11 Signs it’s Obsession Not Love

Hey Optimist Minds!

Have you ever felt intensely attracted to anyone to the point that you’d use the word ‘obsession’?

An obsession is defined as an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind. Sometimes, our feelings for another person can become so strong that we become preoccupied with them.

When we feel so attached to a person, we tend to think we’re in love. However, love is a much healthier and more meaningful connection than just intense attraction. It requires mutual respect and open communication.

An obsession is a lot more one-sided. When you’re obsessed with someone, your need or desire for the person supersedes everything, including the person’s needs and desires.

That’s why it’s important to know the difference between the two to evaluate whether your feelings for someone are healthy and appropriate. This video will help you understand the signs of an obsession. 

Please note that this is only a quick self-assessment and does not qualify as a professional psychological evaluation.

Here are eleven signs it’s obsession, not love.


You want them around all the time.

Do you always want to be close with your love interest? Does this imply that you hate it when you’re apart? Attachment is a part of both love and obsessions but in the latter, it takes an extreme form. You stop giving them enough space.


You become very possessive.

It’s okay to feel like your partner belongs to you as long as you value their autonomy. They’re supposed to be their own person and if they’re choosing to share themselves with you, love will bring gratitude. 

But in an obsession, there’s not enough gratitude as there is entitlement. You feel like you deserve to have them choose you over everyone else at all times.


You have idealised them.

When you truly love someone, you see them as an entire person, with strengths, weaknesses, and the ability to make mistakes. In contrast, obsessions make up place people on pedestals. You only see their best side and end up romanticising them. As a result, when they don’t meet your expectations, you’re incredibly disappointed.


You become overprotective of them.

An obsession will make you think that you need to protect your partner even when they don’t want you to. You might start spying on them and telling them what they shouldn’t do. Or, you might get involved without their permission or knowledge. Whatever you do will push them away because your need to protect is prioritised over their free will.


Your life revolves around them.

Is this person the centre of your universe? Do you make all your decisions by first factoring them in? It can be something as simple as what you like to eat, where you like to hang out, or how you spend your time. 

On the other hand, it can be more serious things like which city to live in or what career to pick. An obsession will make you choose whatever brings you closer to them rather than what could be good for you.


You have no other supportive relationships in your life.

Another sign of an obsession is if this person is the only source of care and support in your life. In that case, all your social needs are dumped onto one person, causing an unrealistic pressure on them to be there for you. Inevitably, your partner will feel overwhelmed and you’ll keep getting disappointed.


Your attraction became so intense in a short duration.

While some people believe there is such a thing as love at first sight, more often than not, quick attachment or commitment isn’t always healthy. 

Perhaps you’ve only dated this person for a few weeks but you already feel ready to marry them and have their children. These are big decisions and you shouldn’t rush through them no matter how crazy in love you are.


You try to control them.

Sometimes out of protectiveness or jealousy, you might feel like controlling your partner’s behaviour. It’s likely that you’re coming from a place of concern. Nevertheless, your partner should have the freedom to make their own choices. Being obsessed will make it hard for you to accept this.


You do not respect their boundaries.

All relationships need to have boundaries for them to flourish. These limits tend to be flexible if communication takes place regularly. 

However, if you’re obsessed with someone, you lose sight of what is appropriate behaviour. Even if your partner specifically asks you not to do something, you end up doing it anyway.


You threaten them if they talk about leaving.

If the thought of them leaving makes you hostile and manipulative, it’s much more likely to be an obsession than love. Break ups are hard, but when you love someone, you don’t try to emotionally blackmail them.


You want them even if it makes them unhappy.

Probably the biggest red flag of an obsession is when you become indifferent to your partner’s happiness. All you care about is them being there in your life. The popular phrase, “if you love someone, set them free”, is based on this. There’s no scope for ownership in true love.

Did any of these signs seem familiar to you? Do you think you or someone you know might be obsessed with a person? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.