Love vs Obsession: Similarities and Differences

Last Updated on August 9, 2022

Love vs Obsession

Love is a strong emotion that can result in sensations like attachment, passion, infatuation, and crush. It might be difficult to tell the difference between love and obsession, though, at times.

Love is described as “a strong feeling of liking and caring for somebody or something, especially a member of your family or a friend,” and obsession is described as “the state in which a person’s mind is completely filled with thoughts of one particular thing or person in a way that is not normal.” These definitions come from the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary. These definitions show a distinct distinction between the two emotions, although in most cases, love can quickly develop into an obsession.

Many people desire a partner in a relationship who is devoted to them alone, committed, and faithful. However, there is a thin line separating commitment from obsession. How can you tell if your lover is truly in love or merely crazy about you? Fair enough, it’s simple to mix the two together. Most of us begin our romantic relationships with heightened levels of worry and insecurity.

Taking a chance on love is quite risky. You must be able to be open and allow another person in if you want to be in a relationship that is truly emotionally gratifying. Not knowing how your partner feels may be quite frightening for many individuals.

This condition of ambiguity can cause worry, which won’t truly subside until you are certain that your spouse feels the same way about you.

Both partners will be able to express their feelings in a healthy relationship, and the anxiety should subside. However, if the fear persists, it may develop into an obsession. According to specialists, if your lover engages in any of these behaviours, it could not be love but obsession.

What is Love?

Love is a term that encompasses a vast range of emotions and sensations. Love is a powerful emotion of affection in general. We experience a deep emotion toward someone who is dear to us. Love is frequently related to feelings and emotions including attachment, liking, compassion, care, and fondness. You care fervently for someone when you love them. Additionally, you will go above and beyond to help the person you love and will be there for them at all times.

Since it takes time to get to know someone and fall in love with them, falling in love is typically a lengthy process. The majority of us mistakenly interpret our initial physical attraction to someone as love. Furthermore, when we truly love someone, we are able to notice not just their positive traits but also their flaws and weaknesses—and we still choose to be with them in spite of these flaws. Because of this, a person in true love won’t demand perfection from life, but rather will accept that mistakes might be made and seek to improve them. And when you’re with someone you love, you’ll always feel secure and at ease.

What is Obsession?

Obsession is when a persistent, strong notion or feeling takes over one’s mind. We’ll concentrate on obsessive love or desire in this section as we’re talking about the distinction between love and obsession in this post.

When a person feels a deep attraction to another person and becomes obsessed with possessing and protecting that person, that is called obsessive love. Additionally, this person is unwilling to accept defeat or rejection. A person who experiences obsessive love for another person may feel powerless to control extreme behaviours, such as acts of violence against oneself or other people.

In the early stages of a relationship, fixation might resemble love. A partner’s obsession with the other, though, could cause the connection to deteriorate over time and become increasingly strangling. The partner who is obsessed will have a strong desire to spend every day with the subject of their interest. Additionally, he or she will want to know every aspect of their partner’s life, including their partner’s exact location and whom they are with at all times. At this point, negative emotions like excessive envy, mistrust, and paranoia start to seep into the relationship.

The obsessive person may also try to limit the spouse’s interactions with family and friends and try to manage the partner’s life. He or she may also become upset when the partner decides to spend time with friends or family. In a nutshell, the controlling partner will feel the urge to dictate the other’s every thought and deed.

Differences Between Love And Obsession

They move fast in a relationship

When a person is in love, they let the romance develop and grow at its own speed. They won’t rush into formalising their relationship since they want to see how it grows. However, a person who is fixated on you will be frightened of losing you and insist on formalising your relationship. Such behaviour merely demonstrates their need to cling to you and is not indicative of love.

They seek frequent validation

A partner will frequently inquire about your feelings for them. However, it is a sign of obsessive love if your lover frequently asks you what you think about them and seeks your approval. They may view you as a cherished possession that needs to be preserved at all costs since they have previously been damaged in a romantic relationship. In order to feel confident in their role in your life, they frequently want validation.

They display extreme possessiveness

At first, you might find it endearing to watch your lover turn envious every time they catch you with someone else. Possessiveness is a natural component of love. However, it is a sign of an overly possessive relationship if they start spying on you, look through your phone, and become upset when you speak to someone else. That is an addiction, not love; they are so frightened of losing you that they view everyone else as a rival.

They stalk you online and even in real life

Your partner loves you and enjoys surprising you if they ever show up outside your office without telling you. But if your lover comes by your workplace frequently and even hangs out there just to watch you, they are fascinated with you. They may even track you online and become enraged whenever a member of the opposite sex likes or comments on your uploads.

They guilt-trip you for their benefit

When a couple realises they are not compatible in a relationship, breakups are common. However, a compulsive lover is incapable of handling rejection. They will become upset if you tell them you need a break from them. When you ask them to end your relationship, they will threaten to hurt themselves if you ever decide to leave them. It is difficult to get away from their devoted adoration.


People who are obsessed believe they are in true love, but healing them requires both individual and communal work. A psychotherapist may be able to help with obsession because it is considered a mental health condition.

Love is a heartfelt, uplifting emotion that helps people have a positive outlook on life. Even though they are intimate feelings, obsession and love should not be mistaken, and early signs like low self-esteem should be taken note of and addressed.

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