Obsession vs Love: 12 Critical Differences You Should Know

When you’re first getting into a relationship, you may be wondering if you’re obsessed or in love. It’s important to know the differences between obsession vs. love.

I put this topic together so that you would be able to truly understand where you stand in your relationship and what it means. Grasping this difference is helpful in your relationship because you will know how meaningful it actually is.

Try to distinguish whether you’re obsessed or in love. Then, you should be able to figure out how serious things are.

The Intensity

It can be tricky to tell the difference between love and obsession when it comes to your feelings. The intensity of these feelings can signify if you’re in love or if you’re obsessed.

You can have intense feelings for your boyfriend if you’re obsessed or if you’re in love. How strong these feelings are is what really matters.

First, you should think about how you feel about your boyfriend. Hopefully, you feel some type of romantic feelings toward him. After all, that’s what we’re trying to figure out here.

Now, this can be a little bit challenging. You should feel passionate about the love you have for your boyfriend. There is still a line between love and obsession though

You might feel an intense love for your boyfriend, but it doesn’t take over your mind all day long. These feelings should be present most of the time, but they aren’t there all the time.

If you feel like your feelings for your boyfriend are really intense, you could just be obsessed. You might only think about him all day long. You might never let him leave your thoughts. Of course, you might have a little bit of love for him too.

Try to find out how intense your feelings are. Once you do, you might be able to come to a conclusion on whether you’re in love or just obsessed. If this one isn’t as clear to you, there are other ways to tell the difference.

The Commitment

​If you’re in a relationship, you should think about the commitment. This is a fairly common aspect of a relationship to bring up. It’s basically referring to how serious you and your boyfriend are about the relationship.

If you think that it might fizzle out in a few weeks, you’re not really committed and might just be obsessed. If it seems to be going strong, you are probably in love.

There is a chance that you would think that the relationship is going to last forever even if you’re obsessed. This is a hopeful or optimistic part of the obsession, which is totally normal.

You should take some time to evaluate the relationship and where it might be headed. Of course, this can be hard because you may not know.

You can use past relationships as a reference. Think about what happened in your other relationships and how long they lasted. Look for similarities in your current relationship to pick up on any patterns. Remember that all relationships are different though!

If you’re feeling really committed, it’s likely because you’re in love. With obsession, you simply won’t have those same “lovey” feelings. You might want to be with the person, but that isn’t the same as committing to them.

Committing to someone means wanting to be with them for a long time. It’s also committing to their good days and their bad days. You’re going to be there for them for it all. If you’re obsessed with someone, you probably don’t feel quite like that.

This video explains commitment and some signs that you’re ready to commit:

The Conversations

You should take a look at what you and your boyfriend talk about on a regular basis. Maybe you can look through some of your recent texts with him. Think back to what your conversations have been like in person.

This is important. Depending on the type of conversations you’re having with your boyfriend, you might be able to tell if you’re really in love or if you’re obsessed.

If you’re obsessed, your conversations will likely be more surface-level. You might just be checking in on each other and keeping things short. There will also probably be some flirting in there too.

If you’re in love, your conversations will probably be more involved. You might be asking about each other’s day. You might be talking about some more serious or real-life topics. This doesn’t mean that you can’t flirt, but it likely won’t be too prevalent.

You can also pay attention to how involved you are in these conversations. If you’re not paying much attention to what your boyfriend is actually saying, you might only be obsessed. If you are pretty focused on his words, you may be in love.

This comes down to how much you care about the other person and what they have to say. Plus, a lot of couples who are in the obsession category rely on flirting to keep their relationship afloat. In more serious relationships, serious topics are essential. They keep things strong!

The Focus

​What is your focus on in the relationship? This also has to do with the commitment in your relationship. Think about what you care about most in your relationship. You might even talk to your boyfriend about this to see what he thinks.

If you’re only focused on flirting and the physical aspects of a relationship, try adding in some deeper things. Talk about the future or another more serious issue. Can you two still have a conversation if you aren’t flirting?

It’s a good idea to figure out the focus of your relationship anyway so that you can truly understand what’s going on between the two of you. You can also set a focus together to remind yourselves of why you’re together and what your goals are.

You might be obsessed if the two of you are always trying to go on more dates or if you’re constantly spoiling each other with gifts. Dates and gifts aren’t a bad thing, but you should understand that they aren’t the focus in a committed relationship.

