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Controlling an unhealthy obsession and dependence on someone

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  • #42363
    Confus3d
    Participant

    I’m abroad for studies, away from family, relatives and friends. Even back at homeland I haven’t had many friends, I studied in a girls only school and I’m very shy with guys. Now I’m sharing an apartment with a guy and he treats me very well. He’s a great man. Takes care of me like a brother would, gives attention to every detail, notices the slightest changes in my mood, forces me to eat on time and just the best like that.. and this is the happiest I had ever been. No one’s taken care of me so well, no one understands me and gives thought into every single thing about me like he does. Maybe because he knows I’m naive, inexperienced and kinda vulnerable living alone. But recently I’ve started having romantic feelings for him and I’m ruining all of this happiness thinking that I will have to live without it one day, and I might just be too dependent on him now. I get really obsessed every time I like someone. I have never been in a real serious relationship and I have almost no experience with men. I don’t know if he reciprocates any of these feelings I have and I’m too scared to tell him about my feelings because I don’t want to lose him as a friend and I don’t want to make things awkward between us because we live together. He’ll be leaving in about 5 months and I’m just getting paranoid about it, I really don’t want him to leave. I don’t know if I can be without him, I don’t want to be without him. But I’m not planning to tell him this until he leaves, because he has a girlfriend too back in homeland and I don’t want to come between them and I don’t want him to think that I didn’t respect that. I feel like it’d be too wrong to repay his kindness with something like this, it might stress him. I don’t want him to worry about it. But the thing is, every time I like someone I get so obsessive that I start imagining that he likes me. Recently I interpret all his actions and every movement to be because he loves me. And it makes me fly every time I feel loved. But it’s very harsh because every time I get back into my senses and realize it’s not real and that I don’t have him, I hate myself and I feel so low and I get so frustrated for not being able to tell him to keep distance to not let me fall. I haven’t had a great happy past, even with my family and I’ve been very lonely and I get very clingy and dependent on people and I get very emotionally attached to anyone that gives me attention and love. The thing I want help with is to be able to control my feelings so I don’t hurt myself or him in the end. I want to be able to see things as it is and not interpret things by my own. It could be that he really does have feelings for me but I would rather not think that, I just want to be able to do that without getting distant from him, so that I don’t end up ruining this beautiful relationship with him. It’s only for a few days and I’ll find a way to get over it but until then how do I control my emotions? How do I make myself stop being so hopeful and misreading his actions?

    #42364
    Matt
    Participant

    Confus3d,

    I know that romantic feelings can seem like a really big thing, especially when we’re young, but they really are just another thing. If he was doing something that was annoying you, talking to him about it would be a simple way of resolving it. For instance, if he left the toilet seat up, and every time you saw that it was agitating, wouldn’t it be easy to ask him to put it down?

    However, when it comes to romantic feelings, there is more vulnerability involved. If you were to have a conversation with him, asking for clarity on what his side looks like, you might feel rejected. You might even lose a friend. Those are scary, especially since he takes care of you in those ways. Perhaps the mature thing to do would be to talk to him about your feelings, ask him for his, and then go from there. If he doesn’t feel the same, at least you’ll know, and he’ll know. It may help with interpreting his actions.

    If you are to shy or afraid to do that, perhaps you could learn what he is doing that produces that feeling of being nurtured in you, and start doing it for yourself. Said differently, his loving actions are nourishing you in a way that you need. However, the only reason you have that need is because you’re not caring for yourself. So perhaps you’re learning what being nice to your body and mind looks like, so you can take over for him and become self caring.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #42383
    John
    Participant

    I just want to say, first of all, I’m inspired by your post. I don’t know how old you are, but I believe you are wise beyond your years.

