Love Vs. Obsession
“Passion is a positive obsession. Obsession is a negative passion.” -Paul Carvel
I will be the first one to admit that love is completely and utterly confusing. And just when you think you’ve figured it all out, a curve ball is thrown your way, only leaving your mind in a scrambled mess. One of these ‘curve balls’ is the simple question: ‘Are you actually in love?’ And more than that, ‘Is your love true love, or is it an obsession?’
Now, you might be thinking to yourself “NO WAY I’m obsessed with my partner. I just love them to pieces and that’s perfectly fine.” And you know what? That’s awesome- IF you are truly in love and not confusing your passionate desire for your lover with an unhealthy obsession.
How can you know the difference?
What is love?
Everyone will have a different answer to this question, but there’s a few key ingredients that make up true love.
First and foremost, two people who are in love with each other should have a relationship that is free and easy. You shouldn’t have to worry about being judged by something you say or do, and you shouldn’t have a constant fear of boring your partner or losing them to someone else. The relationship is, quite frankly, effortless. Every day is a great day together and there’s really no fear of being left of boring your other half. The conversation flows easily, the two of you laugh about the littlest things, and the two of you are insanely comfortable around each other.
Secondly, love is all about accepting the person you are with. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done in their past. It doesn’t matter that they have some of the oddest quirks you’ve ever known in an individual. It doesn’t phase you that they have a slightly large nose or they’re losing their hair. None of these things matter. When you look at them, they are perfect in your eyes. You see no flaws and you accept them for who they are on the inside AND out.
Thirdly, the man or woman you are in love with should make you feel happy. Of course there’s going to be certain times where an argument makes you mad or unhappy; that’s part of a normal, healthy relationship. But for the most part, your partner should bring thoughts of joy, peace, and happiness to your life. Anything else- for instance anger, suffocation, or fear- is a definite sign that you are NOT in love and need to run for the hills as fast as you possibly can.
Last but not least, you should know that your partner loves you back. There should be no questioning it. You shouldn’t have to EVER ask, or even wonder if the love is not returned. You will be able to feel it by the way you two interact with each other.
Now ask yourself this question: Do you look at your partner and still get butterflies in your stomach? Can you talk to your partner about anything and everything? Can the two of you have fun no matter what you’re doing? Do they make you happy? Do you feel as though you enjoy your partner to the fullest, but don’t actually need them? That’s love.
What is obsession?
‘Obsession: an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.’
Okay, yes. When you are in love, your partner is certainly on your mind A LOT. But is it an unhealthy preoccupation? Do you feel like you literally can’t think about anything else? And are your thoughts generally positive, or are they filled with worries and fear?
Obsession is much, much different than love, although MANY individuals confuse it with love. They think it’s completely natural to be head-over-heels for their lover, constantly thinking about them and what they are doing, constantly wondering if they are going to break up with them, and demanding all sorts of gifts and sweet messages to prove they love them back. Now, does that sound at all like the above few paragraphs? Of course not. Sounds more like a nightmare.
First and foremost, someone who is obsessed with their partner rather than in love will believe they actually need them. They’ll believe they cannot function without this individual and losing them would completely ruin their life. They can’t enjoy time by themselves and need to be by their partner 24/7, or at least talking to them constantly throughout the day. The second there’s a pause in communication, they’ll instantly start worrying. Which brings us to number 2…
An obsessed individual will ALWAYS worry. They will worry about being left or cheated on, they will worry about what their partner is doing every time they are not together, and they will worry if they’re boring or annoying their partner. The relationship won’t run smoothly as the obsessed individual will constantly be agitated and walking on eggshells, instead of being comfortable and happy with their lover.
Thirdly, someone who is obsessed instead of being in love will always feel a sense of suffocation. The constant fears, the incessant worrying, and the preoccupation of their partner will almost drive them mad. They find themselves being worried or angry a lot, instead of having a happy and carefree relationship.
Now let’s break it down. If the relationship feels more like a chore than a partnership and you feel as though you can’t be yourself in order to ‘keep’ your other half, this isn’t true love. If you feel as though your partner is the only key to your happiness and you couldn’t manage without them, you may be obsessed.
Can obsession be a healthy part of a relationship?
Here’s where it gets a LITTLE bit tricky: yes, a bit of ‘obsession’ or ‘infatuation’ is normal, especially in the beginning.
You see, when you first enter into a relationship and first fall in love, your partner is bound to be on your mind a lot more than usual. You may be a tad bit worried they don’t express the feelings back, simply because the love is fresh and new and they haven’t relayed their feelings to you yet. You should feel extra giggly and happy when they come around, and the two of you never fight.
However, this VERY SLIGHT infatuation will wear off in a healthy relationship where there is true love. Things will become more relaxed and normal, and you’ll feel completely content and comfortable with your other half.
What should you do if you’re obsessed?
After reading this, you might realize that you have an unhealthy obsession with your partner. If that’s the case, you need to take a step back and really assess the situation. Is this something you can tame? Do you think that you can stop being obsessed with your partner and really just enjoy him/her and the relationship for what it is? Nine times out of ten, the obsession can’t be fixed or reversed. Why? Because obsession does NOT equal true love, and there usually isn’t true love hiding underneath the obsession. My advice to you is this: leave. I know you think you can’t be happy without this person in your life, but trust me- you can. And eventually you WILL find the love of your life and experience what true love is. It’s beautiful, not suffocating!
Have you ever confused obsession for love?