How to overcome obsession in a relationship

How to Stop Being Obsessive in a Relationship: 10 Steps

In This Article

Romantic relationships are often filled with passion and an intense desire to be close to each other, especially in the beginning stages. While feelings of love can be intense, problems can arise with obsessive behavior in relationships. 

If you’re struggling with relationship obsession or you’ve become obsessive in a relationship, there are ways that you can cope. Here, learn strategies on how to stop being obsessive in a relationship before things get out of control. 

What causes obsession in a relationship?

If you’re asking yourself, “Why am I so obsessed with someone?” you might be interested in the causes of obsession. In some cases, obsessive behavior in relationships can be caused by a mental health condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, or a personality disorder (OCD).

Other common causes of obsessiveness in relationships include

  • Constant need for reassurance
  • Low-self esteem
  • Having codependent tendencies, meaning you feel the need to care for other people in relationships
  • Underlying issues with jealousy or the fear that a partner will leave you 
  • Having an addictive personality type.

Difference between love and obsession

When you’re obsessive in a relationship, you may believe that you’re simply demonstrating feelings of love, but there is a difference between love vs. obsession. 

An unhealthy obsession with someone can take over your life, whereas healthy love is balanced and allows you to care for someone while recognizing that they can have interests aside from you. 

For example, when you are obsessed with someone, you may want to spend all of your time with them, and you may become highly jealous if they want to spend time with others or have interests outside of you.

On the other hand, in relationships with a healthy form of love, you can care deeply about your significant other and even feel passionate about them. However, you still recognize that they may spend time apart from you and have interests outside the relationship. 

Obsessive behavior in relationships can also take on the form of control, in which one person seeks power over the other. In healthy relationships based on genuine love, a person does not desire to control their partner but instead views them as a person who is worthy of respect and autonomy. 

Learn more about the difference between love and obsession here:

How to get over an obsession with someone: 10 steps 

If you find yourself demonstrating unhealthy, obsessive behavior in your relationships, there are strategies you can use to learn how to be less obsessed with someone. Consider the 10 tips below:

1. Distract yourself from obsessive thoughts

One of the easiest ways to learn how to stop being obsessive in a relationship is to distract yourself. If you’re having difficulty letting go of your obsessions, spend time doing things you enjoy or take up a new hobby.

You might also consider distracting yourself with a movie, a good book, or a walk around the block. Whether you’re in an obsessive relationship or trying to stop obsessing over an ex, a little distraction goes a long way. 

2. Set a goal for yourself

It’s easy to become obsessive in a relationship when you don’t have any personal aspirations. If you’re looking to overcome an obsession with someone, set a goal, such as learning a new skill, getting a promotion at work, or even going back to school. 

When you’re focused on your goals, you won’t have time to be obsessed. 

3. Get to the root of the feeling

Behind every obsession is usually some sort of underlying feeling, like fear or anxiety. It might be time to dig deeper if you can’t figure out how not to obsess over someone. What are you really feeling? 

Maybe you’re obsessing over your partner because you’ve been hurt in the past, and you’re fearful they will betray you. Whatever the case, dealing with the underlying feeling can help you to become less obsessive. 

4. Practice mindfulness

Learning to become more mindful, or live in the present moment, can be a strategy for how to not be obsessive in a relationship. When you become more mindful, you can focus on the present and let thoughts come and go without fixating on them.

For someone who tends to obsess in relationships, mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation can take your mind off of your obsessions and allow you to be more relaxed.  

Related Reading: Improve Your Relationship with Mindfulness and Meditation

5. Turn to family and friends

Sometimes you may not realize you’re being obsessive in a relationship. If friends and family share that they worry you’re overly obsessed, they’re probably genuinely concerned and also correct. 

At the same time, if you worry that you’re being too obsessed, you can usually count on your closest loved ones to be honest with you and offer their suggestions. 

6. Take up journaling

Sometimes, it can help to put your thoughts on paper. When experiencing an obsessive thought, write it down, and you may find it has less power.  

In general, journaling can be a way of calming your mind and alleviating whatever feelings are leading you to be so obsessive in a relationship. 

7. Consider if codependency might be to blame

Codependent people tend to obsess over the wellbeing of the people around them, to the point that they feel responsible for other people, even in adult relationships. 

If you feel compelled to obsess over your significant other’s every need and think you need to “fix” them or be a hero in their life, you could be codependent.

In this case, attending a codependent support group can be helpful. In support groups, you can learn that you aren’t accepting of other people’s behavior, which can help you let go of your obsessive desire to protect your partner.  

You may also benefit from exploring books on codependency to help you discover more about your tendency to be obsessive in relationships. 

