It’s more than just a little crush, and it shows.
When someone is head over heels then they may struggle to contain themselves.
You’re all they think about day and night.
If someone does these things, they’re really obsessed with you.
1) They idealize you
That may sound sort of nice at first. Who doesn’t want others to look up to them and see them as something special?
But the trouble with idealization is that it has a habit of being based on fantasy and not reality. And that’s the downside of obsession.
As great as I’m sure you are, you’re not perfect.
It can actually put unnecessary pressure on us and create unrealistic expectations when we fail to remember that we’re all just human.
When we idealize someone, we’re not seeing them for all that they are. That’s always going to include a perfectly imperfect mix of qualities and traits.
When you only see the best, you’re putting someone on a pedestal. You ignore and disregard all of their flaws.
The problem is that they’re not actually obsessed with you, they are obsessed with the image they have created of you in their minds.
2) You can do no wrong in their eyes
Have you ever noticed that at the beginning of a relationship when you’re still in the honeymoon phase the other person’s quirks seem adorable?
It’s only later down the line that it annoys the heck out of you.
That’s because we tend to be selective with our perceptions. We see what we want to see.
When someone is obsessed with you, they choose to only see the good.
They don’t want to shatter the illusion of the person they created in their head. So they have blinkers on when it comes to your failings.
No matter what you do, you’re never in the wrong — even when you actually are.
They may allow you to push their boundaries or treat them in unfair ways because of this.
When someone wants to be with you “no matter what”, it’s not love, it’s an obsession.
Because the truth is that healthy relationships do come with conditions.
2) They spent all their time daydreaming about you
We’ve all indulged in a delicious bit of daydreaming. It can provide a welcome distraction from the monotony of another day.
But when daydreaming takes over it can be a bad thing too.
It keeps us from concentrating on anything else.
And that’s obviously not great when you need to study, work, or run errands — aka generally live your life.
Overthinking, even when it’s about someone, can turn into rumination. That means they play the same thoughts over and over again in their head.
It may be a conversation you have had or moments you have shared together.
Whenever they’re not with you physically, they’re still thinking of you.
3) They are lovesick for you
You know the classic symptoms:
Can’t eat, can’t sleep. You feel nauseous all the time.
We can end up both loving and hating lovesickness in equal measures.
The butterflies and excitement of falling for someone is like nothing else. But it can become so intense that it’s sort of painful.
That’s particularly the case when you can’t have someone, for example when the love is unrequited or you’re experiencing a breakup.
Far from being just an expression, lovesickness comes with real physical symptoms that can take their toll.
One study concluded that fever, agitation, headaches, rapid breathing, and heart palpitations are even possible.
4) They stalk your social media
You may not know just how much stalking is going on, but there are signs…
- They go back and start liking pictures ten years old. And not just one, but pretty much any snap that you feature in.
- They are the first person to watch your stories as soon as they go up.
- They comment or message you about every single thing you post.
- They non-stop send you memes or quotes, etc.
- They are watching your friend’s stories too, even though they don’t follow them.
Whatever it is they’re doing, it feels above and beyond what’s considered “normal”.
It doesn’t feel reciprocal and can feel intrusive. As can the next point on our list.
5) They bombard you with messages
There’s an unwritten code on communication that goes something like this:
You send out roughly the same as you get back.
Our conversations with people should feel balanced in the amount of time and energy we both put in.
But when someone is obsessed, they don’t abide by these rules.
They will send you dozens of messages, back to back, without even receiving one reply.
They may call you frequently, even if you don’t pick up.
They constantly seek out communication with you throughout the day, and it feels way too much.
You may feel like you’re not getting any space from them.
6) They can’t bear to be apart
They like to think of your two as two halves of the same whole.
To some people that feels like a romantic notion. But this idea of two people completing each other can easily lead to codependency.
A degree of independence is actually what helps to keep those sparks alive between two people.
The distance creates the autonomy needed for desire to flourish.
But they seem to want to be around you 24-7. They never need their own space. They don’t crave some alone time.
They don’t want to hang out with other people, and they can quickly become jealous and possessive when you do.
7) They get a major case of the green-eyed monster
Small amounts of jealousy aren’t always such a bad thing according to the experts.
It’s a natural side effect of caring.
But jealousy gets out of hand whenever someone:
- Is emotionally intense about it
- Acts suspiciously or accusatory
- Tries to keep tabs on you at all times
- Doesn’t like it when you’re with certain people
- Tries to guilt-trip you
- Gets moody or angry with you because of it
The fear that an obsessive person has over losing you goes above and beyond. And so they end up doing things to desperately try to keep you close.
8) They smother you
We can quickly get the ick from someone whenever we feel stifled by them.
There’s a reason that so many people fall for the aloof and detached guy or gal. That’s because, as we’ve already said, desire feeds off distance.
It’s the age-old cat-and-mouse chase. The push and pull that keeps the magic alive.
Of course, we don’t want someone who is totally disinterested and too hard to get. But neither do we want someone who clings to us.
When someone’s feelings become unhealthy they may act needy or even desperate.
The more they feel like you pull away, the more anxious and attached they become.
9) They don’t take no for an answer
There is persistence, and then there is pushiness.
It takes courage to go after what you want.
It’s admirable if someone lays their cards on the table and confesses how they feel. Because there is great strength required in that kind of vulnerability.
But if you don’t get the answer you had hoped for, you have to let it drop and move on.
Firstly, for the sake of your own sanity and self-respect. But secondly, because it’s important to accept the decision of the other person.
If someone insists on chasing you regardless of how many times you’ve told them it’s not going to happen, it’s a sign of obsession.
They’re attempting to push your boundaries rather than respect them.
10) They constantly stare at you with puppy dog eyes
Don’t ask me to describe it, but when someone has the look of love in their eyes it’s easy to spot.
We’ve evolved as a species to read a lot about someone, just by looking them in the eyes.
Longing looks can be incredibly cute when it’s mutual. Meeting someone’s gaze is powerful and very emotionally charged.
But eye contact is a delicate thing. Look for that little bit too long, and it quickly becomes creepy.
How long is too long?
Well, psychologists have tried to answer this and concluded that no one likes anything lasting longer than nine seconds.
If they stare at you non-stop, the intensity could start to feel totally over the top. It’s less sweet and more serial killer.
11) They claim they can’t live without you
Growing up on romance novels and love stories may have us believe that this is a deeply passionate sentiment.
But it’s not.
Love wants, but it should never need.
These sorts of extreme emotions are another hallmark of obsessive love. It signals that someone has lost hold of themselves.
It suggests that they don’t have their own life, independent of a relationship with you.
They may have dropped former friends, interests, and goals.
They have gotten so lost in the story of you and them, that they’ve built their world around you. And so the thought of you not being around is inconceivable.
The difference between love and obsession
Love holds within it strong emotions so that it can be easy to confuse love and obsession.
But spiritual teacher Osho beautifully sums up the difference:
“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.”