In a committed relationship, where you’re in love, you’re going to have other things going on. You might be focusing on spending time together or encouraging each other to work hard. You may be focusing on the future and where your relationship is headed.

Think about how serious your focus is and how it may impact your relationship in the future too!

The Conflict and How It’s Resolved

In any relationship, conflict is bound to happen. It’s simply unavoidable. Having conflict doesn’t mean that you and your boyfriend are going to break up or that you don’t have a solid relationship.

We’re all humans and we may not interact in the best ways all the time. Sometimes our quick reactions can lead to conflict.

If you love your boyfriend, you have probably found a good way to work through conflict. You might know how to talk about the problem and come up with a solution.

If you are obsessed with your boyfriend, you may be missing out on the deeper connection and communication. This can make conflict resolution challenging. Plus, if you’re lacking that connection, you might not see much on the line.

Pay attention to the next fight or disagreement you have with your boyfriend. Look at how you handle it. Are you confused? Do you come up with a solution as a team?

Conflict can help you to see how serious the relationship is. If it’s stronger, the two of you will likely work harder to keep it together. This relationship is likely powered by love.

If you’re willing to let a fight break you up, this could be a sign that you’re just obsessed. Obsession isn’t strong enough to keep a relationship together. You need love and more substance to make things work out.

The Future

The future is something that you and your boyfriend might have talked about, but that is not always the case. Maybe you’re considering moving in together. Perhaps you two plan to get married in a few years.

Some relationships don’t have a lot of future plans laid out. This just means that nothing has been planned, but that doesn’t mean that the relationship isn’t going to last into the future.

If you and your boyfriend have been talking about the future, you might be more in love than obsessed.

You can also think about whether these long-term plans have a lot of substance. Have you simply said “Let’s get married” while flirting?

The substance that these plans have doesn’t have to involve having a house picked out and all of your children named years in advance. It simply involves talking about these topics in a more serious setting.

Maybe you have made plans in your relationship that relate back to how you hope your future turns out. This could include things like trying to finish college at the same time as each other or considering jobs in another state to be near each other.

If you’re obsessed, you probably don’t want to know that you will have to say goodbye to your boyfriend if you don’t start planning together soon. Still, these future plans are an important part of your relationship and its meaning.

The Attraction

​People are naturally attracted to each other for a number of different reasons. This is unique for each person and for each relationship. There’s no right or wrong answer, but there are some answers that show the seriousness of your relationship.

I would suggest coming up with a few reasons that you’re attracted to your boyfriend. These might be physical characteristics or pieces of his personality. You have lots of options, especially since every person is so different from the next.

Evaluate the list that you have come up with. What do you like about your boyfriend? What draws you in? This shows you the attraction that you have.

If there are a lot of physical reasons that you are attracted to your boyfriend, that’s okay. This points more toward obsession. Obsession can often be more surface level than love is.   

If you find that most of your reasons have to do with his personality, that’s okay too. A good, loving relationship will likely involve a combination.

Likely, if you’re in love, you’re going to be in love for a combination of reasons. Many people who are in love have begun to look past the physical characteristics of their partner. They focus on the more personal characteristics and who they are.

If you’re obsessed, your reasons are probably revolving around how attractive your boyfriend is. You might not know enough about his personality to truly feel attracted to him in that way.

The Way You Treat Each Other

How do you and your boyfriend interact with each other? Is it pure flirting and dating? Do you have a good balance of real life stuff in there too?  

Beyond what the two of you are experiencing in your relationship is the way that you act with one another. This can be anywhere at any time.

If you’re in love or obsessed, you will show your boyfriend that you care in some way. In general, if you love him, your actions will be more genuine. If you’re obsessed, they may be solely rooted in being sweet or flirty.

This isn’t to say that a relationship can’t have any flirting. It’s an essential part of keeping that spark alive. It shows how much you love about each other. The feelings that flirting causes are very important.

Pay attention to the way that the two of you are treating each other and working together. This will help you to see how the relationship is lasting—or not.

Remember that it’s important to be sweet to each other no matter where you are in your relationship. It should sometimes take the backburner if you have more essential things to handle in the relationship.

The Lasting Feelings

If you’re familiar with relationships, you probably know a thing or two about the feelings that you get in a relationship. These usually start off really strong at the beginning of a relationship.