Related Reading: What Is Codependency – Causes, Signs & Treatment

8. Recognize that obsession can be dangerous

If you’re struggling with how to stop being obsessive in a relationship, take a step back and recognize that being obsessive in your relationships can be unhealthy and even dangerous. 

At the very least, being obsessive can lead to toxic relationship dynamics, in which you control your partner and prevent them from having outside interests.

In the worst cases, obsessive behavior in relationships can cause you to violate your partner’s rights. For instance, they may feel they do not have the right to leave the house without permission. Some obsessive partners may even resort to psychological abuse or physical aggression to control their partners. 

9. Spend time with other people

If you’ve become obsessive in your relationship, you might benefit from enjoying time with family and friends. When you’re struggling with the fact that your significant other has outside interests and friendships, it can be helpful if you pursue friendships of your own.

As you spend more time apart, you might realize that you enjoy having separate time for your own interests and friendships. This can help you to overcome being obsessive in a relationship. 

10. Turn to professional support

Sometimes, there may be an underlying issue, such as a mental health condition, that is leading to an unhealthy obsession with a person. If you’re in a committed relationship, you may benefit from undergoing relationship therapy to help you address obsessiveness.

On the other hand, if you’ve broken up and you’re trying to figure out how to stop being obsessive in a relationship, it can be helpful to undergo individual counseling to treat underlying mental health conditions. 

This will not only reduce the current obsession but also allow you to have healthier relationships in the future. 

The bottom line

If you find that you tend to show obsessive behavior in relationships, there are strategies you can use to overcome your obsessions. For instance, with time and practice, you can learn to cope with obsessions by practicing mindfulness, distracting yourself with things you enjoy, and spending time with friends.

Obsessiveness can sometimes signify an underlying issue, such as a mental health condition. In this case, learning how to stop being obsessive in a relationship may require you to go to counseling, so you can address the mental health condition that is leading to obsessive behaviors. 

It can be challenging to learn how to stop being obsessive, but the truth is that it is possible. Often, obsession is rooted in some larger fear, such as a fear of something bad happening to your significant other or anxiety over being abandoned. 

Letting go of these fears may seem scary, but the truth is that learning how not to obsess over someone paves the way for healthier, happier relationships. 

10 Steps To Overcoming Obsession In A Relationship

Do you think you are obsessive about your relationship? Some people struggle to tell the difference between a healthy relationship and an obsessive one. Without realizing they obsess over their partner, they find themselves wanting to constantly be with them, always wanting to know where they are, and trying to control their behaviour.

This behaviour is damaging to both partners and it often ruins relationships. If you want to overcome your relationship obsession and find genuine love, follow these 10 steps.

1. Be aware of your obsession

If you are reading this article, there is a good chance that you think you may be obsessive. Admit to yourself that you are becoming obsessive – once you know there is a problem, you can start to fix it.

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2. Realize the difference between genuine love and artificial love

No partner can fix your flaws or remove the challenges from your life; only you can do that. Artificial love is loving the version of someone you have created in your mind. This is rarely rewarding as the person you love doesn’t actually exist. Real love is loving someone for who they truly are – flaws and all.

3. Be aware that obsession can change the way you see things

While you are obsessed with someone, you don’t see them for who they are. This applies to the relationship, too; maybe you think the relationship will last forever, but your partner may not feel the same way. In a healthy relationship, both partners are on the same page emotionally.

4. Look at the relationship from the other person’s perspective

What matters to your partner? They may have priorities and passions in their life that you don’t understand. Realize that your existence alone will not be anyone’s only priority, and to expect that is unrealistic. Instead, learn more about your partner’s passions and try to support them.

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Think about the dangers of obsession

Obsession can seem romantic and loving, but be aware of the dangers of obsession. Often people with a relationship obsession struggle to grow as they are too focused on someone else, and they often become unhappy because they are so dependent on someone else. Realize that happiness and independence are interlinked.

6. Try a relaxed approach

Do you think you and your partner are well suited for each other? If so, realize that they are worth the wait. They may not be as emotionally involved as you are right now, but with time the relationship may grow – not everyone falls in love at the same pace.

7. Choose to love yourself

Often people who are obsessive in relationships struggle to love themselves, so they look for someone to love them because this is the only way they feel worthy. Start to love yourself by recognizing your talents and looking after your emotional needs.

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Tell the people you love that you are going through emotional changes

It can be very difficult to acknowledge that you have an obsession. You can feel confused and unsure of who you really are, which can make you emotional or slightly clingy. Warn the people in your life that you are going through emotional changes so they can understand your situation and provide you with support.

9. Spend time with your friends and family

Instead of focusing on one person that you love, think about all of the people who love you. Your partner is not everything in your life, and spending time with your friends and family will help you to realize that you have other priorities beside your partner, helping you to regain your independence.

