Beginning a new relationship can lead to constant fixation on what your partner is thinking, regardless of the type of relationship. Whether it's a potential romantic interest, a casual hookup, or what you believe to be true love, you may find yourself spending a lot of time overanalyzing everything. This article explains how obsession presents itself, the reasons behind it, and provides tips on how to step back and reduce fixation on someone you've recently met.
How Obsession Manifests In Relationships
This is how it all starts.
1. You Can't Stop Thinking About Them No Matter What You Do
When you have strong feelings for someone, it's normal to think about them frequently. However, if this starts to interfere with other aspects of your life such as work, sleep, or other relationships, it's important to recognize that it's time to break the pattern of obsessing over them.
2. You Start To Question Your Self-worth/whether You're Good Enough For Them
Placing someone on a pedestal can lead to a decrease in our perception of our own worth in comparison to theirs. As a result, it's common to start doubting ourselves and whether we measure up to them. Despite this, it's important to remember that we are just as valuable as the person we're obsessing over. However, the intense insecurity that often accompanies this fixation can be challenging to overcome.
3. You Become Extremely Jealous Of Everyone In Their Life
When you're fixated on someone, you may experience intense feelings of possessiveness towards them. It can feel as though you should be the most important person in their life, and that nobody else has a place in their world. As a result, you may start to develop irrational feelings of hatred or suspicion towards anyone they speak to who isn't you, as well as strong jealousy that is difficult to manage. This type of behavior is undoubtedly unhealthy and can be damaging to both you and the person you're fixated on.
4. You Think It's Your Responsibility To "protect" Them
When you're obsessing over someone, you may convince yourself that your actions are justified and protective, even when they are unnecessary. This fixation can lead you to believe that it's your responsibility to shield them from unpleasant or difficult situations in life, which is not the case and needs to be stopped. Remember, the person was doing fine before they met you, and they will continue to do so even if the relationship ends due to your excessive behavior.
5. You Constantly Track What They're Doing Online And In Person
If you find yourself frequently checking their social media accounts, visiting their workplace or places they hang out without letting them know, it's a sign that your obsession with them has reached a concerning level. This behavior can become excessive and negatively affect your mental well-being. If you're unable to control your obsessive behavior, it may be helpful to seek professional assistance.
Why You Might Find Yourself Obsessing Over Someone
This is why you might find yourself obsessing over the person you are currently dating.
1. You Struggle With Being Alone
If you're unable to stop obsessing over someone you've recently started dating, it may be because you're uncomfortable with being alone. The prospect of being in a relationship can be appealing as it means having a partner and not being alone. As a result, you may hold onto any relationship that comes your way as a means of avoiding being single.
2. You've Been Single For A Long Time
On the other hand, it's possible that you enjoy being alone but miss the thrill of being desired by someone. When you encounter someone who genuinely likes you and with whom you share a strong connection, you may find yourself getting caught up in those familiar feelings because you haven't experienced them in a while. It's common to get swept up in our emotions when we're fond of someone, but it's important to be aware of when it's becoming excessive.
3. You Want To Understand Them Better
For some of us who are deep thinkers, it may be challenging to stop obsessing over someone new as we strive to understand them. We yearn to learn what drives them, what their personality is like, and whether they are compatible as partners. Consequently, we may overanalyze every detail of their actions and words in an attempt to gain a better understanding. However, this behavior is unnecessary and can be counterproductive. If the relationship is meant to be, you will naturally get to know them as time progresses. Take a moment to breathe and allow the relationship to unfold organically.
4. You Suffer From Mental Health Issues
Conditions like depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder can all be factors that contribute to obsessive behavior toward someone. While this may not be applicable to most individuals, if you have a history of severe mental health issues, it could be the reason behind your obsessive tendencies.
How To Stop Obsessing Over Someone You Just Started Seeing
You can easily bring this behavior to an end by taking these steps.
