Love is a feeling of strong and constant affection for a person. Obsession or obsessive love is a negative emotion that may lead to extreme violent behaviours. Although a negative and an unhealthy feeling, obsession may also feel a lot like love at the beginning of a relationship. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult for us to identify the difference between love and obsession.
What is Love?
The concept of love encompasses a wide variety of feelings and emotions. In general, love is a strong feeling of affection. It is a strong emotion we feel towards a person who is close to our hearts. Feelings and emotions like attachment, liking, compassion, care and fondness are often associated with love. When you love someone, you care very deeply for that person. Moreover, you will do everything in your power to support the person you love and will stand by him or her through thick and thin.
Love is usually a gradual process since it takes time to get to know a person and fall in love with him or her. Most of us mistake the instant physical attraction towards a person as love (love at first sight). Moreover, when we truly love someone, we don’t only see his or her good qualities; we are able to see our loved one’s weaknesses and faults, but we love them despite all these weaknesses. Therefore, a person in true love won’t expect everything to be perfect, but he or she will accept that things can go wrong and will work on making things better. Moreover, you’ll always feel comfortable and safe with a person you love.
Although we often associate the word love with romantic love, there are different types of love. In fact, it can refer to the feeling of love that exists in different relationships; for example, the love we feel for a sibling is different from the love we feel for a parent, but the love we feel towards a lover is entirely different from both these feelings.
According to Ancient Greeks, love can be classified into four types as storge, phileo, eros and agape.
- Storge – love ones feel towards family and relations
- Phileo – warm, affectionate, platonic love (the type of love one feels towards friends)
- Eros – passionate love between lovers, characterized by desire and longing.
- Agape – pure and ideal love, as opposed to eros
What is Obsession?
Obsession is the control of one’s thoughts by a continuous, powerful idea or feeling. Since we are discussing the difference between love and obsession in this article, we’ll focus on obsessive love or desire in this section. Obsessive love happens when one person has an overwhelming, obsessive desire to possess and protect another person towards whom he or she feels a strong attraction. This person is also unable to accept failure or rejection. A person who feels an obsessive love towards another may feel unable to restrain himself or herself from extreme behaviours such as acts of violence toward own self or others.
At the beginning of a relationship, obsession may feel a lot like love. However, with one partner being obsessed with the other, the relationship may become more and more suffocating over time. The obsessive partner will feel a strong need to be with the object of his or her obsession every day. He or she will also want to know every detail of his or her partner’s life; for example, exactly where the partner is and who he or she is with whenever they are not together. This is when destructive feelings such as excessive jealousy, suspicion and paranoia creep into the relationship.
Moreover, the obsessive individual may also try to control the partner’s life and try to limit the partner’s interactions with family and friends; he or she will also get angry when the partner chooses to spend time with friends or family. In brief, the obsessive partner will feel the need to control every thought and action of the other.
Furthermore, an obsessive individual may often be verbally and/or physically violent towards the partner. However, he may show remorse after being violent, and try to blame the partner for making him violent. In extreme cases, the obsessive individuals may subject their partner to physical abuse, stalking, rape or even murder. Overall, obsession is an unhealthy emotion that will ruin relationships and lives.
What is the Difference Between Love and Obsession
Love is a healthy emotion that is conducive to a relationship whereas obsession is an unhealthy emotion that can ruin a relationship. This is the key difference between love and obsession. Moreover, love is always associated with positive feelings like affection, warmth, care, attraction, kindness and support whereas obsession is associated with negative feelings like jealousy, suspicion, and paranoia. This is another major difference between love and obsession.
When a person is in love, he will not try to control his lover; he’ll always support her and be with her in times of need. A person who truly loves another will understand and tolerate the partner’s weaknesses and faults and love the partner despite these weaknesses. However, an obsessive partner always tries to control his lover; he/she will expect the lover to obey and do as he/she says. Moreover, a true lover will never feel threatened by the partner’s love for family and friends, and other interests (work, hobbies, etc.) while an obsessive partner will always feel threatened.
Furthermore, an obsessive partner may become verbally or physically abusive towards their partner. Moreover, an obsessive partner always suspects the lover of cheating while true lover will never does this. These behaviours are some examples of the difference between love and obsession.
Summary – Love vs Obsession
The key difference between love and obsession is that love is a healthy emotion that is conducive to a relationship whereas obsession is an unhealthy emotion that can ruin a relationship. Sometimes, it may be difficult to recognize the difference between love and obsession as both may feel a lot alike at the beginning.
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