How do I stop obsessing over a guy?

It’s common to get caught up fantasizing about a new crush or someone you’ve been dating. But at some point, obsessing over someone can cross the line from innocent romantic daydreaming into unhealthy attachment. If you find yourself spending hours analyzing his texts, constantly checking his social media, or making up elaborate future plans for the two of you, it may be time to dial back the obsession.

Why am I obsessing over him?

There are a few common reasons why you may be obsessing over a guy:

  • You’re infatuated – It’s normal to be infatuated at the beginning of a new relationship. But if the infatuation lasts too long it can turn into an unhealthy attachment.
  • You idealize him – You may be putting him on a pedestal and seeing only his positive traits. This can lead to unrealistic expectations.
  • You crave intimacy – Obsessing may be a way to fulfill your needs for closeness and connection if you’re lacking intimacy in your life.
  • You have low self-esteem – Focusing on him excessively may be a way to avoid dealing with your own self-esteem issues.
  • You have anxious attachment – If you have an anxious attachment style, you may worry about abandonment and use obsession as a way to feel emotionally close to him.

How do I know if my obsession is unhealthy?

Here are some signs that your obsession over a guy has gone too far:

  • You can’t stop thinking about him and it’s interfering with your work or school.
  • You feel depressed or anxious when you’re not in contact with him.
  • You’ve made major life decisions to accommodate the relationship.
  • You’ve given up important hobbies, friends or activities to spend more time obsessing.
  • You feel you “need” his attention and affection at all times.
  • You cry, have panic attacks, or feel suicidal when he’s unavailable.
  • You’re making sacrifices that go against your values to please him.
  • You’re checking his social media constantly and analyzing every post.
  • You’re making assumptions about the future of the relationship without any evidence.
  • You feel jealous when he talks to or spends time with others.

How can I take a step back from the obsession?

If you recognize that your obsession has become unhealthy, here are some things you can do to regain perspective:

  • Limit contact and casual check-ins – Don’t reach out to him constantly just to chat. Limit texts, calls and social media interactions.
  • Fill your time with other activities – Pursue hobbies, catch up with friends, pick up extra shifts at work. Stay busy.
  • Avoid “fantasy fuel” – Don’t listen to love songs or watch romantic movies that feed into fantasy and fuel your obsession.
  • Don’t overanalyze – Avoid nitpicking at his words or actions. Don’t make assumptions about how he feels.
  • Focus on yourself – Make time for self-care everyday. Shift your focus back to your own needs and goals.
  • Be mindful – When you catch yourself obsessing, pause and bring yourself back into the present moment.
  • Talk to supportive friends – Share your feelings with trusted friends who can provide a reality check.

How can I handle my feelings in a healthier way?

Rather than obsessing, here are some healthier ways to handle your emotions around your crush or partner:

  • Communicate – Have open, honest conversations about your relationship status and expectations.
  • Deal with anxiety – If anxiety is fueling your obsession, get help through therapy, medication or self-help strategies.
  • Build your self-confidence – Strengthen your sense of self-worth so you’re less dependent on his validation.
  • Develop your own interests – Have parts of your life that don’t revolve around him.
  • Manage your expectations – Keep things in perspective and don’t assume too much too soon.
  • Embrace uncertainty – Accept that a new relationship may not follow your perfect fantasy. Go with the flow.
  • Appreciate what you have – Be grateful for the positive parts of your relationship without needing more.
  • Keep busy – Make sure your life is full enough that you don’t have to fixate on him 24/7.

What are some psychological tips to help me obsess less?

In addition to the practical tips above, here are some psychological strategies that can help you gain control over obsessive thoughts:

  • Challenge cognitive distortions – Catch yourself when you exaggerate negatives or only see things through a pessimistic lens.
  • Do a reality check – When you have obsessive thoughts, write down factual evidence for and against them.
  • Practice mindfulness – Make an effort to stay present oriented rather than getting stuck on regrets, assumptions or worries.
  • Keep a thought journal – Record obsession thoughts and what preceded them to identify patterns.
  • Try cognitive restructuring – When you start obsessing, stop and intentionally shift your thinking.
  • Visualize cutting the obsession – Imagine yourself actually cutting or destroying the obsessive connection to him.
  • Commit to an obsession “budget” – Allow yourself to obsess for a short time each day, then divert your thoughts.
  • Notice obsession triggers – Write down triggers like certain places or actions that seem to set off obsessing.
  • Be your own best friend – Imagine what advice you would give a friend obsessing over a guy.