1. Do Something That Doesn't Involve Your Phone
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to overcome obsessive behavior towards someone is to engage in activities that demand your full attention. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through your phone while binge-watching Netflix, try doing something that requires your complete focus. By channeling the mental energy you spend obsessing into creative or productive pursuits, you could learn a new skill, master a language, or achieve something great. Rather than overanalyzing someone you barely know, shift your focus towards accomplishing something truly fulfilling.
2. Realize That *you* Can Always Send A Text
(Surprising, right?) It's important to acknowledge that as much as you want your crush to initiate the conversation, it won't always happen that way. However, this doesn't mean you should flood their phone with messages or accidentally like a post from months ago. You can, however, take the initiative and send them a text if you have something to say or are tired of waiting to hear from them.
3. Start Thinking About Dating Other People
If you sense that the person you're obsessing over is about to ghost you, it's best to start moving on. It can be difficult, especially if you don't enjoy dating and finally found someone you like. However, it's not wise to completely shut yourself off from other potential partners just because you have a crush. You don't need to endlessly swipe on dating apps, but you should be open to meeting other people until you're sure this is the right person for you. After all, there's no guarantee that you'll end up in a committed relationship with them.
4. Don't Track Them Like An Animal
Despite what the song "Maps" by Maroon 5 says, constantly monitoring someone's actions can be considered creepy. It's understandable to want to know what they're up to, but relying on social media platforms like Facebook, Foursquare, or Instagram to gather that information is not a healthy approach. Showing up at a location they recently checked in to under the guise of coincidence is not a good idea either. This behavior is more likely to come across as stalking rather than romantic interest.
5. Stop Expecting To Hear From Them At Any Moment (even If That One Friend Keeps Telling You He'll Text)
Doing this is one of the worst things you can do. Turning up your phone volume, keeping it in your hand, and expecting them to reach out, even if it's been a while since you've heard from them, is not a good idea. Don't dress in a way that you think he would like, hoping for a late-night hookup. Don't wait for a mid-week "investment" text that people typically send on Wednesdays to secure plans for the weekend. Instead, follow step one and find a fun activity. Then, ignore the fact that your phone is silent, except for the texts from your friends. If you're constantly anticipating the other person's next move, you won't be able to stop obsessing over them.
6. If It's 100 Years Later And/or After Midnight, You Don't Have To Engage
If someone ghosts you and then attempts to reconnect after several months, consider your actions carefully. Only reconnect if you genuinely want to, not out of politeness or because you liked them a lot during your previous interactions six months ago. If they previously ghosted you, there may be a reason for it. Perhaps they realized you weren't a good match for them, or maybe they were beginning to see someone else. Regardless of the reason, it is not your obligation to become entangled with them again if you have finally moved on. Remember this when trying to stop obsessing over someone.
7. Think About How Pointless Obsessing Has Been Before
Let's face it, you've never been able to will a guy to text you (even though that would be amazing). If you've been a little obsessive in past relationships, it's easy to recall how pointless it was. Of course, this doesn't imply that you'll be able to move on right away. However, it can help you cope with the ghost of Halloweentown that you're dealing with.
8. Check In With Yourself
According to licensed psychologist Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW, obsessing over someone is difficult to stop because it's not really about them. "If we have unresolved issues with people from our past, new people may appear in our lives to help us work through those issues or heal old wounds," she explains. "When an old wound is triggered, it can consume our thoughts to grab our attention. This is a sign that it's time to take action." If you believe this pertains to you, don't dismiss it. It might be beneficial to speak with a professional to address your concerns.
9. Realize That If They're Not Into You, They're Not Worth It
It's easy to fall into the trap of questioning what you did wrong and whether a different decision would have resulted in marriage, but it's neither fair nor realistic. If they're not reaching out to you, it's because they're not thinking about you. This can be difficult to accept, but the sooner you do, the better you'll understand something crucial. If they don't appreciate how wonderful you are now, they never will. Sometimes, the most effective approach to ending an obsession with someone is to acknowledge that they're not obsessing over you.