Love is such an overwhelming and intense feeling that it is usually difficult to recognize where its limits lie. When this happens, hormones in our brain start flooding the nervous system in a very different way than before, and a new way of looking at things takes control of what we do, what we believe and what. that we say.
That’s why it’s not easy recognize the differences between a person’s love and obsession. The two experiences share many elements, but confusing them can be very damaging to both our social life and our own emotional health.
Learn to recognize feelings
Emotional intelligence it consists, among other things, in knowing how to detect the types of emotions and feelings that affect us in our daily life, and to act accordingly with this private “diagnosis”. It is a skill that is increasingly emphasized by new educational models, but unfortunately adults are not exempt from the problems posed by the lack of skills in this class of abilities.
Confusing love with obsession, for example, is very common, And in many cases, we even come to believe that true love has the manic characteristics of the second element. As if the obsession was more love than love itself.
Either way, an idealized and highly toxic view of romantic love can distort this concept so much that the pain and angst produced by this type of relationship is seen as a positive thing, part of the sacrifice. which is done, suppose it is to love. But this problem disappears if one knows and understands the differences between obsession and love, which are numerous and very relevant.
Main differences between love and obsession
These keys to distinguishing these psychological phenomena can help to have a much richer and more fulfilling emotional life and, incidentally, to avoid toxic relationships.
1. Jealousy Vs. Respect for other people’s space
When someone feels love for someone, they do so by embracing the idea that the other person’s life is entirely theirs, and therefore nor does it aim to interfere in what the other is doing. This, in turn, has another consequence: as what the other person does is the other person’s responsibility, it makes no sense to monitor their movements or try to put barriers on their freedom.
Instead, if you feel an obsession with someone, the other person becomes an issue that you think is yours. It makes jealousy appear.
2.reification of the other vs. humane treatment
In obsession, each member of the couple is understood as the property of the other, which gives rise to very harmful paradoxes: who has the right to decide what the other should do, in what contexts?
In love, on the other hand, we never lose sight of the fact that the other is a human being, like the others, and that you must enjoy your rights and freedoms in their everyday life. Therefore, unilateral charges cannot be accepted as normal.
3. Illness vs. realism
Where there is an obsession with a person, there is the idea that the relationship with him is predestined to be exclusive; in other words, that no matter what the people involved want, they have to create some kind of emotional bunker between the two and never get out of it.
In love, on the other hand, the vision we have of loyalty makes much more sense, As it is not based so much on exclusivity “by standard” as on honesty and transparency. Here everyone is committed, but it is assumed that there is no unbreakable rule of what the relationship should be, as it is entirely up to the people who make it up.
4. Based on low self-esteem vs. Relationship-based
In obsession, the other is seen as something that we lack and without which it is difficult to live. In other words, the reason for the relationship one seeks to have with someone is largely low self-esteem.
In love, on the other hand, the other person it’s seen as something that completes us.
5. Look for replacements vs. acceptance
When a love story falls apart, after a stage of mourning comes acceptance.
In case of obsession, however, acceptance may take a long time to arrive, Or it may not even happen, especially if you don’t have psychological help.
6. Blame the other vs. take responsability
Another big difference between obsession and love is that in the former case, the other’s lack of interest is used as a weapon against her, and often emotional blackmail is attempted to make him feel guilty. This is not the case with love, for it is understood that no one has the right to condition our freedom in this way.
7. Empathy Vs. Stuck Facing Problems
Where there is love, relationship problems are solved through empathy and communication. Instead, people who obsess over other people try to create a fiction that allows them to see everything stay the same, without having to face the root of the problem, for fear of losing control of the situation.