Age is no barrier when it comes to obsessive love. Has it ever happened to you? There are those who toe the line and are able to avoid the murky waters of obsession by identifying its symptoms. Perhaps, the most simple and trite example is found in 500 Days Of Summer, the story of a guy who falls passionately in love with a woman who doesn't believe true love exists, and must content himself by remembering the memories of their failed relationship. He deludes himself into believing that Summer is "The One," and when the relationships falls into pieces, he loses his job, stops hanging out with his friends, and stops meeting new people. It may be an offbeat romantic comedy, but we all cringe a bit on the inside because we see ourselves in the protagonist; we've all been in his heartbroken shoes one way or another.
Obsession is torture and a sick, self-destructive emotion that camouflages itself as love and devotion. It is up to you to identify the symptoms and see whether you've crossed the line and if there's no going back.
1. If you're in love, then you can be separated and happy. When you're obsessed, you crave their company and want to be near them all the time.
At the start of a relationship it is normal to want to be together all the time. As time goes by, you learn to let go and understand that as independent individuals your time and theirs will coincide and sometimes it won't. When you are unable to accept and respect the space of the other, then you know you're in the deep end.
2. You stalk them and you justify it by saying you're in love.
If you want to know what they're doing, who they're seeing, texting, and talking all the time, then you've adopted the stalker persona. We have once again come full circle by talking about individuality. Healthy couples know they have each other and that respecting their space is a must. If you can't accept that, then certainly your future will be dominated by crippling insecurities where love and obsession will be irreparably mixed.
3. Keeping tabs on them
Typical situation: it's 9pm and you haven't called your girlfriend. You call her but the moment she answers, you ask her: "where are you?" You don't care how her day went and anything new that is happening in her life, you are so immersed in your insecurities you can't look beyond that.
4. When you love, you share, and when you're obsessed, you want it all.
We all have friends, and it is important to spend quality time with them. If you impose limits and boundaries, then you're overstepping the boundaries that should exist in a couple.
5. You are crippled by doubt and you can't do anything on your own.
You are so crippled by insecurities you have to hold someone else's hand to do everything. You cannot cling to another person as you go about your daily life. This dependency can slowly creep on you. When you need the other person like a lifeline, you must take a step back and evaluate your behavior and the conditions of your relationship.
6. When you love, you share, when you're obsessed, you want to possess.
You cannot possess love; you can only share it. If you wish to control every situation and movement, then you'll end up frustrated, which will increase your insecurities. Life is a series of unexpected events, some of them unwanted, others a pleasure to experience. The same occurs with a relationship.
7. When you're obsessed, you want everything to revolve around you.
If you cannot accept, under any circumstance, that your partner makes plans without you, then you need to have a deep moment of introspection. You are not a deity, and people don't have to pay homage to you. You share precious moments, but you cannot force your way into every single plan and commitment the other person may have.
8. When you're in love, jealousy is a tame animal, while it becomes a beast under the care of an obsessed person.
Moderate jealousy is healthy in relationships, and a healthy person can process this feeling and discard it soon after. However, if you're obsessed, then this feeling will fester and make you act in irrational ways.
As you may have realized, true love recognizes the other person as an independent individual with their own rights, objectives, dreams, and desires. Love is respect and a pillar that sustains two people together. Love allows you to reach your goals in the company of a person that admires and respects you. Obsession is a selfish act that not only hurts the other person, but yourself as well. If you can understand this divide, then your love life can be filled with as much peace and tranquility as possible.