Obsessiveness erases the other person. It can’t be love if you are so swamped in your own beliefs that you really have no idea that the other person feels differently. Obsessiveness means someone tells you they don’t want to see you anymore and you surprise them the next day with donuts, expecting to be welcomed. The witch in Rapunzel had an obsessive love so she put Rapunzel in a tower that was unreachable except by Rapunzel’s hair. The witch was obsessive and did not care how Rapunzel felt about this situation.
A lot of people convince themselves that their idea of a relationship is the reality. It’s easy to pretend, it’s better than it is, because that’s what you want. It is ordinary obsessiveness when people go back over every word of a conversation, looking for clues of love like Hansel and Gretel following a trail of bread crumbs. What is out of the ordinary, are people who are so busy wanting a body to stuff into the hole of loneliness, that they may not even be paying attention, to whether or not it’s a body worth stuffing. It becomes an obsession to stuff the hole rather than find someone who is worthy. Wanting someone else to fill the hole inside of you is not mentally healthy; it’s your job to define who you are, what you believe, and how to live. If you know those things about yourself it makes you more attractive.
Obsessiveness is complete self-absorption. Love always requires it to be about two people. Obsessiveness is boring, lopsided and so selfish, because you decide that although his/her words were no, she/he looked at me with a yes. Obsessiveness is a whole lot of pretending about the other person’s feelings. Obsessiveness also means you all too easily dismiss your own behaviour – are you drinking every night or giving into sex every date because that keeps the pretending alive, that there is a relationship?
Most relationships start off with one person who is more interested in the other. Obsessiveness is trying to create a certainty where there is none. Relationships by their nature are all about uncertainty. Obsessiveness is like Cinderella’s step-sister trying to stuff her foot in the too small glass slipper; “I’ve never seen this shoe in my life but I’m determined the Prince will by mine.” obsessiveness insists, decides and pushes for what that person wants regardless of what the other person feels, thinks or wants.
Obsessiveness is driving your car to the street they live on and watching for other people. If you do that more than once, it’s called stalking. The opposite of obsessiveness is embracing uncertainty and coping with what happens and letting go of deciding you know what’s best for both of you. Accepting the harsh reality that the other person does not feel the same way about you.
Iris Murdoch wrote a fictional novel called The Sea, The Sea. Read it and experience exactly how tiresome the obsessiveness of the main character is and how he really has no clue, who the woman he kidnaps is. His demand that his point of view is the only one that matters actually has the same tone as the suicide bombers who flew the planes into the World Trade Center. Most fundamental zealots are obsessive in the attitude that complete adherence to their religion is the only way to live. Kathy Bates plays an obsessive, who kidnaps the romance author she “loves” in the movie Misery. While Kathy’s character is over the top in this portrayal, it will give you a glimpse of how obsessiveness creates its own twisted silent certainty. While obsessiveness demands and denies, love asks and risks finding out how the other person really feels and is willing to cope with rejection.