    You say you want to see things as they are and I think you’re already there. You recognize that your feelings for your roommate verge on the obsessive, clingy, and dependent. You see that the affection and attention you receive from him is like that of an older love and caring brother. You recognize the root of your obsession as stemming from the vulnerability of being away from home and the lack of affection you received from your family. You know that he’s already in a relationship and that it would be inappropriate for you to make any advances toward him. You recognize when your mind drifts into fantasy and you’re able to bring yourself back to reality. That’s all very powerful and truly amazing at such a young age.

    I think you’re on the threshold of a wonderful journey of self-discovery and the first step through is turn your attention to you and appreciate how far you have come. There’s more inner work to be done and, as Matt said, self-love and self-caring that can take place which will allow you to love and be loved free from obsession, clinging, and dependence.

    You’re asking all the right questions. Keeping on learning and exploring the person that is you. 🙂

    #42384
    Kinny
    Participant

    Confused,

    I could relate to some of the things you described. I second Matt’s suggestions of taking notes of what he does that makes you feel good and starting to do them for yourself. In life, there are no guarantees that the people who love you will always be that perceptive, and even if they are it’s not their job to do that for you. For me, I try to do everything possible to take care of myself physically, mentally and emotionally. Whatever my lovers, friends and family give me is icing on the cake, but I don’t feel like I’m sad or disappointed if they don’t do those things or don’t have time for them. Whenever I wait for someone to give me something or do things for me to make me happy, I find it doesn’t work. If I do it for myself, then it’s guaranteed.

    From my experience, coming from dysfunction, it was very easy for me to feel hurt when my family wasn’t perceptive and/or giving. Eventually I got used to be ignored or repeating myself. As I entered more relationships, I found myself getting overly attached to anyone who showed me kindness like what you described. It’s wasn’t healthy how much power I gave that person over my well being, and it neediness usually doesn’t come across as attractive. Just some thoughts to consider. I don’t know how much of my experience resonates with you, but it sounded familiar to me. It also concerns me that you feel like you can’t live without him. Just think, you were okay before him, and you will be okay after him. No one on this earth is here to take care of you, except you. Try to pamper yourself like a princess and make it so no one could possibly take care of you better than you already do.

    Concerning your friendship, personally I would practice taking care of yourself first. I like having difficult conversations when I’m feeling peaceful inside and centered. Search for things that make you feel like that. If you decide you still want to have a conversation, I find that telling the person all the reasons why I’m afraid to have a conversation and then say “but I want to be honest with you” or “I want to clear the air.” For example, tell him that you aren’t sure how to say it, but that you need to be vulnerable about something. You could also mention that you are afraid of being honest because you don’t want your friendship to change or for things to be awkward, but that you want to clear the air.

    Best of luck ! Keep us posted!

    #42396
    Confus3d
    Participant

    Matt

    Thank you, your advice helped me think of it in a whole different perspective. I have a terribly low self esteem and I get depressed very easily and I belittle myself a lot, everyone else comes before me. And the reason why I like him so much is because he tries so hard to fix those things about me, no one had ever done that before. No one gave that much attention to me. Maybe these feelings are just because of appreciation, but I feel that there will never come anyone else to make me feel so important. I will work on changing the way I treat myself and hopefully find a way to control my feelings for him.

    #42398
    Confus3d
    Participant

    John,

    Thank you 🙂 I’m 21, but almost everyone that knows me says that I don’t act my age, in a bad way. Because I lived away from hometown with my dad. who’s very strict. I never got to go out anywhere outside school and my relationship with my schoolmates were strictly just studies because I couldn’t hang out with them. So I had very little experience and I don’t understand adult jokes or sarcasm and things like that.. I’m just really slow, and I even talk and look kiddy. So I’m an easy target for bullies and I’ve had a lot of trouble adjusting to this place and the people here, so I hated myself for being so vulnerable. But that’s why he feels so protective of me. I’ve been trying to change this about me but it’s not easy to suddenly grow up and be independent but I’ve improved a lot. And what you said makes me feel so relieved. I guess I am mature in certain ways.

