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Obsessive love begins with intense emotions, flattery, and attention, but slowly turns into an unhealthy possessiveness of the partner. Initially, it’s easy to confuse obsessive love for healthy love. In the beginning of romantic relationships, it’s natural for one partner to be the sole focus of the thoughts of the other, but they become unhealthy and obsessive when one is too possessive and controlling of one partner by the other–when he or she is no longer living a normal life .
Obsessive Love as Unhealthy Love
Obsessive love is an unhealthy type of romantic love where conflict and dramatic extremes in the relationship are both the goal and the theme of the couple’s love. Obsessive lovers are often violent or overly aggressive at different levels. These people cannot establish an intimate and stable relationship with their partners. They most likely need professional counseling and would be better off if they broke up immediately with their partners to avoid further hurt and injury. People who are obsessed with love are not capable of self-giving in the relationship. Most often, these people are possessive and concern only with their own needs without considerations of the personal needs of their partners. There is also domination of the obsessive lovers over their weaker partners. And this can lead to verbal and physical abuse if the weak partner allows the “unhealthy” relationship to continue .
Obsessive Love as a Clinical Disorder
“Obsessive love relationship is probably the worst manifestation of the feeling of love or when you mistake obsession for love…At times people who are obsessed with their feelings tend to consider their obsession towards their object of desire as their love. Obsession is a state of mental and clinical disorder due to which people get highly self-centered and feel rather insecure towards the other person…They would rather attempt at tying down the other person instead of understanding their emotions and needs. In case of non-reciprocation from the other side the obsessed person is more hell bent on compelling and getting attention from the object of his obsession…In cases of complete mental illness, the patient mostly complains of hallucinating about vulgar and disgusting images of the person they are obsessed with…In most cases, the obsessed people love to either harm the other person physically or mentally. The obsessed person desperately wants to make his or her presence felt in the other person’s life by physical abuse .”
“Stalking is a sign of obsessive love” (image courtesy of Shutterstock)
Signs of that the Partner is an Obsessor
- Barrages you with intense and constant attention;
- Demands unreasonable amounts of your time Ignores other aspects of their life for you;
- Ignores other aspects of their life for you;
- Shows jealously towards anyone and any activity that competes for your attention;
- Follows you or checks up on you when you’re not together;
- Physically ignores personal space to show others that you’re taken .
Obsessive love is said to be delusional and a sign of mental health problem. It can start with a strong or extreme feeling of infatuation and develop into an obsession. This type of love is unrealistic and demanding. It occurs in about 0.1% of adults. “Individuals who suffer from delusional jealousy often interpret minor experiences like a coworker saying hello to their spouse or romantic partner looking at a passerby as positive proof that their loved one is being unfaithful. Male alcoholics have been found to be particularly vulnerable to developing delusional jealousy. Females are more likely to develop obsessive love toward people they know rather than toward a stranger .”
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The Healthy Love
An obsessive love is not true love. It is an unhealthy love. “A healthy love relationship usually evolves over time such that it no longer involves the near desperate intensity and fervor of infatuation. Healthy love tends to mature over the years to include commitment, friendship, and a solid respect for the other person as an individual and of their needs. Healthy relationships allow both people to feel loved, cared for, and respected and allow for each person’s individuality and the pursuit of their own professional lives, recreational activities, and friendships outside of the love relationship.”
 “6 signs your partner is dangerously obsessed with you,” Retrieved 1 June 2017, http://citifmonline.com/2014/06/23/6-signs-your-partner-is-dangerously-obsessed-with-you/#sthash.RHdpuDtg.dpuf
 Hammond, R., Cheney, P. and Pearsey, R. “Sociology of the Family” in www.freesociologybooks.com.
 “Obsessive Love Relationship” in http://www.mydearvalentine.com/relationships/obsessive-love-relationship.html.
 supra, note 1.
 “The Difference Between Healthy and Obsessive Love” at http://www.medicinenet.com/confusing_love_with_obsession/views.htm