Romantic Obsession

  • Engaging in romantic obsession distorts our perceptions
  • Romantic obsession obscures reality
  • Romantic obsession promotes self-destructive behaviors
  • Romantic obsession stops us from fully engaging in live
  • Romantic obsession is self-negating
  • Romantic obsession is fear-based

Engaging in romantic obsession distorts our perceptions

In the height of our obsession we may:

– See the object of our obsession as someone other than who s/he really is

– Idealize, glorify, and give power to the other person

– Demonize or resent the object of our obsession

– Project qualities onto the person that s/he doesn’t have

– Delude ourselves in our thinking and deny our disease


Romantic obsession obscures reality

While obsessed we may tell ourselves:

– The object of our obsession can make us feel secure and content

– Our peace of mind depends on them acknowledging us or giving us what we want

– We “love” the other person even though we may not respect his or her limits, shortcomings or boundaries

– The other person represents a lifestyle we want but are being denied

– Our current friendships are flat and meaningless

– The other person is judging us and has found us a failure, inadequate or pathetic

– We should be loyal to the other person even if s/he ignores, hurts or violates us

– Other people can’t understand our pain


Romantic obsession promotes self-destructive behaviors

While obsessed we may find ourselves:

– Trying to rescue, fix or control someone with the expectation that we will get commitment, loyalty or obedience in return

– Lying about our motives, trying to manipulate or coerce others, initiating or engaging in power games or violating people’s privacy and personal boundaries

– Using sex to get attention, to manipulate, to exploit, to reward or control

– Having sex even if we don’t want it

– Engaging in sexually compulsive behavior, pornography, multiple sexual relationships, dangerous behavior, or sexual anorexia in an effort to escape emotional pain


Romantic obsession stops us from fully engaging in life

While obsessed we often:

– Prevent ourselves from setting goals or moving towards them

– Cut ourselves off from other people

– Restrict our behavior, narrowing it to a few monotonous routines

– Lose our interests and our interest in life itself

– Find ourselves feeling impotent, flat and lifeless

– Subvert, derail, undermine and block ourselves from emotional growth


Romantic obsession is self-negating

At the height of our obsessing we may:

– Tell ourselves our life has no purpose, value or future

– Deny our real accomplishments and abilities

– Tell ourselves we’re undesirable, unlovable, sexless and unworthy

– Isolate ourselves from others and experience loneliness and pain

– Compare ourselves to those who appear to ‘have it all’

– Tell ourselves we’re helpless and defeated

– Destroy any sense of purpose or mission we may have had

– Distort our personalities, making ourselves victims, liars, cheats or even violent


Romantic obsession is fear-based

We open ourselves to fears of:

– Abandonment and rejection

– Loneliness

– Humiliation

– Undesirability and uselessness

– Destruction

– Being responsible for ourselves

– Committing to others

– Committing to our recovery

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