    #42402
    Confus3d
    Participant

    Kinny,

    It’s good to know that there’s someone that has experienced something similar and came through it. I crave attention, a lot. I don’t know why. I could get all worked up about even someone random disliking me. I’m very sensitive. But I think a lot has improved about me since I’ve come here. But I still feel so insecure about myself and because he makes me feel so safe and happy, I just can’t think of a time without him. But I do realize that he’s not always going to be there, and I will have to be ready to be without him any time. But sometimes I feel there are slight possibilities that he might be having feelings for me too. I’ve told my grandma about my feelings for him and she said that he wouldn’t be treating me so well if he didn’t have feelings for me and that I need to act mature and let him feel that I’m not that naive. Because he constantly keeps calling me a baby, he even once said that anyone that hits on me would be psycho because I’m like a kid. But I’m just 3 years younger than him, short but I look old enough, I just act kiddy. But there are other times when I feel that he has feelings for me, like from the way he looks at me sometimes. I don’t know. Maybe he has feelings for me but thinks I’m too naive? And also ignores it because he has a girlfriend, even though it’s long distance, he’s a faithful man. I just keep feeling that I might just get lucky some day.. I want him to be happy, and if he loves his girlfriend I want her to be faithful and their relationship to really work out. But what if it doesn’t? They do have problems, and recently he’s tried to tell me about it, they even broke up but I ignored the whole thing because I thought it’d give me false hopes. I was feeling really disturbed around that time. But now they’re back together. And I still don’t know what really happened.
    I don’t know, it’s so confusing. I want to do the right thing. But I’m also so eager to know if there really isn’t any possibility. But I don’t want to jeopardize our friendship or his relationship. I want to wait till he gets single, if he ever does. I mean if we’re meant to be it’ll happen right? I wouldn’t have to do anything to make it happen right? But for now I’m just trying really hard to hide it. I even talk about my ex so that he doesn’t even get a hint. But it’s hard sometimes to even maintain eye contact, I just want to control myself and my feelings for now and to find a way or a distraction so I can just enjoy what I have right now. Cause this is probably the happiest I’ve ever been. I’d really consider myself to be the luckiest person if I could have him.
    I’m also thinking of telling him when he’s going back to homeland which is in like 5 months after his degree, that way I can avoid anything awkward and also make sure nothing goes wrong between us. Do you think that’d be a good idea?
    Thanks 🙂

    #42417
    Kinny
    Participant

    Confused,
    HOly moly you are really into this guy! Your entire message is all about him. Look, I don’t know you or all the ins and outs of your situation, but what I can tell you is that when you focus on the right things, everything else will fall into place. You sound a bit obsessed and I know when I’ve been like that, I’m usually creating some kind of unhelathy dynamic. Trust me, there is not a person out there who can have that much power over you without letting you down or disappointing you. The solution is spiritual and the problem is rarely what you think it is.

    Concerning talking to him, it’s really hard to tell what’s going on in someone else’s head and talking to him is the only way you will know for sure. Find your center first and get a sense of inner peace. See if you can sense what feels like a wise and necessary decision. For me, it’s hard to make wise decisions if I’m not calm and centered. Your inner wisdom will be so much more on target than internet strangers could tell you, even caring and spiritual internet strangers. In my experience, if you are with the wrong person, no amount of hoop jumping can impress them and when I’m with the right person, there is nothing so bad that they won’t accept you.

    Bon Courage!

    #42441
    Ade
    Participant

    Hiya

    Wow. I have read through this thread very carefully and feel very concerned for you as you are in a very vulnerable state. What you are experiencing, in my humble opinion, is the pain of unrequited love. Well actually not even that because you haven’t put it to the test- you haven’t been rejected…. yet you are just scared that you might be… and you might be rejected if you were to speak out.

