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Attraction to Obsession

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by superawesomeme, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. superawesomeme

    superawesomeme Well-Known Member

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    This has probably been posted so many times before by others, but a quick, lazy scan of the bored bore no fruit, so I figured I'd post it.

    The problem is going from attraction to obsession, faster than the speed of light.

    I used to think it was love at first sight, but it's more likely just a hormonal reaction releasing dopamine and flooding my mental reward centre.

    Anyway, for the most part I can see someone reasonably attractive, maybe think about them for a bit, do some light Instagram stalking, then move on.

    Then there are the ones! The ones I can't stop thinking about. They may be a store assistant, someone at the gym or just someone who catches my eye. In an instant I go from "he's cute" to "omg it's destiny, he's the one, I need to find out everything about him and make him love me!"

    I even tell myself I'm not going to do it, but my brain doesn't listen to me. Before I know it I will have stalked their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, collected data on their schooling, employment history, friends, family, hobbies, interests, eating habits, everything...

    Then I will subconsciously construct a fictitious version of the person in my head with all of the qualities they do have and all of the qualities I want them to have. Filtering out any qualities that don't fit with my ideal or could prove to be an obstacle.

    The fantasy version of that person then consumes my thoughts. I can't think about anything else. I'm constantly distracted by thoughts of them and inventing different scenarios in which we could have a relationship. I'm like a teenage girl fawning over a popstar.

    A simple like on an Instagram post will feel like the world has stopped for a moment. "OMG he liked my post. That means he likes me and he's thinking about me." If he initiates a conversation, however basic or dull, he might as well have rearranged the stars to say "marry me!".

    This happens a lot. And the higher you climb, the harder you fall...

    "He hasn't text back. It's been over an hour. He hates me. OMG what have I done? I had better text him and apologise."

    He says he's fine, he's just busy. "Phew. He doesn't hate me. But know he thinks I'm clingy and pushy and I'll push him away. I need to play hard to get, but how will he know I'm into him?!"

    And so plays out the one man soap opera of crazy in my head. Before I know it, I'm assessing the pros and cons of our relationship. A relationship that doesn't exist. I'm analysing every tweet, post and silence. I'm feeling crushed by the burden of my emotions and I can't understand why they don't feel the same way.

    Every sensible bone in my body says "Stay away! What are you doing? Nothing good can come of this!" yet still I am fixated. Letting the obsessive thoughts infect my concentration and drive me insane.

    HELP?! What tips does anyone have to stop these obsessions? How can I move on and break this cycle?
     
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  2. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    Ah, the ones. I still vividly remember this fruit vendor I saw at a marketplace in a tiny Norwegian fishing village 16 years ago. He was without a doubt one of the most handsome men I've ever seen. I'm glad social media stalking wasn't an option back then...

    But on to present day. It's problematic when attraction turns to obsession, it can start consuming you. Not to mention it can make the object of your obsession incredibly uncomfortable. In this age of social media and constant external validation, it's really easy to give in to the temptation to check up on said person and to put too much value into these "likes". As hard as it is, your best bet is to disengage. Take a few steps back, unfollow/hide/snooze them, and refrain from checking on their social media. This way you'll at least stop feeding your obsession.
     
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  3. superawesomeme

    superawesomeme Well-Known Member

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    That's what I want to do, but it's so hard to control myself. It's an addiction and the only way I can get temporary relief is by going on social media and looking at a photo. Then as soon as that brief release of dopamine fades away, I fall into a well of self pity and depression.

    This must be what it's like for people struggling with alcohol, cigarette or drug addiction. I'm not making light of those conditions, just saying I'm trapped in a cycle of reward, regret and despair.
     
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  4. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    Lol you have me :D:D:D:D:D:p:p:p:p over this thread.

    I am reading about me, but marriage has helped to curtail it. And my faith.

    The first boy I ever had a twinkle in the eye for, was my next door neighbour and if the internet had been around then, I would have "stalked" him on there, despite the fact that he was next door! I felt really: he is a god and I am a nothing; he will never even look at me. The reality was though. I was a child and he was a teen and thus, lol he would just think me a cute kid.