When should I seek professional help?

It’s normal to be excited about a new partner, but if your obsession feels uncontrollable or is interfering with your daily life, don’t hesitate to seek professional support. Consider seeing a therapist if:

  • Your obsession makes it hard to concentrate at school or work.
  • You’ve made significant risky or harmful decisions because of it.
  • You have suicidal thoughts related to the relationship.
  • You’ve completely isolated yourself from friends and family.
  • Drugs or alcohol are being used to cope with obsession.
  • The obsession includes dangerous stalking behaviors.
  • You experience other emotional problems like depression or severe anxiety.
  • Your functioning is impaired and the obsession continues despite your best efforts.

A psychologist can provide tools to help you manage intrusive thoughts, build self-esteem, address underlying issues fueling the obsession, and get back to a healthy balance.

What type of therapy is most effective?

Some therapeutic approaches that research shows can be effective for treating obsessive behaviors include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – Identifies unhealthy thought and behavior patterns around the obsession. Provides strategies to challenge distortions, reduce compulsions and manage anxiety.
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) – Focuses on accepting uncomfortable thoughts and feelings while committing to values-based action.
  • Psychodynamic therapy – Explores root psychological issues like attachment, childhood experiences, fear of abandonment, or personality traits that may underlie obsessive attachment.
  • Exposure therapy – Gradually decreases reaction to obsession triggers through repeated, controlled exposure.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – Teaches distress tolerance, emotion regulation, mindfulness and interpersonal skills.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) – Uses eye movement while recalling obsession memories to reduce associated distress.

An experienced mental health professional can determine which therapies are best suited to your specific situation and underlying causes.

What are some obsession prevention tips I can try at home?

In addition to professional treatment, here are some helpful ways you can work to reduce obsessing on your own at home:

  • Install website/app blockers to limit access to his social media for set times.
  • Keep busy by learning a new skill, starting a project or being active.
  • Start a gratitude journal to refocus on positive things besides the obsession.
  • Join a support group in person or online to connect with others working to overcome obsessive behaviors.
  • Go to bed and wake up at a set time each day to maintain healthy routines.
  • Complete dopamine detox days where you abstain from anything stimulating obsession.
  • Write a letter from your future self who has overcome this and has perspective.
  • List healthy activities, distractions and social interactions you can turn to when you catch yourself obsessing.

Having a plan in place with specific steps you can take if obtrusive thoughts start creeping in can help empower you to manage the obsession effectively.

Will these feelings fade with time?

In many cases, obsessive attachment and constant preoccupation with another person does tend to diminish naturally over time, especially in these situations:

  • As an exciting honeymoon phase transitions into a more stable relationship.
  • When geographic distance or limited contact makes the obsession more difficult to sustain.
  • With increased life experience and maturity.
  • As the emotional intimacy and trust in the relationship deepens.
  • When your self-confidence and identity become less enmeshed with the partner.
  • As you put energy into personal growth and developing your own interests.
  • When a breakup forces you to establish independence again.

That said, don’t assume obsessiveness will disappear on its own. Be proactive about managing your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, get professional support if needed, and take steps to build a fulfilling, well-rounded life outside of the obsession.

With time and concerted effort, an unhealthy attachment can evolve into a healthy mutual relationship, or you can move on with confidence, having learned important lessons about yourself.


It’s common to get a bit carried away mentally and emotionally with a new crush or partner. But if it’s starting to negatively impact other parts of your life, it’s important to recognize obsession and try to dial it back. Professional counseling, lifestyle changes, cognitive restructuring, and developing your own identity can all help you cultivate healthy attachment. With self-awareness, patience and consistent effort, you can break the cycle of obsessing over someone and redirect your energy in a more fulfilling direction.

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