this girl really like him? If she really likes him then I think she owes him an apology and an explanation on why she doesn’t or can’t be with him now. What do you think? Now that he’s not in her life anymore she’s acting like she wants him back but only as a friend.

    • Hirmlocke says:

      It’s her fault. Don’t let her around him. She just wants to see him suffer. It’s all a big game. Even the being just friends part is all a big game to her.

  8. I think I have this. I recently had a relationship with a guy I felt was my soul mate and I had a hard Time letting him do his own thing. I had to know what he was doing or where he was going and all of that. I couldn’t wait for him to get online so I could constantly talk to him because that was the only way I could feel happy. But what I didn’t.realize is that the more I kept talking to him.the more I pushed him.away. Recently we became best friends and I started talking to him so much that it drive him crazy and he wrote to me to ask me to please stop and I just got mad at him and told him we’ll mabye we shouldn’t be friends anymore because I didn’t realize I was in the wrong. I regret saying that and I’m going to go seek help for it asap. Hopefully him and I can work things out slowly. But for now I gotta work on myself.

    • Leslie Saul says:

      Hi Hester,

      I hear this from so many of my clients and I empathize with how this makes you feel. I would be happy to talk to you about this. Please feel free to get in touch with me and we can set up a chat.

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