    My next one, was a guy in school and how you describe it, is how I lived it, but there was no internet and thus, I remember ( shake my head :rolleyes:) penning a valentine card, pouring out my heart to him and went to my desk and it was like time stood still. There, in my desk was a card FROM HIM. I read it and I was starry eyed and felt like tiny little love hearts were floating around me lol and then: bang! I was abuptly faced with a girl laughing in glee at me. Got you, she said! Do you think he would look at you even once? It was a joke, I put the card there. In truth, my first thought was: how can I kill her and get away with it! :mad:

    I even got my second sister to call him and fess up for me and he insisted on talking to me and told me that he looks forward to seeing me in school ( I know, why get my sister to phone? I have no idea. I was scared). So, there I was, dreaming about our romantic encounter and got to school and had to face facts, that he had his eye on my best friend. Oh that was painful indeed!

    There used to be something called: the cb radio. Walkie talkie basically and I was fascinated by this and actually got to talk to quite a few people and then, obsession started with one guy and I did not even know what he looked like and he refused for us to meet. But I was "so in love with him". I would hold my pillow and dream in my mind's eye about him.

    I also had a deep shame for being attracted to someone. It was like. You have no right to have romantic feelings, because you are a no body.
     
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  5. superawesomeme

    superawesomeme Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly how I've felt about everyone I've ever been infatuated with. The last guy I dated was, in my eyes, absolutely perfect. The first time I saw him it was just as you described with the cartoon love hearts and pounding chest. It was as if he had come from Mount Olympus itself. He was a lifeguard at a pool in a neighbouring town where I'd take my goddaughter some times and was 10 years younger than me. I looked up at him from the water and thought "How could anyone be this perfect?" followed by "What are you thinking? He'd never be interested in you!"

    Well, this went on for several weeks and after some basic detective work, having only his first name and a town to go on, I found his Facebook profile. I sent a friend request, it was accepted, then... He sent me a message! :eek:

    "Who's this?" OMG, what do I say? "It's your friendly neighbourhood stalker!" - probably not the best reply, so I just went with some nonsense about him looking familiar and being in my suggested friends list.

    He replied. He'd had his eye on me too, said he'd seen me there for the past several weeks and next time I'm there I should say hi.

    We continued to chat online and arranged to meet up but the day before our date he cancelled citing an excuse that things were moving too fast.

    We then had a rollercoaster 3 year friendship, exclusively online, of falling out and making up, conflicting stories of why he couldn't meet me, sometimes he'd claim he was in a relationship (no evidence of this has ever been seen), then he'd be coming on to me. It was so confusing.

    He moved to a different part of the country for university and invited me to visit. I did. We had a nice time but I was my usual, autistically awkward self and he constantly flipped between wanting to share his world with me and being cold and emotionless.

    Following that our relationship started to break down again. He would ignore me for days at a time and be too busy for me until eventually he stopped responding altogether.

    Now I'm just left with an Instagram account to follow and a broken heart. It's been 4 years since I last heard from him and he's still so perfect in my eyes. I think about him constantly and my mind has fixated on those three, less-than-perfect days together, to create a glamourised and romantic narrative for our friendship like a modern day Romeo and Juliet.

    The person I'm "in love" with isn't real. I know that. It's a fantasy projected onto a real person who doesn't deserve to be deified and worshipped quite to the level he has been. But how do I move on without replacing that obsession with another?
     
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  6. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I fell in love when I was 19 and we had a two and half year relationship and it was 19, when our relationship became very intimate; so for a year, we were just being affectionate.

    It took me around 12 year's after we last saw each other, to realise that I no longer loved him and just in 2016, he contacted me through facebook and I was so confused, but one thing I realised, was that indeed no longer love him, which was very cleansing to me. I remember the point when I knew my feelings had changed. I had this mental image of me in desparate way and all I wanted was the one man that could be there for me iin this time of need and who ever opened that figurative door, is the one I love. All this was sheer mental process going on and of all things, I was vacumming lol. So, I closed my eyes briefly and the first man to pop into my mind's eye, was my husband ( what a blessing lol) and then I knew I no longer loved my ex. And actually, I had not connected the two, but it all started really, when I stopped dreaming of him, but I had not realised and it was that moment of knowledge that I no longer loved him, that I thought: ahhh, so it was when I stopped dreaming about him.

    I would create all these scenarios of what would take place if I accidently bumped into him and then, what seemed out of no where, I get this message with: hello Suzanne, how are you doing? I mean: after 30 odd years and he starts with that lol I saw the photo, but it really did not look like the image I had of him and so, I checked his profile and was just so blown away and confused, because of how much he remembered about me, which was thrilling and disconcerting all in one.

