There’s always a fine line to be drawn between obsession and attraction. Sometimes love is just that powerful. However, in other situations, particularly when you’re young and don’t have a point of comparison, the relationship becomes too intense. It can be hard to identify boundaries, but here’s a list of a few things to ask yourself for when you find yourself getting a little too obsessed with him.
- When did you last see your friends? In your head, in the heat of the moment, you might think you saw them just the other day. However, when you’re obsessed with someone, you stop answering messages when you’re with them and put off answering calls and arranging social meets. You start to curate all your time around them. It’s romantic, but it can also be desperate and claustrophobic. Everyone needs space, eventually. Even if you think you don’t, believe me, you do.
- Are you screening your sister’s calls? There’s no reason why being in a new relationship should cut you off from your family. Usually, if you’re in a fresh, new relationship, you’ll want to boast about them given any opportunity to all the people in your life. However, if you start to treat them like a treasured secret, you’ll soon find yourself hoarding them. The catch is that they aren’t an object for you to control and keep to yourself. Relax your grip on them and let the relationship flow naturally without ignoring other aspects of your life.
- Do you only view time as being valuable if it’s with him? This is common in lots of relationships when it’s a young person’s first time out, often in queer relationships. It might come out of a history of poor self-confidence, or disbelief that someone actually likes you, but either way, you will doubt that attention and, therefore, covet it. Because you aren’t used to having lasting relationships, you fear that it might be taken away, and this means that you hoard time with them and sacrifice a lot to maximize time with them. Again, calm down – life isn’t as fleeting as that. You can come up for air and get coffee with a friend to talk through it all.
- Are you bored of other people? Have you tried to hang out with someone else and found that you don’t really care anymore? Beware of this apathy, because it’s not necessarily true that everyone around you is suddenly less compelling, it’s more just that you have lost your tolerance for them. You only value validation from your partner, but your friends and family have great perspectives and insights. Don’t ignore them. Take a step back. You have become desensitized.
- Can you go a day without texting him? I know that you love him so much, but with love comes trust and faith. Texting him constantly speaks to both your insecurity and a lack of trust that the conversation will continue without your efforts. Make sure you give him the chance to reciprocate and settle into the flow of the relationship. It’s two people, not just you shoving your intense feelings his way. You can’t get him to obsess about you by texting every ten minutes. You’ll scare him away by being obsessed.
- Where do you see the relationship going? Are you already doodling your names together in your notebooks like in High School? There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you have a habit of having a very intense attachment style, this is the time to unpack it a little. Maybe your desire for an all-consuming love stems from personal insecurities that need addressing first. Love will still come, but we all need to learn how to be in a relationship and assert boundaries that suit both parties.
- Have you stalked his exes? Or created a second account to do so or got your friends to do it? These are questions that veer into obsession. Everyone is curious, yes. But if you feel like you have to do this in secret, rather than just have an honest, vulnerable conversation with your partner, then you aren’t in a relationship, you’re putting him on a pedestal and trying to keep him there without any conflict. It’s okay to wonder about their dating history but do so in a healthy way.
- What would you do if he disappeared tomorrow? Would you still feel like a whole human being? Would you be able to cope with that? Are you starting to burn the bridges around you, leaving only you and him? Have you made him your only reason to be in this world?
I know a lot of this sounds quite dramatic, but when you unpack it by degrees, I’m sure a lot of us feel seen here. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes or coming on too strong initially, but make sure that your actions align with your expectations in the relationship. Love is not obsession.