10. Pursue activities that you love

Do you have any passions or hobbies? Try to do something that interests you every day, from reading a chapter in a book to attending a yoga class. This will give you some time every day to enjoy your own wonderful company. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Randy Heinitz / Sage Advice via

Obsession. Obsessiveness in relationships


  • Signs of an obsessive person
  • Obsession in relationships by a woman
  • Obsession in relationships by a man
  • Obsession in relationships: how to fight?
  • How to avoid obsession in a relationship?

In relationships between people it is important not to cross the fine line. Turn concern for a friend, attention to a loved one into importunity and obsession. The desire to see, to hear a loved one is quite natural. But, people have different needs for communication, so conflicts arise. One person thinks that he has become uninteresting and begins to show increased activity. The partner avoids conversations, avoids meetings, does not answer calls. Excessive persistence leads to the rupture of friendships or romantic relationships. How to get rid of obsession in a relationship? nine0003

Signs of an obsessive person

Where is the line between obsession and concern? One of the problems is that one of the partners sincerely does not understand that his behavior is intrusive. At the same time, the second half does not speak directly, because he does not want to offend. But, patience ends quickly, and relationships are broken.

Signs of an obsessive person:

Control. A loved one checks the phone, reads messages, e-mail. After each call, he is interested in who called. He asks in great detail how the day went. Gets angry if partner plans to spend time apart. The result is jealousy. A close person demands to be taken to meetings, work corporate parties. nine0027 Fear of loneliness. Fear that a loved one will leave. From here comes perseverance and a desire to spend free time together. People who are afraid of breaking up relationships require words of love and actions from the other half. They need constant proof.
Lack of independence. All decisions are made mutually. Without a friend or loved one, elementary problems cannot be solved. Sometimes the situation reaches the point of absurdity. An annoying person is protected from the rest of the social circle, focusing exclusively on his beloved. nine0003

Signs of persistence are not the only warning signs. A wise person recognizes that he has gone too far by the behavior of a friend. A loved one will stop answering calls, will start to linger at work. Communication will be reduced to monosyllabic phrases. The offer to meet with friends, go to relatives, leave alone are also signs that your obsession has crossed the line.

Obsession in relationships by a woman

If we consider the male and female sexes, then ladies are more prone to intrusive behavior. The reason for this is the psychology of behavior. At the beginning of a relationship, men show attention more actively, trying to win a girl. This period is accompanied by care, frequent calls, invitations to dates. While the girl is in thought, the guy plays the role of a conqueror. Then the relationship flows from friendship to close. The couple begins to live together. At this stage, the man calms down, because he conquered the woman. After that, he moves on to the next role - the earner. nine0003

A woman in love behaves differently. She becomes attached to the guy, feels the need for regular communication. It is important for a woman to receive signs of attention from a man after intimacy: an unexpected call, a declaration of love via SMS, a bouquet of flowers.

There are cases when obsession in relationships on the part of a woman manifests itself at the stage of acquaintance. Men perceive this behavior differently. It is believed that perseverance testifies:

about bad upbringing; nine0027 makes it clear that an accessible girl is in front of a man;
is an alarm sign, the guy understands that he will be kept on a short leash.

Any of these reasons is a serious reason to end a relationship. Men do not tolerate a flurry of calls from women, claims and tantrums. To save a relationship, a woman should give her soulmate freedom and not ask in the slightest detail how the day went.

Obsession in a relationship on the part of a man

The stronger sex shows persistence at the stage of courting a girl. If a lady does not feel sympathy for a man, then such behavior will be annoying. A girl interested in a guy will receive confirmation of sympathy for her. In any case, women are flattered by attention, so importunity is taken as an attempt at courtship. But, in everything you should know the measure. If a girl refuses meetings, does not accept gifts and has stopped answering calls, then it is better to retreat. Do not cross the line, waiting for your beloved at the entrance and making scenes. Such behavior will not please the girl, but will scare her away, perhaps scare her. nine0003

Obsession in relationships on the part of a man decreases after marriage. If the annoying behavior continues, there are several reasons behind it:

low self-esteem;
jealousy and desire to control every step of the beloved.

Trust your soulmate and don't scare them away with your perseverance. Having made a pleasant surprise for a girl, do not demand a response. Stop storming the fortress for a couple of days. Surely the beloved will call herself, thank you for the surprise and offer to meet. nine0003

Obsession in relationships: how to fight?

First of all, calm down and accept the situation. Next, try to understand that the need for communication is different for men and women. Reduce the number of phone calls, messages, and courtesies to your significant other. You can not completely dissolve in another person. Replace the time of communication with your loved one for other things: meet friends, get creative, visit an exhibition.

