What Is The Phenomenon Of Obsession Or Obsessing Over Someone?

By Corrina Horne |Updated September 2, 2022

Obsessive behavior, or obsessing over someone, can be defined as constant focus of energy on something or someone to a degree where it causes harmful consequences that may lead to a desperate need to stop the behavior.

It can take many forms, such as an obsession over shopping or gambling or even an obsession with someone else. Some obsessions can stem from an experience with someone that affects an individual so much that he or she becomes passionate about that person.

This condition- often referred to as an obsessive love disorder- occurs when someone mistakes feelings of obsession for feelings of love. If you think you may be experiencing this disorder, online therapy can help you learn to stop. 

Below are a few behaviors commonly showcased with obsessive love disorder:

  • obsessive thoughts about a single person.
  • inability to accept rejection from the person.
  • feeling possessive about the person.
  • low self-esteem.
  • disruptive thought patterns that prevent you from achieving typical daily activities.
  • disregard for how the person feels about the obsessive feelings.
  • being emotionally unavailable for anyone besides the object of your obsession.

This personality disorder doesn’t only arise in romantic relationships; it can also occur over friends, co-workers, or even strangers on the street.

obsessing, obsession, person, someone, stop

I Can't Stop Obsessing About Them

When Attachment Starts Controlling You

Unfortunately, when an attachment to a person becomes an actual fixation it becomes extremely harmful, to both the person who is experiencing the obsession and the person who is the target of it. When you realize you have a fixation on a new crush that’s beginning to border on obsessive love disorder, it's important to halt it in any way you can.

The problem is, it can be difficult to figure out how to stop obsessing over someone, as obsessive thoughts may be compulsively bringing these thoughts about this person to the foreground of your life. The sooner you get these negative traits under control the better.

Is An Obsessive Relationship "Healthy"? Can It Ever Be Healthy?

While most of us would agree that growth in a relationship is the ultimate goal, people often have different views of what this looks like. Often, growth can make you feel fear, and become nervous, tense, uptight, or preoccupied by the relationship itself.

Some people think that wanting to be together in the same place, day and night, is a healthy relationship. Another person might think that having a certain level of independence is important and spend a great deal of time with friends, relying on short phone calls to maintain the relationship.

For each couple it's going to be important that they define their relationship in the same way and decide what level of attachment or independence is important for each person. Sometimes it's difficult to reach a mutual decision about this. Having a conversation with each other (partner to partner, woman to man, girl to girl, guy to guy, men and women and people alike) can help put words to your emotions and perspective.

Additionally, one person may be more invested in the relationship than another, or not be in tune with the other person's love language, which is when the obsession over that person can begin to blossom. Lack of effective love translation, or lack of interest, can lead the more love-hungry person yearning for more and shifting into an obsessive love over the other person. In effort to get closer and have connection, they might put the other person on a pedestal and suddenly all of their actions are for the other person's happiness, instead of their own reality.

The Dangers And Consequences Of This Behavior

If you are in a relationship and you are more invested than the other person, it can come across as an obsessive love to the other person even if the feelings are actually completely healthy to you.

If you aren't in a relationship at all then the level where it becomes obsession could be even lower and you could be in a very bad place. Either way, it's important that you learn how to stop obsessing over someone so you can get over it and on with your own life, either with that person or not.

How to Stop Obsessing Over Someone

You can live a normal life and be fixated on someone you are really interested in, like being a fan of a famous actor. This is the type of obsession with someone that most people talk about and that most people think of as completely normal.

You've probably used the word 'obsessed' before when you're talking to your friends about your favorite actor or your favorite kind of cake or even a favorite color.

You may have talked about it all the time or maybe it's a word that you use a lot even when it doesn't really apply to your situation. What you need to understand is that when you take this fixation to an extreme level, things can become unbalanced and very harmful to the other person.

Don't Let Obsessing Over Someone Take Control Of You

True fixation means that everything about your life and your world revolves around that person. It means that you struggle to do anything without thinking of that person or struggle to even stay away from them for any length of time.

