Are you dating an obsessive lover? How to recognise the signs
- Are you in a relationship with someone who's showering you with too much attention, feels an overwhelming attraction towards you but oversteps boundaries? You may be dating an obsessive lover.
The idea of being loved by a person who cannot stop thinking about you and does everything possible to make you feel special seems enticing. It is the stuff Bollywood films are made of.
However, it may be the sign of an obsessive lover, and if you fail to recognize the initial signs, you may be in for a suffocating or even dangerous relationship ahead.
If your special someone is sending you lovey-dovey messages almost every ten minutes or so and showering you with excessive attention to the point that he/she wants to know literally everything about you from how much water you drink in a day to how many breaks you took while working, then you must move ahead with care.
What is obsessive love disorder
Obsessive love disorder has not been formally recognized as a disorder; it is a condition when you become obsessed with the person who you are in love with and feel the need to control or protect your partner at all costs.
"An obsessive lover feels an overwhelming attraction to a person and wants to control the behaviour of his/her partner to the extent that if the person is not comfortable or tries to leave a relationship, they may threaten them or harm them. Such people make unreasonable demands and do not respect the boundaries set by the other person," says Dr Vihan Sanyal, Psychotherapist.
While in the beginning - because of all the attention - you may feel like the luckiest person in the planet, but as you commit to the relationship and move forward, you may start to feel the heat.
Signs of an obsessive lover
* An unusually overwhelming attraction to a person
* Possessive and controlling behaviour towards a person
* Threatening the other person with consequences if they try to leave the relationship
* Going out of the way to protect a person even without their consent
* Crossing the personal boundaries set by a person
* Feeling of “ownership” over another person. Feeling extremely jealous if they interact with other people.
* Having extremely strong feelings towards the other person even without having spent much time with them.
* Quick to slip into depression if feelings are not reciprocated
Experts say that obsessive love can also be part of a rare condition called Erotomania.
"In Erotomania a person can strongly believe that the other person loves them, including a stranger or a celebrity. It can compel a person to resort to stalking and violent or abusive behaviour. It may include psychotic features of paranoia," says Dr Sanyal.
When obsessive relationship turns dangerous
The fear of losing their partner can drive obsessive lovers to extremes and they may resort to emotional abuse.
"They may try to punish their partners or break them down emotionally. They can isolate their partner from their family and friends. They can show signs of extreme love one moment while in the next moment they can get angry at the smallest thing and threaten their partner if they chose to walk out of the relationship. This can worsen a person’s depression and they start to talk about self-harm or physically harming their partner," says the expert.
Treatment of obsessive love disorder
It is important to get to the root of the disorder with effective treatment.
For obsessive love disorder, counselling and psychotherapy should be the first line of treatment for emotional regulation and behavioural modification.
There are many good anti-depressants available to treat depression, anxiety and mood disorder. It is best to consult a psychiatrist who can suggest the best medicine for you.