    He wanted to continue the association, but I said that it was just not possible and besides, I doubt my husband would be happy with me chatting with my first intensive relationship. He got back and said he respects my decision, but at least we know that if we ever need each other, we are there for each other and I had to laugh, since he had not been in my life for 30 years and I have gone through hell and surviving without him.

    I was a little upset that he kept his word of not contacting me, but good on him for not.
     
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  7. pjcnet

    pjcnet Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I was in my late teens I ended up like that, before this I was simply unable to respond to girls at all no matter how much I wanted to even though I had some chase me including some I really liked at the time. I however honestly didn't know it was wrong to be so obsessive at the time, in fact I truly believed that a girl would be impressed by my dedication, but I now know much better. If the person you're attracted to finds out this kind of obsessive behaviour is only likely to frighten them away in a really negative way whether they might have been otherwise interested back or not, especially when you're chasing a girl / woman (as I once found out the hard way when I was in the sixth form at school, there was no such thing as social media back then, but I still found out everything about her including even her lesson timetable so I could "accidentally" run into her). The problem is these days laws have clamped down, in the UK at least there's now new anti-stalking laws and if you go out of your way to watch and obtain information about someone to obsess you could fall into that category if you're not really careful, okay you'd probably get treated leniently because it's an autistic trait that often can't be easily controlled, but rightly or wrongly you could still potentially end up in trouble if you're not careful. As I got a little older I still got overly obsessed and it didn't do me any favours, but I didn't do anything that could be considered as stalking today as I later knew that it wasn't appropriate.

    The problem with myself is since I left school I've always been attracted to "bad" and/or "hard" women that are likely to cause me a lot of issues, I've even rejected nice women, including one that I know really loved me, I knew she was good for me and I really wanted to like her back, but no matter how much I tried there just wasn't anything there and I ended up hurting her in the end when I ultimately had to break up with her which made me feel really guilty (I know better than to try to force it now). To cut a long story short, my last relationship was with a woman with extreme issues and it was of course extremely destructive, I obsessively liked her as soon as I met her and even though I'd learnt to handle it better, it still kept me going back to her for a couple of years despite all the horrible s**t I went through that even sometimes involved violence against me. For the last 15 years I've remained single and I've actually been happier that way (I'm now 48).

    Regarding stopping obsessions, well I don't know if it can be done, with myself I think I mainly grew up and learnt to control them better, that said if I could have opened up like I can now back then I think counselling might have helped. Even if you end up in a relationship, being too obsessive can push your partner away and if you fear losing someone too much it can also actually cause you to ultimately lose them. It's just something I had to learn to overcome over time, although I still didn't master it. With myself however things were a lot more complex due to the type of woman I ultimately ended up with and since then I've learned to block out any thoughts of serious attraction completely.

    PS: Yes I would also have a fantasy version of the person that I would play out much better scenarios with in my head than what would normally happen, I assumed this was something everyone does, not just people on the autistic spectrum, but I most likely did it a lot more to obsess. I can't properly visualise a person's face in my head however and this is something I wanted to do with someone I was attracted to, I later found out that this is an autistic trait, but not all aspies have this issue (I can't even visualise what my mother looks like, at most I may get a very quick flash that will be forgotten again shortly afterwards).
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  8. superawesomeme

    superawesomeme Well-Known Member

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    I've definitely made some questionable decisions in the past and I'm not going to deny that. I think maturity has helped to restrain my actions as I've gotten older and I'm able to prevent myself from crossing the line into "stalker" territory.

    There is certainly a massive grey area here though. I mean where do you draw the line if someone has made all of their private information, photos and thoughts available online. Even if it's not public, if they accept your friend request and grant you access to it all, then how do you decide when following becomes stalking?

    I'm not defending any of my actions. Just saying that it is hard to respect the boundaries in an increasing more "social" world and restraining yourself from finding out more information on people you're interested in, especially if you're on the spectrum.

    It's like being an alcoholic at a free bar.
     
