How to Stop Obsessing Over Your Relationship

You know the feeling: tossing and turning at night, going through past scenarios over and over looking for signs; compulsive checking of their online accounts, reading into every comment, like, link.

Well, according to some new findings from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, obsessing over your relationship is a real and legitimate problem. There’s even a title for this condition: ROCD, relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder. Symptoms include things like constantly questioning your partner’s love for you, reassessing your love for them, or thinking about their physical flaws.

But wait, it gets worse. Researchers found that people with ROCD symptoms were more likely to report dissatisfaction in the romance department, compared with those who didn’t obsess over their relationships. It makes sense if you think about it. The more you worry, the less you enjoy the moment.

Well don’t freak just yet, according to a psychologist who has treated patients with ROCD, having these thoughts from time to time is totally normal (phew!). We all go through it. We remember all too well that past heartbreak; we have watched our friends get hurt or make bad choices or be lied to. We deeply want to make the right choices and be wise with our hearts and theirs. But over-analyzing and obsessing never leads to anything but frustration and possibly, a broken heart.

So we whipped up a few ways to cool your jets when your head starts spinning. Your love life can thank us later with a nice handwritten note.


And turn off the phone too, Toots. If you’re feeling insecure or anxious about your feelings, or their feelings, or especially a third party’s feelings, trolling around everyone’s various social media accounts will only feed your fears. We are imaginative beasts and we can construct meaning in the tiniest clicks. Walk away from your rabbit hole and don’t go back for the rest of the day.

2. Choose to take them at their word.

Yes, trust is a fickle pickle. And perhaps you’ve been lied to in the past, but it’s not fruitful at all to try to play Matlock and find fractures in stories, flaws in timelines and murder weapons (okay, if you’re looking for those, please back away slowly from the relationship). If you are choosing to be in a relationship with this person then you are choosing to believe what they say. It’s part of the deal. If you have to second guess everything and follow-up and research and lie-detect, then you will worry yourself into a wicked worry line on your brow and DO NOT LET HIM DO THAT TO YOU.

3. Exercise.

If I was reading this and not writing this, I would exhale a big “PSHHH” and roll my eyes, but it’s actually a really good way to kick your over-thinking, obsessive little brain into healing action. You know: endorphins and sweat and adrenaline and stuff. Love, science.

4. Find a mantra.

This one might be too cheesy for some of you, but it is actually really great. I don’t mean this to be a sacred mantra for meditation, but more so a positive affirmation or phrase to repeat and calm yourself. Only you know what you need to hear, but I can attest that this helps me greatly. For example, one of my dearest friends struggles with that stage of a relationship where things start to get real, where you start to really care about someone and have something to lose. This is often when she freezes, obsesses, and runs. So we came up with a mantra for her: “What makes me vulnerable makes me beautiful.” She said it helped her remember that risk can be rewarding and caring for people is not a weakness. So, yeah. Find a phrase and repeat it to calm that brain.

Happy calm-thoughts, everyone. I hope it helps your heart and your libido.

(Featured image via Shutterstock)