    I have a very nice lady friend, actually a friend to both my wife and me, who constantly talks about her relationships- I mean constantly, to the point of distraction. It drives me mad and I tell her so. She parades her new boyfriends and asks me what I think about her new suitors- when I have only said hello to them for 5 minutes. Then after the intital thrill wears off for both of them she relates every minute thing he does wrong in her eyes getting me to side with her opinion. She obsesses about them after just the first few dates and to me she probably puts the fear of God into them. When they don’t measure up to the super high pedestal she has put them on the whole thing collapses and the late night phone calls to us, bemoaning her fate, increase and we take active steps to avoid her company- as we know what it is going to be … me, me, me…… etc etc and then as an afterthought, oh, how are you before it’s back to me, me, me

    My advice to her is simple: Since we have no right to change anybody or expect them to be what we want them to be we have only two choices; lump it or leave it. Put up with what the situation is or walk away. My advice to you is the same though that is a little more awkward in that you are living together as flat sharers and putting your cards on the table will create a difficult situation if he rejects your advances. Even if he accepts your advances it may not alter the inevitable separation when your studies end. Just loving someone is not a lifelong commitment until vows have been made. Just remember always that there is life after this period for you and for him just as there was life before you met. Take it easy and just enjoy his company for now.

    On this thing about acting ‘kiddy’- what the hell is that? What is acting ‘kiddy’ all about. Baby talk? Affected false accents- I really have no idea what you mean. Some guys might actually find that a turn on and some actresses and celebrity females seem to adopt a similar style to differentiate themselves and gain popularity. But my advice on that one is simple- just stop it and grow up. Or go on the stage and make a mint.

    Be happy- you sound like a lovely person. Love yourself

    #42445
    Maria
    Participant

    I just registered myself here now, so that I could write to you. I see myself in you, in fact you are ‘me’ just a year ago.
    I too had a very strict… to an extent very unfair upbringing where i was not allowed to mingle with friends etc. I was good in studies and did everything to please my parents.
    Never considered my happiness, always did what others thought was right for me. I an a Comp Sci graduate. Soon after degree, parents got me married… i never liked the person I was getting married to, he is too self centered… but parents thought he was ‘suitable’ and even though I voiced my concern a few times, I dint question and got married.

    It has been a terribly unhappy marriage for the last 9 years. I am over sensitive and he plays that and loves humiliating me in front of his family and they enjoy that. I have a daughter who is 5.

    Now last year I had enough and I decided to change my life. I recognized my fear, low self esteem and over sensitivity is to be blamed. I cant blame my parents, I cant change the past. But i can change my future. I wanted to get out of this marraige… parents did not support and I am not financially independent yet and also he my husband is a good father… taking these things to account, I have decided to stay. For now. All my life i did what made my parents happy and now I feel so let down by everyone around me. Thats what happens when you give so much power over you to someone else. Now I have decided to live for myself. Do what I wish. Dont care what people say, dont get upset when someone criticizes you, because you are always alone with your problems, No one can help you if you are unhappy, so why bother about what others think?. Learn to be self sufficient. Once you let go and stop worrying what people think or talk about you, and stop trying to please others, just see how powerful you feel and that is an amazing feeling. Whats the worse that can happen? you are educated, you dont need to cling to anyone, learn to be self sufficient and only then you can have successful relationships. So my advice is , please dont make the same mistakes I did. Any negative feelings or anything that makes you uncomfortable, stop such thoughts right in your head. Take control of yourself. If he doesn’t respond the way you do, so what? it will pass. learn to be there for your self first only then you will be respected. And never let anyone else take charge of your happiness. This may seem very hard now, but believe me it can be achieved. Also take a look at the following links,

    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/x/nav/group.html_1498983019.html

    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/x/nav/group.html_739864309.html

    #42446
    Maria
    Participant

    Forgot to ad one more thing, Meditate 🙂 makes you feel like a million bucks … you’ll be fine :).. bless you

    #42453
    Liz
    Participant

    Confus3d,

    I am a single woman and have been in your position before. Sometimes I obsess over someone I’m interested in, and I realize that it can be unhealthy, but thankfully as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned a few strategies to deal with these situations.

