Photo by Michael Alfons

So you want to know how to stop obsessing over someone, because that person in your life is constantly on your mind.

And you’re worried that it’s maybe getting a little out of hand…?

Because it’s become so prevalent in your mind, you might even have a hard time feeling motivated to do anything else.

I’m here to help you put a STOP to your agony.

(That’s assuming this is a one-sided love, and you’re sure he’s not fighting his feelings for you.)

And we’ll do that by answering the following:

  • What causes you to obsess over someone
  • What the signs of obsession are
  • What it means when you can’t stop obsessing over someone
  • And finally, how to stop obsessing over someone

Let’s get started.

What Causes You to Obsess Over Someone?

What causes you to obsess over someone is quite simply a NEED for safety and control.

Now, what do I mean by that?

Well, when there are countless factors in our lives that are out of our control, they make us feel powerless or helpless…

And obsessing over someone provides a form of the perfect escape.

Because the obsession is happening in your head, not reality.

And it’s a place in which you can imagine yourself and the person you obsess about, in a perfectly safe and controlled world.

A place with little risk of being hurt.

This is one of the reasons why you can’t stop thinking about him or her, and why it can feel SO GOOD and addictive.

It’s especially true, when you love them from afar, but more on that in a minute.

First, let’s cover…

What Are Signs of Obsession? – 12 Signs

While you can be obsessed with someone, it’s important to keep in mind that there are DEGREES of how obsessed you are.

The more intense your degree of obsession, the more of the signs will fit for you.

Before you dive in, give yourself a pat on the back for acknowledging that you’re dealing with obsessive behavior and are brave enough to face that!

We’re all human, and obsessing over someone for a period is not as rare a phenomenon as you might think.

It’s not just you.

Even though we’re talking about a particular individual in your life here…

Consider that, billions of people in this world obsess over actors and high-profile people that they will never even get a chance to meet, let alone talk to.

Your situation is probably about a person who’s actually in your life.

Now, here are the 12 signs of obsession:

1. You obsessively think about them

Yes, this is the most obvious sign of obsession.

And it’s when you obsessively think about someone in the morning, throughout your day, and before you fall asleep.

They live in your head rent-free and occupy most of it.

Whatever headspace remains untouched by them is reserved for basic tasks to keep your life running.

Like eating, sleeping and turning up to a job if you have to.

If you’re this type of character, you maybe you also generally find yourself easily becoming attached to people.

2. You idolize them

In your mind, the person you are obsessing about is likely perfect in almost every way.

From the way they smile, they look and their mannerisms…

Everything about them is simply poetry.

To you, they are the idea of a perfect safe haven.

What’s more, you might think that only you truly appreciate and understand their uniqueness and value…

3. You fantasize about them

Another sign of obsession is when you spend a lot of time fantasizing about them.

It’s likely a deeply guilty pleasure.

In your head you might be confessing your love for each other, frolicking in the fields, talking, making love and building a safe future together.

And since you are the author of said fantasy, you can craft it to your liking.

It’s an ideal world where you feel SAFE, where you belong to someone, and they belong to you.

4. You feel possessive and protective of them

You may or may not have had much direct contact with the person that you cannot stop obsessing over.

But that doesn’t really matter, does it?

You feel incredibly possessive and protective of them.

Again, likely because you believe that only you truly understand them; what they need and who they are.

So when others try to encroach on that territory…

5. You feel jealous when they interact with others

Because you and your obsession share a special world in your mind, where only the two of you are needed for eternal happiness.

That fantasy can easily be threatened when they interact with other people.

Even in platonic interactions.

So if in moments like these you find yourself feeling jealous, consider it another sign of obsession over someone.

6. You can’t take their ‘No’ for an answer

If you have expressed your interest in them, and they declined, you have a very difficult time accepting their decision.

Even if they give you clear signs they are not into you.

Because you KNOW that they are just making a mistake and don’t understand yet.

You feel that maybe the circumstances weren’t right or that they are being manipulated by others.

There will likely be some form of rationalization in your head, to not accept their “No” and will feel determined to try again when the time is right.

7. You analyze everything they say and do

When you obsess over someone, you’re likely to overanalyze everything they say and do.

Part of this may be to validate the narrative of you two “simply belong together”.