A person may lose jobs or relationships because of an obsession that completely takes over their life. If you have a hard time going about your normal day without getting distracted by that other person or object then you are truly fixated on and getting some help from a health professional is an important step to overcoming this personality disorder.

Being Mindful About Your Person & Their Feelings Before Becoming Too Involved

It is important to be mindful about your thoughts regarding the person. If you find that you are unable to stop thinking about them, it could be that you are on the path to fixation and need to figure out some strategies to let go of the nagging thoughts about that person in your head.

But just what can you do to make sure you're working through your fixation and not falling victim to it? Fixation can turn ugly really fast if you're not careful and that's not something you want to be in the middle of.

how to stop obsessing over someone, person

Distract Yourself With Other Activities & Hobbies

It can be helpful to distract yourself from your intrusive thoughts and engage in other activities that promote self-improvement. They can allow you to see that there are important things in life other than your obsessive feelings. In this way, you can start to improve yourself and to focus on yourself at the same time.

While you're doing this you're going to actually turn yourself not just back into the person that you were but into an even better person along the way.

Redirect Your Attention Away From The Person To Stop Thinking Them And Move On From Them

Redirecting your attention towards something other than another person can be a good way to healthily distract from your romantic obsession.

The process of self-discovery can happen in leaps or tip-toes, having the propensity to heal you and serve to identify the obstacles that are preventing you from loving yourself.

Spending time alone, making time for physical exercise, and sticking to a nourishing diet are all baseline ways of beginning to take care of yourself instead of fixating on the person who has become the object of your obsession.

In addition, it’s important to invest in relationships that promote a healthy love: the well-established bonds you already have with friends and family members. Your support system will be there with you at every stage of life.

The Consequences Of Obsessive Behavior Or Obsession Over Someone

For some, but not everyone, obsessive feelings about someone else can turn extremely dangerous as it continues to manifest itself even stronger.

Some people have been known to kill for the person that they are fixated on, either because of a level of jealousy that develops or because they become twisted into use as pawns for someone else. Some have even been known to commit suicide because their fixation is rejected or not returned.

Getting help right away is an important step and can help you get back to the life you want to live by learning how to reshape thought patterns.

Breaking The Obsession Stigma

I Can't Stop Obsessing About Them

Focus On Yourself Instead And Not Someone Else

If you are suffering from obsessive thoughts about a person, you should know that there is more that you can do. There is a way that you can get help and there are ways to overcome your romantic obsession.

There are even ways to keep that person in your life but reduce the type of feelings that you experience.

It's going to take hard work and you're not going to be able to go at it alone, but you can definitely make differences in your life and improve yourself in the long run. Don't let this fixation run your life or ruin another person’s life.

A too common occurrence is that of taking our mental health for granted, and not recognizing that we all must take steps and precautions to be feeling and functioning at our best. Online interfaces like BetterHelp have surfaced in response to the gap in access to quality mental health care.

Building a healthy relationship can be a lonely path for those who aren't in touch with what they want out of life and love or are stuck in how to communicate this to their partner or friends.

BetterHelp and its licensed, knowledgeable therapists can offer professional help that makes a positive change in your life. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"Ivanilda is amazing and helped me so much with my obsessive thoughts and regrets about the past. She is very warm and comforting."

"I have been talking with Andrea for a few months, and over the course of those months, she has taught me valuable methods for dealing with obsessive thinking and negative self-image, by simply letting me talk about my issues and reflecting on them with me in ways I understand. She is well equipped for the job and makes sessions feel personal, kind of like talking with a friend so that I feel more and more comfortable. It makes for a better experience only ever talking through email and on the phone. I appreciate all she has done for me greatly!"

Moving In To Health

Obsessive feelings are challenging to get over, but it is not impossible. With some help, both within yourself and with outside help, you can learn how to stop obsessing over someone, move on, and live a life of freedom and prosperity. Practice taking a chance on a book or a new hobby to gain distance from the person you are obsessing over. Other ideas include a new class, getting out of the house, walking your dog, reframing habits in the direction of self-growth, seeing new places for a new sense of self, or even taking a moment to do nothing and just be.

Take a deep breath and get started with the first step today with a licensed health professional.

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