Love is something that we all hope to experience in our life. Whether it’s love at first sight, heartbreak, marriage, or just a spring fling, love is generally wonderful. However, love can also be dark, cruel, and controlling. This type of love isn’t actually love at all; this is something we call obsessive love.
Obsessive love is short for obsessive love disorder, or OLD, which is a mental disorder where a partner in a relationship is treated as property rather than an individual. They are often controlled, allowed no free-will, degraded, and abused. While OLD cases span from mild to life-threatening, we want to talk about how to know if you or the one you love may have it. Believe it or not, obsessive love disorder can often go undetected and can worsen if it remains untreated. Here, we will go over a few habits that can point to obsessive love and discuss how to get away from it safely.
Signs of Obsessive Love
To start, the most common sign of obsessive love is when your partner wants to control everything you do. This could be cutting you off from seeing your family or friends, not allowing you to go to work, or even trying to drive people away around you. You should never feel bound by jealously, narcissism or fear. Typically, this is where the line of love and control is drawn. You may even begin to notice that your personality, the one that your partner once loved, is now being shaped to fit their own agenda.
2. Falling in Love Too Quickly
Another sign of obsessive love is when a person falls for someone too quickly. Of course, we all have that ‘love at first sight’ moment in our lives, but this isn’t that innocent. It entails becoming obsessed with somebody after just meeting them and without truly knowing them. Examples include following them around, asking around about them, stalking them online, or trying to grow close to their friends to gain information on them. And usually someone who has obsessive love disorder will do this with every relationship they have, so be careful.
3. Narcissistic Behavior
Next, another sign of obsessive love is narcissistic behavior. Those with this disorder seem to think they’re in charge and have the ability to control those around them. When in arguments, these people will put you down, shame you, and make you feel like you’re wrong even if you aren’t. On top of that, those who display OLD behavior will also threaten to hurt themselves if you leave them. If this is the case in your relationship, seek professional help immediately as this is a dangerous situation to be in. Read more about how to get the proper help you need in the article, “How to Treat Obsessive Love Disorder” by BayviewRecovery.com.
And lastly, another sign of obsessive love in an individual can be seen through abuse. Of course, there are many unfortunate things that lead a person to become violent, and obsessive love disorder is no exception. Believe it or not, this is actually one of the most common signs that will develop over time if this disorder goes untreated, so don’t ignore it. Remember, if you or a loved one are stuck in a physically or verbally abusive relationship, seek help immediately to ensure your safety.
If you are unsure if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, we may be able to offer some insight. Check out our “Emotional Abuse Test” article for further information.
What Steps to Take
Although obsessive love disorder can be scary, there are ways to get help. A few options include:
- Removing yourself from the situation
- Finding a safe place to stay
- Going to live with family and friends
- Getting your partner to receive professional treatment
- Working with a therapist
- And if necessary, contacting the police
Regardless of what route you decide to take, removing yourself from this person, confiding in family, and seeking professional help are all excellent first steps to take to remove yourself from a toxic situation. For additional options on how to receive help, you can also check out our article, “Obsessive Love Disorder Overview” for further guidance.
Overall, obsessive love disorder is scary. If someone in your life is displaying symptoms, it’s time to seek help before it’s too late. Above all else, your safety is most important.
For more information on how to keep yourself safe when dealing with an aggressive partner, please visit the Domestic Violence Hotline for professional help.