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  9. pjcnet

    pjcnet Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think it often depends how you act on the information and how much you have to go out of your way to obtain it in the first place. When I was in my teens and I started learning the class timetable of a girl I became obsessive about so I could "accidentally" keep running into her, that crossed the line into stalking. If I'd just learnt what classes she attended without going out of my way to follow her, then as long as she didn't find out and I took no further action it wouldn't have been an issue, but this is still considered obsessive as this information isn't something a person would normally obtain and specifically remember about someone else. Similarly just finding out information about the person online and keeping up to date with their social media info they openly share with you is unlikely to cause an issue on it's own as long as the information really is easily and openly obtainable without it drawing any attention to yourself, but if you had to go out of your way to find out information that wasn't usually available or if you for instance started specifically trying to contact and befriend everyone the person knew or had ever contacted in order to gain additional information about the person this would be crossing the line into stalking, the person could potentially discover what you're doing and it would most likely cause them a lot of embarrassment and probably also distress, then even if there was a chance it would totally destroy it.

    In summary, feel free to browse things like their Facebook page or anything else openly shared, but be careful how you use any information obtained and don't go out of your way to try to discover any additional information that isn't normally available. It would be great if you had the confidence to simply ask the person you're interested in out rather than hiding away in the shadows (something I really struggled to do when I was younger), but if they say "no" you also need to have to discipline to then back off and move on even though you'd obviously be upset at the time. Backing down after being rejected can also be a really difficult thing to do when you're obsessive over someone, it can still go through your head that they might change their mind and that you shouldn't give up, but if you ask them out more than twice it can again start crossing the line (some people will argue once). You have to be careful as there is a fine line, but unless the person gave you a very negative reaction I believe it's worth a 2nd attempt after leaving it some time, but never a 3rd attempt, I say this because my late Grandad was turned down the 1st time he asked my Nan out and ended up happily married for over 60 years.

    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
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  10. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member

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    Worded so well for me. I wish I had read this 2 years ago! It might've stopped me from learning the hard way for this. I hit this gray area. If you're a victim in a gray area that bothers you, you need to be honest with the person 1-1 and tell them what they are doing to you is hurting you. If you are the unintentional perpetrator and realize what you're doing to the person, try to meet them in-person and tell them what you're doing wrong and how you want to try to fix your mistakes. If you reply with this online, things could get quite miscontrued.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  11. Bella Pines

    Bella Pines Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Well firstly, this is such as aspie thing. I do it all the time. I stalk people on the internet and fantasize about what our children would look like, play conversations in my head, figure out what they like and try to become that. It took me ages to realize that the fantasies in my head didn't always line up with the outside world. I've had full blown relationships in my head and been married and divorced many times without the other party ever even meeting me (or actually being real).

    And yes I realize that may sound psychotic to neurotypicals! But in real life I have been happily married for nearly 20 years with 2 kids so have never had a restraining order slapped on me...

    Secondly, you speak like this is a bad thing, like you need to stop or defend yourself, hell no! It's part of our charm! The aspie life is usually so meh and nonreactive that it's nice to have a bit of drama, even if it is only in our heads.

    So my solution? To become a writer! My gosh the scenes in my head are sometimes so real I will actually cry, if I can somehow bring a practical slant to my flights of fancy then I could actually make a wonderfully enjoyable career out of it. So in a few years, when the kids are a bit older, I'll give up the day job and start writing. :oops::eek::rolleyes:
     
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  12. pjcnet

    pjcnet Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's only really okay if you're not upsetting anyone else and it depends what you mean by "stalk" as even online stalking can have a detrimental effect on people, if not and you like fantasising then that's fine. I do like your solution of becoming a writer and if you get the time you could always try it in your spare time while still in your day job as it's then risk free.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  13. Dorkasour

    Dorkasour Active Member

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    This describes me to a T! I was diagnosed with O.C.D 5-6 years ago and there is not a time I am not obsessing over someone. I've managed to mask it and look like I am a normal person but it's hard to resist acting on it (hence the compulsion part of the O.C.D). I feel like this might be different than you though? I am just a obsessive person.
     
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  14. Jane Smith

    Jane Smith Well-Known Member

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    Oh god I think this happens to a lot of people, actually.

    I am head over heels for someone right now and they're all I think about. I hate it! Stopped looking at all of their social media to stop it. It helps, but meh...I dunno. It's rough.
     
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  15. Vandraren

    Vandraren New Member

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    I can really relate to this. Usually when I have a crush it would last for a year or two and it's very intensive, like I think I've found "the one". Usually when it dissipates (after I've done nothing to move things forward), I realize how wrong I was and how incompatible we may actually be.