How to deal with obsession in a relationship? nine0003

Consider your partner's wishes. The husband decided to spend the weekend going fishing or hunting. Excellent, do not argue with your loved one. Say you don't mind and plan to spend time with a friend. Just really have fun, and do not sit near the phone, hoping that he will call. Go shopping, visit your parents, take care of yourself. You will see that such a separation will be beneficial. Having been away from you, the man will get bored and will return home with joy and new emotions. The main thing is not to ask meticulously how your loved one spent the weekend. nine0027 Wait for the return move. Play ball with a loved one. Take a step forward: call or invite for a walk. Imagine tossing a ball to a friend with a proposal. Now wait for him to come back to you. In other words, a friend must make a return throw. You can not throw a loved one with balls. In such actions, importunity is manifested. Keep in mind that a person does not answer for various reasons: busy, feeling unwell, not ready to communicate.
Don't blame yourself. Learn to recognize the signs that indicate a loss of interest in you. Ignoring, rudeness of a partner are signs that indicate that communication should be stopped. Obsession in this case will not change the situation, but will only humiliate you in the eyes of other people. Don't blame yourself for the relationship not working out. There are people who are not ready for friendship or marriage. They are not ready to invest, they are lazy, forgetful by nature. End this relationship on your own. nine0003

Ask a loved one for help. Come up with symbols. For example, the phrase "I'm busy." If you violate the boundaries, cross the line, then the conventional sign will make it clear that it is time to stop. Do not call or write until you hear from a friend.

How to avoid obsession in a relationship?

If you have an unsuccessful relationship behind you, you will easily lose faith in yourself. It turns out the opposite result. Instead of correcting the situation, subsequent relationships develop according to an aggravated scenario. Start working on yourself, gain confidence, increase self-esteem. How to avoid obsession in a relationship? nine0003

Find a hobby. An interesting activity immerses a person, makes you forget about problems. Being carried away by a new business, you will notice that people have become more interesting. Constant calls happen because you are bored. A business person does not have time for empty talk.
Communicate with people. Spread the need for communication on different people. Go to the movies with a friend, invite friends to dinner, organize a picnic. Being with your loved one in the company, you will get to know him from the other side and prove yourself. nine0027 Don't turn relationships into needs. Do not set the task of getting a friend or girlfriend at any cost. Periods of loneliness are normal for a person. At this moment, he analyzes previous actions, makes plans for the future. The desire to meet a soul mate is welcome, but do not turn it into a need.
Trust a loved one. The second half perceives obsession as distrust. Constant questions, “where were you”, “why didn’t you pick up the phone” irritate and offend. If suspicions crept in, it is better to talk frankly with your loved one. Do not transfer the experience of previous relationships to new ones. nine0003

Treat yourself with respect and love. Often importunity is a need for a friend or loved one. Low self-esteem pushes a person in search of a strong shoulder or support. To build healthy relationships, work on yourself. Visit interesting places, make friends, enjoy loneliness. Confidence, the value of freedom and personal space will come. Only then can you start building new relationships.

How not to be intrusive | GQ Russia

But don't overdo it, you're still talking to a girl, not interrogating a repeat offender.

Keep the conversation going. Forcing a girl to talk all the time or, conversely, not letting her say a word - things are equally not relaxed, and they will show you as an insecure person and partner (in your case, such characteristics definitely do not suit you!).

3. Don't text her every minute

There are no rules about what to do after a date (it's 2018), but there are guidelines. Don't seek advice from your married boss, who last went on a date at a time when people still knew phone numbers by heart. You can send a message even immediately after your meeting, the main thing is not to write too much. Do not be afraid to write the next day that you had a great time together and would be happy to see you again. nine0003

But writing to her twenty times a day, aggressively planning your second date, is not worth it. Just invite her somewhere. If you both wanted to go see Sorry to Bother You, take her to the movies. Your second date will probably be in a few days, which gives you time to go somewhere or do something interesting without her and tell her about it on a date. But do not think that you cannot keep in touch with her until the next meeting. Unless, of course, you text her every hour. nine0003

4. Communicate with her, not forgetting about other things

In general, the task is to show your interest, not obsession.

You want to spend time with her, but you can survive without her.

It's good to be open, but you don't have to show all your feelings on the first date. This will definitely put pressure on the girl. If you are too intrusive, it will seem to her that you are ready to change your life for her sake. This is a great quality, but you should not show it at the earliest stages of your acquaintance. It's great if for her sake you are ready not to have a pet that you dreamed of, because she is allergic to such. But showing your eagerness to change on the first date is too much. nine0003

Don't cancel meetings with friends to see her.

Even if spending time with her gives you a lot more pleasure, don't forget about your usual activities. An active lifestyle makes you attractive. Such employment will emphasize that you have friends, hobbies and interests, and most importantly, that you are not afraid to spend time without it.

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