Causes Of Obsessive Love
I have already written about OBSESSIVE LOVE DISORDER on this site (click here to read my article) and, in this article, I intend to examine its likely causes in a little more depth :
LACK OF RESPONSE FROM THE OBJECT OF OBSESSIVE LOVE :
Individuals who fall victim to feelings of obsessive love tend to focus these feelings on a person who is obviously UNAVAILABLE (e.g. has a different sexual orientation or is in a happy and devoted relationship with someone else).
This means the object of obsessive love is likely to be, at best, indifferent to the attentions s/he receives from his/her ardent admirer. Indeed, it is thought to be this very lack of response from the object of obsessive love towards the one afflicted by the obsession that is largely responsible for fueling and perpetuating the obsession. But why should this be?
The answer to this seems to be that because the admirer’s deep feelings remain utterly unreciprocated and no relationship develops, the only way the admirer can have a ‘relationship’ with the admired one is IN HIS/HER OWN HEAD (i.e. a FANTASY RELATIONSHIP).
And, of course, a fantasy relationship (i.e. one that exists only in imagination) can be an IDEAL RELATIONSHIP, something that could never happen in reality (because, of course, no relationship between two people can possibly be ideal and perfect ; most, in fact, are very far from it).
WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE PRONE TO DEVELOPING FEELINGS OF OBSESSIVE LOVE?
The type of person who develops feelings of obsessive love tends to be, or perceive him/herself to be, an OUTSIDER and one who DOES NOT ‘BELONG.’ Such a person may be on the fringes of society and feel both unfulfilled in life and vulnerable.
A further characteristic of such people is frequently that they have severely weakened ‘ego-boundaries’ which means that they have a very poor concept of their own identity as a unique and separarte individual (click here to read my article about how the experience of childhood trauma may lead to us having a poor sense of our own identity in adult life).
It follows, therefore, that falling obsessively in love can be a desperate attempt to ‘belong’; in fact, one way to view it is as an attempt to ‘merge’ with the other person in an unconscious attempt to make them ‘part of us’, so that we can feel what they feel and obtain a vicarious sense of identity – a desire for the self and the object of obsessive love to ‘become one’.
This is an intense, primal need (which can be, one theory suggests, due to a dysfunctional relationship with our primary care-giver during our very early development leading to a lack of healthy bonding) we failed to have fulfilled for us when very young. This is thought to be why it is so intensely painful when the object of obsessive love remains resolutely indifferent to, and unreciprocating of, our ardent yearnings.
Developing feelings of obsessive love can, then, be seen as a type of REGRESSION (i.e. a return to a childlike state).
OTHER POSSIBLE CAUSES OF OBSESSIVE LOVE :
More research needs to be conducted on the causes of obsessive love, but, as well as thepossible causes referred to above, other contributory factors are currently thought to include :
– having a distant father when we were a child
– a lack of emotional support in general when we were a child
– absence of a parent when we were a child (e.g. because of divorce)
– death of a parent when we were a child
– role-reversal when we were a child (e.g. as a child, we had to ‘act as a parent’ to our mentally ill mother – a position I myself was in)
– rejection as a child by parent/s
THE REPETITION COMPULSION :
If we were rejected by those who were supposed to care for us when we were children, it is a well accepted psychological phenomenon that WE UNCONSCIOUSLY SEEK TO REPEAT THE EXPERIENCE OF REJECTION WE SUFFERED DURING OUR CHILDHOOD (in a desperate attempt, again unconsciously, to gain ‘mastery’ over the feelings of utter devastation that it originally engendered in us).
Therefore, those who fall victim to painful feelings of obsessive love often have a profoundly entrenched perception of themselves as unworthy and essentially unlovable; such an abject self-view has been conditioned, frequently, by their unhappy childhood experiences.
Dealing with obsessive love self-hypnosis download CLICK HERE.
Dealing with unrequited love self-hypnosis download CLICK HERE
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).