Obsessive love

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Obsessive love is a hypothetical state in which one person feels an overwhelming obsessive desire to possess another person toward whom they feel a strong attraction, with an inability to accept failure or rejection.[citation needed] Such a state should be differentiated from relationship obsessive–compulsive disorder (ROCD) that commonly includes doubts regarding one's own feelings towards an intimate partner, preoccupation with the partner’s feelings towards oneself, doubts about the rightness of the relationship and preoccupation with the perceived flaws of the partner.[citation needed] For most of history, "obsessive love" was considered as a type of perseverance, but in the late 20th century, love simpliciter was suggested to be a mental disorder.[according to whom?][citation needed] Although not categorized specifically under any specific mental diagnosis by the DSM IV, some people argue that obsessive love is considered to be a mental illness similar to "attachment disorder, borderline personality disorder, and erotomania." [Peabody][citation needed] Obsessive lovers may feel entirely unable to restrain themselves from extreme behaviors such as acts of violence toward themselves.[citation needed] They may be entirely convinced that their feelings are love, and may reject the idea that their severe obsession is not love.[citation needed] Obsessive love has been frequently used and/or exaggerated in mass media, often with a woman having such affections for a man in either a comical or terrifying fashion.[citation needed]


  • Arterburn, Stephen (1991). When You Love Too Much: Walking the Road to Healthy Intimacy (First ed.). Regal Books. ISBN 978-0830735143. 
  • Belton, Monique; Bailey, Eileen (2011). The Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love. Alpha. ISBN 978-1615640904. 
  • Forward, Susan; Buck, Craig (1991). Obsessive Love. Bantam Books. ASIN B002A42ETE. 
  • Hall, Jim (2010). Surviving Withdrawal: The Break Up Workbook for Love Addicts. 
  • Hodgkinson, Liz (1991). Obsessive Love: How to Free Your Emotions and Live Again. Piatkus Books. ISBN 978-0749911058. 
  • Moore, John D (2013) [2006]. Confusing Love with Obsession: When Being in Love Means Being in Control. Hazelden Publishing. ISBN 9781592859641. 
  • Peabody, Susan (1995) [1989]. Addiction to Love: Overcoming Obsession and Dependency in Relationships (illustrated, reprint, revised ed.). Ten Speed Press. ISBN 9780890877159. 
  • Schaef, Anne Wilson (1989). Escape from Intimacy: Untangling the "Love" Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships (First printing ed.). HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0062548603.