And you might be looking for signs that they have expressed interest in you, in indirect ways.

So you are on a mission to uncover the truth and read between the lines to find the answers you want.

8. You stalk them online or in real life

If your life circumstances do not organically put the both of you in a regularly shared space…

Then you will either obsessively follow (and engage) with their online activity, or you might even be stalking them in real life.

This kind of obsessive behavior might consume A LOT of time in your day…

Where you find yourself planning to “bump into them” or you feed off their social media to invigorate your fantasies.

9. You want them to obsess over you

And since the person you can’t stop obsessing about is constantly on your mind, and you spend so much time vicariously admiring or caring about them.

It would only seem fair to ask the same of them.

So you might find yourself being terribly upset when they do not reciprocate your level of dedicated obsession.

And ignore the fact that no response from them is actually a response.

If this is someone you are actually in a relationship with, you might repeatedly call and text them frequently.

This would be driven by fear of them not feeling the same way and consequently that they might abandon you.

10. You simply know you are meant to be together

Earlier, I mentioned that you might have a hard time taking their “No” for an answer.

This is likely driven by a belief that the two of you are simply meant to be together and are destined for each other.

This is another definite sign of obsession, especially if you feel this way after only knowing them for a few weeks or months…

11. You feel safe obsessing from afar

Now, here comes the irony in all the obsessive behavior.

In my observation, it is often the case that people obsess over someone who is unlikely to reciprocate their affections to begin with!

Because the fantasy of the person is too perfect to be threatened by what the REALITY might be, if you two were to actually be in a relationship:

  • “What if it doesn’t work out the way I have it in my head?”
  • “What if they don’t like me after all?”
  • “What if they love me, but then change their mind?”

There are simply too many unknowns and potential lack of control.

So you might find yourself obsessing over someone that you suspect will likely reject you, because it’s safer to love from afar instead of finding a serious person.

12. They are at the center of your life

Depending on how strong your obsession with someone is, they might take center stage in your life.

This means that most of what you think about and do is for your obsession.

You do things FOR THEM and for the potential future of being together.

And this can become a bit more radical, to the point where you’ve cut off contact and reduced contact with family and friends, who ‘simply don’t understand.’

So, these were the 12 signs of how an obsessed person behaves.

Let’s move onto what this kind of obsession means and how you can finally stop it.

What Does It Mean When You Can’t Stop Obsessing Over Someone?

Obsession over someone can mean many different things, some of which include:

  • You really like and admire this person
  • You need a safe space to hide and have chosen a fantasy
  • You’ve created a perfect persona of your obsession, to not be confronted with reality who they truly might be
  • You might be terribly afraid of rejection from your obsession
  • You have some feelings for this person and think you should make a move

Regardless of your reason for constantly thinking of someone, you have three options, really:

You can continue obsessing over them: This one is pretty straightforward, just continue what you’re doing and enjoy the fantasy without it being reciprocated.

Try to get to know them: Spend time with them and get to know each other. This will likely break the perfect fantasy, but at least you will know whether you love him/her or are just obsessed.

Try to stop obsessing over them: Since this is the focus of this post, this is the point we are going to expand on, which brings us to…

How Do I Stop Obsessive Thinking About Someone – 10 Ways

Now we get to the bottom of the matter.

So we’ve talked about what causes you to obsess over someone, which is the need for safety and control.

We’ve also covered the 12 signs of obsession, some of which you likely identified with.

Now we finally get to the heart of the matter; how do you stop obsessing over someone who doesn’t want you?

These are the 10 ways to stop obsessing over someone:

1. Create distance from them

First and foremost, you need to create as much distance from your obsession as you can.

This is CRITICAL because without distance, It will be next to impossible to stop obsessing over them.

Since you will be trapped in the obsessive thoughts cycle, which can be somewhat addictive.

So in your own time, gradually create increased distance from them, even though it might first hurt.

2. Stop idolizing them, confront the reality instead

Next, you’ll need to face the reality that they are ONLY HUMAN.

Just like you.

As much as we would like to think that there is that perfect someone in the world waiting to make everything right in our lives…

The truth is, every individual (and couple for that matter) has struggles that they need to overcome.

Nobody and no relationship is perfect.

So it’s important to realize that the person you are obsessing over has their own challenges and limits.