    1) First of all, you should not feel ashamed of developing feelings for your roommate. We are human beings, and we biologically seek compassion and love. It is often natural to develop feelings for someone in your situation because your roommate sees you in the every day – at your best, and at your worst – so he probably knows you very well. This is something natural – to be attracted to someone who can sense your ins and outs and doesn’t judge you for them, who has compassion and empathy for you even in your worst moments. Isn’t that what we all strive for in relationships? Someone who loves us and accepts us exactly as we are?

    I suspect part of your worry about this situation is the guilt and shame you feel about being attracted to him, but you should feel no guilt or shame. Despite your lack of experience with men, you are a woman! You are allowed to develop romantic, sexual feelings for men! Don’t feel ashamed!

    2) Try not to hide from these feelings of attraction and instead embrace them within yourself as you would like them to be embraced if you uttered them out loud to him. Despite your lack of experience, try to imagine what it would be like if a different man that you cared for very much revealed romantic feelings for you to YOU. How would YOU react if someone told you this? If it was someone that you generally had a good relationship with, even if you did not share those feelings, you likely might react with compassion, and quite frankly be flattered by such a revelation. It always feels good to be told by someone that they have affection for you – if you respect the place where it is coming from, it is a deeply flattering sentiment, and most people in caring friendships will react with appropriate care. From what you say about the way your roommate treats you , your roommate sounds like he has deep compassion for you — trust in that compassion because it is real. Trust that even if you reveal your feelings for him and he does not return them, he will not hate you or feel awkward around you. You are not a horrible person for having feelings, like every other human being on this planet.

    3) Consider telling your roommate how you feel, and think about how you will accept the consequences of doing so. I have found that sometimes when I start thinking a lot about someone, it is better to just tell them, because thinking a lot about the person and not doing anything about it only breeds more unhappiness. But be realistic with yourself. Think about how you will move on from the situation if he doesn’t return your feelings. If you think it could harm your living situation, think very carefully and realistically about how you would manage that? It’s important to stay based in reality – obsessiveness sometimes allows you to get carried away in fantasy, and away from the realities of a situation. If you look at it very honestly, and come to a place of understanding that he might not return your feelings, that might prevent you from getting carried away in obsessive fantasy. But do consider telling him your feelings, because once you say it out loud, you might just discover that it isn’t as big a deal as you worry about, and that once you release that feeling into the open, the obsessiveness often goes away.

    4) If you do decide to tell him, do it with a sense of humor! Don’t think of it as a life or death situation, because it is not! Be able to laugh at yourself, and your feelings! Often times, if I decide to tell someone I like them and I’m worried about how it will be taken, I make sure to make them aware of how embarrassed and silly I feel about what I’m about to tell him (not that it is embarrassing or silly – but admitting that I am embarrassed allows me to be honest and laugh at myself). I’ll say something like – “I have something really silly that I need to admit to you,” or “You know, we have a really great relationship, and I value that and wouldn’t want to harm it, but…..”. Always let them know how much you value the relationship you already have with them, and that you are concerned about maintaining positivity no matter what happens. I think this gives people a safe space to be honest with you back, without feeling the pressure of being obligated to say yes or make you feel better if they don’t share your feelings.

    And even if they don’t return them, again, just try to laugh at it, and don’t judge yourself so much. Everybody falls in love, everybody says silly things when they have feelings – it’s OK!

    5) You might consider telling your roommate how you feel as a practice for getting comfortable telling other men how you feel in general. Even if it isn’t meant to be with your roommate, I’ve found that just by trying with different people, even when it doesn’t work out with that person, makes me feel immensely more comfortable with admitting and not being ashamed of my feelings in general with other people. You become more confident the more you share your real self with people, so look at it as practice – the more comfortable you are admitting your feelings now, the more comfortable you will be when the right person comes along.

    Sorry this is so long! I hope this helps! And remember – don’t be scared! Don’t be ashamed of your feelings, and don’t let other people make you feel ashamed of them 😉

    4)

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