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April 24, 2017 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Personality

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Why am I so obsessed and paranoid?


I am a 25-year-old bisexual man (at least I think I am but I'm not sure). I would say I am good looking and somewhat successful. Every time I enter a new relationship, I become obsessed over that person. I think about them constantly as well as dream about our future together. I always wonder if they feel the same about me. I also want them to spend ALL of their time with me and I find myself trying to make them feel bad if they are talking or hanging out with someone else. I'm always paranoid that this person maybe doesn't like me as much as I like him/her. I am just beginning a new relationship now and I feel I am always nagging as well as pushing this relationship along too fast.

Why am I so obsessed? How can I save my relationship?

Justsumguy, 25-year-old man


My friend,

I can't tell why you have this problem without getting to know you first. However, I have seen this pattern many times, and usually, there is a combination of two reasons. The first is relatively easy to fix. You probably have unrealistic expectations about what a relationship should be like. It's like you expected your partner to become a sort of Siamese twin. If you had 100% joining, spending all your time with another person, having the same activities, interests and opinions, it would actually become very burdensome.

The ideal relationship is 50% overlap. That is, the two of you should share half your interests, activities, friends, passions, opinions and so on, and differ on the other half. This means a huge amount of commitment to each other, while at the same time the differences keep things interesting and alive.

Second, there are many people who are obsessed with their partner, who are jealous every time that person looks at someone attractive, worries about what the partner may be doing when they are apart. This almost invariably reflects an underlying belief, "X is too good for me" or "I am not worthy of love" or "No one could possibly love me, the only way I can keep X is if I prevent anyone else from replacing me."

Since you have experienced this pattern with several partners, chances are it has nothing to do with the current partner's behavior, but with such inner insecurity.

What you already realize is that acting on such thoughts is very destructive. The more you try to control someone, the more you push that person away. Jealousy is its worst enemy, destroying what it tries to protect.

What to do about it? If you realize that your obsessive fears are not realistic but are the result of an inner insecurity, then all you need to do is to refuse to act on them. Here is how to do it. Write a film script with you as the main character. Only, this version of you acts in a self-respecting, self-confident, secure manner. He is generous with trust. He acts as if he knew that his partner will be faithful.

Then, keep your inner thoughts, fears, insecurities a secret. Act the part you have written.

All the best,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 31 years experience as a psychologist and is registered with the Australian Psychological Society. He practices in Australia. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counsellor.

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