You just don’t know about them.

And the way you fantasized about them in an ideal world, is unfortunately just that, a fantasy.

3. Stop going to places they frequent

If there are places that you know they frequent, or you have previously met in, you’ll want to AVOID THEM where possible.

This will prevent you from accidentally bumping into them and in addition will prevent triggers to thinking about them.

If you are not in a position to do so, due to a shared work environment for example…

Then reduce your interactions with him to whatever degree possible without compromising your professional integrity.

4. Stop stalking them

This is the mirror opposite of one of the excessive signs we covered earlier.

You basically need to stop stalking them in real life or even online.

Gone are the days of you spending your free time obsessing over their lives and what they do.

Now it’s time to think about you and your life.

There is no point investing so much and caring about someone who doesn’t care about you.

5. Avoid items that remind you of them

If you have things that keep reminding you of them, like personal items or memorabilia, you’ll want to get rid of them.

In case that is too painful, at least pack them up and hide them somewhere in a closet or attic.

This will also help reduce thoughts of them, and you’ll be able to focus on yourself and your things instead.

6. Spend time socializing

This is a very helpful way to stop obsessing over someone.

Social interaction is one of the most occupying and stimulating distractions you can do to stop obsessing over someone.

Whether it’s with friends, family or acquaintances, anything to preoccupy yourself with other people will help you.

This kind of company will ground you and help you be in the present moment more.

Feel free to exclude people that you connect with your obsession.

7. Start a new social hobby

This takes the previous idea of socializing to another level.

The same idea applies, with the added benefit of an activity to keep your mind off the person you obsess over, and instead, busy with what you’re doing with others.

I can personally recommend hiking, dancing, traveling, and sports activities with others.

All are fantastic and effective ways to stop obsessing over someone.

But find which social activity speaks to you and go for it.

8. Participate in speed dating

There is nothing less committal yet stimulating than speed dating.

This can work very well because of the social factor, but the real reason I recommend it is that it will be a reality check.

And this is not about meeting someone new.

Instead, when you spend five minutes getting to know someone, and then you meet the next person and do the same 20 times over…

You’ll start to notice that they all have flaws, quirks, can be awkward, uninteresting and maybe even unpleasant.

It will confront you with the reality of what people are like in the real world, not in a fantasy.

Which of course also applies to the person you’re trying to stop obsessing over, which will make it increasingly difficult to hold them up on their pedestal.

9. You will be okay without them

I know, I know, they were your one and only, someone uniquely special with whom you’d share indefinite happiness.

But the truth is, you were okay BEFORE they came into your life.

And you will be OKAY without them again.

Do you remember that thing you were obsessed about having in your life, that was going to FIX that problem of yours?

Then you got that thing, and now it’s sitting somewhere in your home probably forgotten, and you’ve moved onto other items of interest?

Yes.

This is going to work the same way.

And although this isn’t the end of a relationship, you’ll still feel the 7 emotions after a breakup.

Which brings us to the final way to stop obsessing over someone…

10. Give yourself time

I know it’s cliché, but we do need time to process our thoughts and feelings.

You won’t forget them in a week, nor in a month.

But it’s not just time…

You’ll also need to apply the above-mentioned methods to stop obsessing over them.

These things in conjunction will be how you finally get them out of your head and move on with your life.

Here’s a quick overview of the 10 ways to stop obsessing over someone, in case you want to reference them later:

  1. Create distance from them
  2. Stop idolizing them, confront the reality instead
  3. Stop going to places they frequent
  4. Stop stalking them
  5. Avoid items that remind you of them
  6. Spend time socializing
  7. Start a new social hobby
  8. Participate in speed dating
  9. You will be okay without them
  10. Give yourself time

If you’d like any help on how to stop obsessing over someone, be sure to check out our Coaching Calls.

Here, we’ll be able to get into the details of your story and the person you’re obsessed with.

From there, we can dig a little deeper to understand what’s driving your obsessive behavior to finally put a stop to it.

Click here to check out Coaching Calls.

Thank you for reading this post.

I hope you found this article helpful and if you have any questions please leave them down below.

You might also be able to relate to 50 Sad One Sided Relationship Quotes About One Way Love.

Best,

Gabriel

Gabriel Brenner
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