In most of our adult lives we have met, or maybe we have become, someone that people would describe as OCD about their relationships. And it’s not just our perceptions- new research has been released disclosing that this is an actual disorder- a branch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder focusing on relationships in two main forms.
According to IOCDF.org, the two ways this obsessiveness and compulsiveness shows up are through relationship worries such as not being “the one” for each other, and the other way is finding flaws in your partner to try and dissuade yourself from carrying on with the relationship. OCD is characterized by a set of obsessions, which cause anxiety, which you then try to release the pressure from by using compulsions.
Even if you don’t have a clinical diagnosis of OCD, there are many things on this list that everyone can relate to, and whose relationships would greatly benefit from the effort of not wasting time on these habits. But if you feel that many of these sound all too familiar, then there are many ways you can combat this and work towards a healthier, happier, mindset for your future. So check out some of the obsessions and compulsions that could be putting a strain on your relationship!
20Obsession: You (Or Your Partner) Are Not Good Enough
According to the information from intrusivethoughts.org, one of the more damaging obsessions that a person can have in their relationship is the doubt that they, or their partner, is not “good enough” to be there. There are always obvious red flags in a relationship, like if someone is a well known criminal or abuser, but in many instances that isn’t the case.
If you are just casually dating someone, you choose to begin a relationship because part of you sees potential in it.
It isn’t about a comparison of worthiness when it comes to loving someone. It is about living in the moment and seeing where your relationship leads before you start worrying about them not being worthy of your love.
19Compulsion: Obsessive Questioning
If you just can’t seem to stop bringing up your doubts and relationship problems to your friends and family, then this is a sign of a compulsion that you need to end. Of course, some discussion is healthy, especially among women, but it can not be the main focus of all of your conversations every time you talk to them.
What you’re looking for here is reassurance that you’re making the right choice or feeling the right way about the situation. But, in reality, you’re probably getting a lot of bad advice or friends who will start to distance themselves because they feel uncomfortable getting involved.
18Obsession: Relationships Don’t Evolve
It is a very common misconception that relationships don’t evolve over time. People believe that there should be an instant chemistry there, a “love at first sight” fantasy and that the passion shouldn’t falter over time. The problem with this is that there is a lot of lust rather than love in the beginning but once you start to share your lives, your relationship becomes about so much more and sometimes the passion isn’t the forefront.
It takes time for your relationship to develop and create long-lasting love.
Therefore, don’t waste your time feeling doubtful of a perceived immediate connection, and give your relationship time to figure itself out.
17Obsession: You’re Unsure Of “Mr. Right”
Being unsure if you really love your partner, or if you have found Mr. Right, is another obsession that is wasting your time. It is impossible to be happy when you feel like you may be saddled down with the wrong person. This often comes from comparing what other relationships appear to be and how you feel yours is lacking in contrast.
But those worries are obsessive and not actually because you feel like you are with the total wrong person for you. It does happen where relationships don’t work out, but when you know someone isn’t right for you, then you both know, and it usually isn’t a constant worry.
16Compulsion: Researching Romance
Get off the internet researching every single doubt about your relationship you have. Basically, anything you google makes you end up with some sort of terminal illness anyway. It makes a mountain out of a molehill as they say.
It isn’t really helpful and plants all these seeds in your mind of other possible issues you may end up having- continuing an already endless, vicious cycle.
You might do this to try to calm some anxieties you have but just end up giving yourself so many more. This is a total waste of your time and isn’t good for the relationship.
15Compulsion: Constant Comparison
So you see your best friend in an unbelievably happy relationship a couple of months after the beginning of your relationship. Part of you is happy for them, but you find yourself wondering why you aren’t as happy, or why your boyfriend doesn’t hold your hand as much as hers does, or why her boyfriend eats lunch with her at work every day when yours doesn’t.
This is dangerous territory to be committing your time to. It isn’t fair to you, your friend, or your boyfriend to compare your relationships or feelings for each other. ALL RELATIONSHIPS ARE DIFFERENT!
14Obsession: Only Have Eyes For You
A common misconception in relationships is that if you are “meant to be” that you will never find other people attractive. It is perfectly normal to think someone else is physically attractive, or mentally attractive, while you are in a relationship.
There is a whole science behind attraction and none of it deals with the “meant to be” realm; it’s just human nature.
Therefore, you or your partner thinking someone else in the world is nice to look at or enjoyable to talk to does not mean that your relationship needs to come to an immediate end. Of course, if there are true concerns about your partner being unfaithful, that’s a totally different worry!
13Obsession: Finding “The One”
Many people spend a lot of time dwelling on finding “the one” in their relationships. If you focus on how every person you date isn’t the right one for you because of x-amount of reasons then you may end up overlooking someone who just might be the one.
Or your fear of not finding “the one” may keep you from dating at all! It is far more important to go into relationships with an open mind rather than thinking about if he is “the one” so that you can spend time fully enjoying and embracing all of the gifts that a relationship can offer.
12Compulsion: Endless Reflections
Looking back at the memories or photos you have in your relationship can be fun and healthy. But sometimes you may begin to use them as a weapon- for instance, if you wonder why you don’t do fun or romantic activities like you used to. Or you may be wondering about a negative memory like your boyfriend snapping at you for eating his leftovers.
Spending time on turning these memories into negatives can end up making you believe that your relationship is on the rocks when it’s really normal.
