Love and Obsession: The Ultimate Difference

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Love is an intense feeling of deep affection. It is a healthy mix of emotions consisting of attachment, tenderness, protectiveness and respect for the other person. Obsession on the other hand is a crazy, unhealthy feeling of wanting someone all for yourself and wanting the person to do all you want.

Love is the willingness to prioritize another person’s wellbeing above one’s own, and giving that person the freedom to do what they want because you trust them. Obsession on the other hand is the subconscious attempt to control your partner. Being obsessed means being overly interested in something or someone but it becomes unhealthy when one’s interest becomes compulsive and he or she loses control over it.

The basic difference between love and obsession is that one who is in love with you will acknowledge your differences, and one who is obsessed would want to change you- Aishah Alhassan Click To Tweet

When someone is obsessed and not in love, Mark B. Borg, a Clinical Psychologist and Author of “Relationship Sanity “says the actions they take will most likely be driven by an anxiety that’s caused by their obsession. “In obsession, we take that jumble of mixed or anticipatory anxiety emotions and shift it into our thinking,” he says. If someone has a fear of losing you, that person is going to act in ways that ensure you’re not going to leave him or her. That may include asking for exclusivity or commitment fairly early on in the relationship. More often than not, Dr. Borg says, people are unaware it is happening. They are more likely to associate those anxious feelings of needing someone with love.


Related:15 Quick Ways To Get Over A Breakup


Below are the signs to know if someone is in love with you:

They willingly put you as their top priority.

They always want to see you grow and succeed.

They give you the freedom to do what you want.

They show empathy and stand by you in bad times.

They feel safe with you and trust you wholeheartedly.

They give you all the encouragement/ motivation you need.

These are, however, signs to know if someone  is obsessed with you:

Intense anger when you choose someone over them

Not wanting you to succeed more than them.

It could get worse to the extent of verbal and physical abuse.

Emotional blackmail.

Subconscious attempt to control you.

Manipulation.

Guilt-tripping.


Related: Vox Pop- What is the most polite way to break up with someone you once loved?


The basic difference between love and obsession is that one who is in love with you will acknowledge your differences, and one who is obsessed would want to change you.

It is very easy to confuse obsession for love because obsession mirrors love. However, obsession comes from a place of anxiety and fear. Even if someone does not realize it, that fear will show through their actions. So if your partner’s behaviours are making you feel uncomfortable, have a conversation about it. Sometimes people are just unaware of the things they are doing. Having that open communication can make your relationship healthier.

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