If you’re in love, these feelings usually stick around. If you’re just obsessed, these feelings might fade when the relationship starts picking up the pace.

This occurs because of the seriousness and commitment in a relationship. If you are in a committed relationship, you will have to take your focus off of the mushy talk. You will have to pay attention to things like bills and work schedules. This is the less fun stuff.

You may not notice the feelings fade very much when you’re in love. They are able to be sustained even through the serious parts of being an adult and being in a relationship.

When you’re in a committed relationship, you’re making the choice to be with the other person and take on the world with them. This includes the stress of life. This one usually means that you are in love.

When you’re not in a committed relationship, you’re going to be more focused on the relationship itself. This might sound like a good thing, but you’ll be neglecting all of the outside aspects. This can later cause more stress in the relationship because so much was left out.

Pay attention to how your feelings might be evolving. This can tell you a lot about how much you care for the other person.

The Intentions You Set

What are your relationship goals in this specific relationship? Are you hoping to stay together long-term? Is this more casual?

In a long-term relationship, you’re likely going to be focused on your future together and sustaining your love for each other.

With obsession, your relationship may be more laid-back. You may not know what’s going to happen in your relationship in the next few years. It might only last a few months.

Most people have intentions for their relationships. They have an idea of how they want things to go. This can be helpful to tell a boyfriend or girlfriend from the start.

If you and your boyfriend want to, you can talk to each other about the intentions you have set for the relationship. This helps both of you to be on the same page about where things are going.

Depending on how the conversation goes, you might find that you are not on the same page at all. One of you may want to keep things casual and the other might want to make this last long-term.

How ever you decide to define this relationship can show you your intentions and help you to know if you really love this guy. If you do, that’s great and you’re probably going to try to be together long-term.

Keep in mind that you can still want to be with someone long-term if you’re not in love. It’s simply more likely to be a long-term relationship if you have that love to keep pushing you through.

The Effort

This specific difference can be a little bit confusing to figure out. In any relationship, you’re going to have to put in the effort. The type of effort you’re having to use can vary though. Not all relationships require the same time and energy.

If you’re obsessed, your effort will mostly be spent on making sure you look good, taking time to be sweet, and spending time with your guy. These actions are usually done in order to win a guy over or to keep him interested.

When you’re obsessed and trying to keep a guy interested in you, you may spend a lot of time flirting with him or going out with him.

If you’re in love, your effort will probably go toward sustaining the long-term relationship. This might include some sweet talk and keeping things alive. It will probably have more to do with everyday life stuff. You’re going to be working hard to take care of your boyfriend.

Love has to do more with the person and making sure they’re provided for. Sure, he can take care of himself. Out of love for him, you’ll probably put in some work though.

No matter what type of relationship you’re in, you will be putting in some effort. Expect different types of effort for each unique relationship style though.

One type of effort isn’t necessarily more tiring than the other. They can affect different people in different ways.

This video shows some of the ways you might put in effort in a relationship:

The Conditions

You have likely heard of unconditional love. This means that you love someone under all circumstances. Rain or shine, you have committed to loving them.

If you’re obsessed, you may love your boyfriend more conditionally. This means that you love him or want to be with him in some situations but not all of them.

One example would be if the two of you are dealing with a serious relationship issue. If you love him unconditionally, you love him despite a mistake he made. If you love him conditionally, you may leave in this situation.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences to his actions or that you are definitely staying together. It simply means that you love him and you’re his teammate as he navigates this tough time.  

Put yourself in an imaginary situation where you would have to choose whether to love your boyfriend conditionally or unconditionally. Think about a serious time in a past relationship to help you out.

If you’re thinking that you love your boyfriend unconditionally, this means that you’re being selfless and true in your love for him.

If you aren’t sure that you love your boyfriend without conditions, it’s likely that you’re just obsessed. You may not be very serious about the relationship.

Conclusion

Did you enjoy this list? Share it with a friend if you did! Be sure to leave us a comment and let us know what you think of it.

It’s important to know what you’re actually feeling in a relationship. This helps you and your boyfriend to be on the same page. It also helps you to understand how serious the relationship may or may not be.

Knowing this will help you to direct the rest of your relationship accordingly. Plus, you will know exactly what to expect.

Sonya Schwartz
 

A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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