Falling in love and with the right person makes one feel happy at all time. It is obvious that there is nothing about falling in love that doesn’t bring a new feeling of excitement in our lives. It is important also to recognize when it comes to love which behaviours are considered healthy, and also which one can be obsessive or even illegal. One thing is certain. Becoming a person who confuses love with obsession does not happen randomly. As a matter of fact most time, the clues to this phenomenon can be traced to the past, where childhood memories that should be filed with love and support are instead filled with loneliness, fear and sorrow. Pepper Schwartz, PhD, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington at Seattle says that “In the early stages of love, you’re pretty much drunk on dopamine — the brain chemical linked with feelings of ecstasy, cravings, even addiction,” Studies have shown that when people look at a photo of their beloved, activity sparks up in a tiny area of the midbrain known as the ventral area, bathing your synapses with drug like waves of feel-good dopamine. Scarily, it’s the exact same circuit that gets triggered in cocaine addicts. “Once it’s activated, it leaves you highly motivated to get what you’re after, whether it’s drugs or a person,” it is also proven that romantic love can be just as powerful as an addiction. I know of someone who, after her boyfriend dumped her, it took several years for her to get over it. Once we get it into our head that someone would be a good life partner, the brain is very well built to turn a person into a doormat.
Studies also suggest that when someone is crazy in love, the insular cortex, a brain region associated with anxiety, lights up like a Christmas tree. Which is why, when your crush’s texts or calls stop coming, you immediately worry that someone has broken into his place and killed him. Or that he’s with another girl. Or even that something has gone wrong. Because what else could it be?
Often times people behave in a manner that they are not supposed to especially when they are in love. Are you the obsessive type? Sometimes, though, a bad case of obsessive love can take hold with virtually no encouragement. When you watch for a few signs it can help you to know if your partner is loving and adoring you or just being obsessing over you.
Do take a moment to determine if your partner is very demanding. If you find that you call at specific times, cannot make plans with your friends without partner’s approval or have to dress a certain way, then your partner may have feelings of obsession instead of love.
You should notice your partner’s moods at varying times. If they go from feeli
ng happiness to depression, anger of frustration whenever you are not with them, then they may have feelings of obsession instead of love.
Next, when you look at your phone’s log and your partner has called you excessively or several times an hour to see what you are doing or who you’ re with, then that may be a red flag that they are also obsessed. More so, you should also check your mail inbox, if you are exchanging emails, if your partner has sent several love letters a day and the relationship is still new, it could be a sign that your partner is obsessed instead of love.
Knowing all these signs, what then is the next course of action that is necessary to take? Not coincidentally, the cure for obsessive love is the same one recommended to any other addict: Gather your support around you, and drop the obsession. First, though, you have to recognize your own behaviour: Does a crush become your whole world almost immediately, despite warning signs that he may not be good for you?
The next step: Quit the object of your obsession — no easing out, no residual sleepovers. An all-or-nothing approach is crucial to breaking the addiction. Every time you email or check him up on the internet, you’re only getting a little hit of craving, and your cravings only get stronger. You can De-Friend him, unfollow him, block him on social network, and delete his texts from your phone, the whole deal. Then you can vow not to contact him and that you won’t respond if he contacts you.
Tips: The sooner you end a relationship that is based on obsession, the easier the breakup will be. Always look out for red flags in a relationship to avoid the situation from escalating into something potentially dangerous that could get out of control.