7 Signs You Have an Unhealthy Obsession With Your Crush or Significant Other
Crushes are great, aren't they?
Your stomach is full of butterflies when you see your crush in the halls, you practice your best cursive while looping their name with yours, you think about them day and night and tape pictures of their face all over your walls—
Beginning to suspect that your crush is turning into, well, an obsession?
We spoke with The Love Doctor, Terri Orbuch, who shared tips on how to spot an unhealthy obsession, beginning with what defines the term.
"An obsession is when someone or a relationship takes over your life and you are not able to function or do your regular activities," Terri said. "We know that everyone, when they first fall in love [or start crushing], becomes a little bit obsessed—but if it continues and it begins to take over your life, it's an obsession."
If you think you or a friend may be headed in an unhealthy direction, keep reading to spot the signs of obsession:
1. Using the Crush to Avoid Personal Insecurities
Terri tells us that we tend to turn obsessive with a crush when we're feeling self-conscious.
"I think psychologically sometimes it means that you need others to define who you are," she said. "So I think if people are feeling insecure, people are not confident, people have an issue in some part of their life, then this person or this relationship replaces that. So if I don't feel good about myself, I use you as a boyfriend to define who I am, to tell me I'm a good person, a pretty person, a smart person. I think often times it's because we become dependent on others to define us."
While obsessions can occur with an S.O., insecurities can also influence a person we're crushing on in private. Even though this crush might not be providing us with confidence, we may still use them to avoid our problems.
"That crush keeps time away from me defining myself, me figuring out who I am, me being real with real people," Terri explained. "So sometimes we fall in love and are obsessed with someone and they have no idea that we even exist (like a celebrity), and I think what that does is takes us away from who and what we need to do for ourselves. If I'm not feeling good about myself and I have this crush, I don't need to deal, I don't have to manage my real friends or interact with my real family or figure out why I'm sad on a Saturday afternoon."
Basically, using this obsession as an avoidance technique is your first red flag.
2. The Honeymoon Phase Doesn't Fade Out
As we noted at the beginning of this post, almost every instance of love begins with obsession. We just can't help it! But as time passes by and we begin to find some flaws or have some arguments, that phase should naturally fade away to some extent. And if it doesn't, there's a problem.
Terri says we "physically can't handle and we cannot continue with [being entirely consumed with a person] because it invades and overwhelms our life, and we're not able to make good decisions. We're not able to go back to normal life. We're not able to take our exams or go with our friends to the movies or talk to our mom. If that continues, then it isn't good."
3. You Consistently Bail On Your Friends
"I think one of the most common and easy-to-see signs is that your friendships are suffering," Terri said. "You bail on plans with your other friends because this person might call, they might ask you out, they might come over. You begin to withdraw from your friends and family."
She goes on to say that with an obsession, these broken plans aren't just happening on occasion.
"I don't mean just like, I don't see my friends as much anymore except at school or I used to go out on Saturday nights with my girlfriends and now I go out with him," she said. "I mean you totally bail on your friends consistently, you're rude to them, and it's not because you're going to go out, it's because he might call you, he might text you."
4. You Never Ever Miss a Text or Call
Prioritizing your S.O. is one thing, but dropping everything else in your life to answer a form of their communication is another thing entirely.
"You never miss a call from them, you pick up after the first ring, you always have your phone next to you," Terri explained. "It doesn't matter if you're in the middle of something with friends, you stop doing whatever it is and you answer the call. You run out of a movie theater, you stop talking to a friend. I think all of that is a sign that this person is invading your life."
5. You Accept Last Minute Invites
Every once in a while, this is fine to do, as spontaneity can be a great thing—but eventually last minute invites are indicative of something else.
"If invites consistently occur at the last minute, and you drop everything else and accept them, that means that this person is invading and overwhelming your life," Terri said.
6. You Never Get Upset With Them, Even When You Should
"I think disagreements and being upset are very common parts of a relationship," Terri explained. "There are always going to be times when you say I wish you'd do this or I'm upset when you do this. Those are natural things in a relationship. But never getting mad, never getting upset, never saying that this person has been disrespectful, means that you're swallowing your emotions."
7. You're Constantly Obsessing Over Their Happiness
While many of these warning signs affect your other personal relationships, this sign points inward.
"It's almost like you feel guilty when you're busy and they call and you can't do something with them," Terri said. "You feel responsible for making sure they're okay and they have something to do and that they have friends. It's not empathy, it's more like feeling responsible totally for who and what they are as well. So if they call at the last minute, you feel guilty because you're going out with your friends or you're constantly thinking about their happiness."
This may sound like something a "good" S.O. would have on their mind, but it goes further.
"Again, it's not helping them deal with life obstacles, it's them invading your thoughts so you're obsessed with them in your thoughts," she said. "Their well being, their happiness, time, schedule, everything. I think it's important to remember that you can't be the only one for them, that they still have to have other friends and activities, and they can't be the only person for you either."
Realizing you have an unhealthy relationship or crush can be devastating. If you're in need of some coping advice, click HERE to learn how to handle feeling emotionally overwhelmed.