So use caution and be sure you’re not endlessly reflecting on your past.
11Compulsion: Seeking Passion
When a relationship starts off full of butterflies and smiles, you may spend time a few months down the road wondering where all that went. As a result, you begin to try to overcompensate for feeling like some of that has been lost. You might begin to pressure yourself and your partner about being more intimate and romantic or place high standards on the relationship.
Relationships have their passionate moments, but it is a waste of time to be always seeking that passion and not focusing on tending to the other (and equally as important) parts of the relationship.
10Compulsion: Getting Advice From “Above”
Often women who have spent too much time consulting and comparing with their friends and family, and who are still not getting the results they were hoping for in terms of feeling the right feelings or taking the right actions, begin to turn to higher powers. This could be anything from religion-based to astrology based, or even psychic medium based.
It becomes an endless cycle of looking for the answers “in the stars,” so to speak.
But no one has more power over your relationship than you and your partner. It’s pointless to look to others to define your relationship or guide you through it.
9Obsession: Relationship Outweighs Everything Else
People who have relationship OCD tend to put far to much weight on their relationships. It consumes everything else going on in their lives to the point of them being nothing but a walking relationship problem. People really need to stop doing this because we are so much happier and more at peace when we have your own identity and sense of independence.
It isn’t like you should NEVER think about your relationship, but definitely know who you are and have your own goals and identity outside of the relationship. Spend time doing your own activities and give your relationship time to develop its own flow.
8Obsession: Feeling Guilt
When you start to have so many doubts and worries about your relationship, it can start to create a sense of guilt. All the negative thoughts you carry around about your relationship weigh very heavily on you in the long run and can even create or influence depression. You begin to wonder why you can’t be happy with your current partner or if you will ever find the right person for you.
But blaming yourself for relationship problems isn’t always the right move.
You pin all of the blame on yourself for the supposed negative things going on in your relationship. It’s time to let the guilt go and put more confidence into your relationship.
7Compulsion: Always Looking For LOVE
Going into every situation looking for “love” can make dating extremely stressful. There is more to dating and attraction than finding the love of your life. Not all situations have to lead to the love of your life, and in reality, most people don’t realize that love is more of a choice and a commitment than an actual feeling, so looking for it is a huge waste of time.
We date and get to know people because it teaches us a lot about ourselves and what we like. It also helps us learn what we are willing to tolerate in the long run when we are ready to settle down.
6Compulsion: Creating Rules
Having some rules in relationships is okay, and normal, and usually not something that needs a whole lot of discussion because they are just common courtesy. If you spend a lot of time focusing on what rule could solve the problem with an insecurity you may have, you’ll lose focus.
When you start making up rules for your relationship because you have anxiety about what’s going on, then you know it’s reached an unhealthy level.
There’s no reason to set boundaries on who your partner can talk to or how long they can stay out with their friends, especially if you don’t live together. You have to have trust in your relationship and rules don’t give either of you the opportunity to trust each other.
5Obsession: Hearing Outside Negativity
Of course your friends or family will try to warn you if they feel like someone in your life isn’t good for you, but many times the negativity you hear when your obsessing is made up. You might hear a friend say, “He has very long legs!” and in your mind, you begin to go through how people think he looks odd, or maybe you won’t look cute together, or maybe your future baby would get those weird long legs…
But in reality, your friend didn’t mean anything by it other than that person was tall. Make sure you spend your time listening for the good things people say about you and your partner because they will be there too.
4Compulsion: Trying To Avoid Triggers
When you realize that certain activities create obsessive thoughts, you begin to isolate yourself and stay away from activities that you once loved just so you can avoid things that might make you question your relationship.
Holing up to avoid observing other relationships is a surefire sign of relationship OCD.
Things like watching romantic movies, or hanging out with friends that seem to have what you’d call a “perfect relationship” can make you take a second look at your relationship and wonder why you aren’t as happy or in love as everyone else seems to be. Make sure you aren’t hiding from the outside world!
3Compulsion: Seeking Reassurance
There are countless websites and articles that will tell you why its okay to be that girl that needs extra reassurance form your partner. THIS IS WRONG! It is not okay to be insecure and overly needy. This shows a lack of self-confidence, and you should not be dating seriously until you are totally confident in yourself.
Work on healing your soul before you get into a relationship, rather than making your self-care someone else’s responsibility. This is exhausting and depressing for both you and your partner. Your partner will show you that they love you, you don’t need to ask continuously.
2Obsession: Atypical Behavior
One of the things you may begin to notice in a new relationship is that you might start to pick up behaviors that aren’t typical for you. If being jealous isn’t usually a personality trait of yours but it starts to become a huge problem for you and your partner, that’s an issue.
Whether it’s potential issues with your partner or internal struggles, addressing atypical behaviors is important for your relationship.
Whatever you’re overreacting about, understand that this is an obsession that you’re wasting your time on and not necessarily a sign that things are going south.
1Obsession: Extreme Beliefs
When you spend so much time worrying about relationships and feeling constantly betrayed by them, you may start to develop a set of extreme beliefs or rules about dating and interacting with your partner. It will make you emotionally reactive to all of your concerns or give you a block to put up instead of getting close to someone.
Learning to go with the flow is a healthy way to approach this relationship issue. Don’t waste your time on extreme beliefs because you are limiting yourself. After all, there’s a whole world of potentially perfect partners out there to meet.