It’s important that you identify if your boyfriend is obsessed with you in a way that could lead to an unhealthy relationship dynamic.
What starts out seemingly innocent can quickly escalate into abusive behavior. And while this is by no means the only path the relationship might take, an obsession with you increases the odds.
Ultimately, your safety and well-being could be at stake.
You shouldn’t ignore the problem or allow him or anyone else to play it down.
Get familiar with the signs below that suggest your boyfriend is obsessed in a way that is neither flattering nor sustainable.
Then later in the article, we’ll provide some ways you can proceed.
23 Signs He Has An Unhealthy Obsession With You
Here are the most common signs that your partner is obsessed with you (in a bad way):
1. He moves too quickly in a relationship.
Even on your very first date, he acted like he wanted to propose, and now he has big plans for your future after only a week of dating.
Whether he wants to take you on a summer vacation or to his cousin’s wedding, isn’t it too soon for all that?
We say we want a man who is ready to commit, but you know what they say: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. When a man is moving too fast in a relationship, he is probably obsessed with you, and not in a good way.
He is in love with his perception of you, which is not really who you are, and that is why he probably fell for you even before you met.
2. He wants your constant attention.
Seeing someone all day every day is too much, especially early on in a relationship. But your man wants constant attention and gives you all of his. He wants you to be with him 24/7 and, when you’re not, he demands to know the details of your day.
It feels like he spends all of his time with you because he has no one else in his life.
Most importantly, it seems like he wants you to do the same and ditch everyone to constantly be with him. He demands your full attention and always texts or calls when he’s away from you.
3. He constantly texts you.
Does this guy blow up your phone with calls and texts whenever you’re apart? When you don’t respond in a timely manner, does he freak out and questions if you’re cheating on him?
He often texts you when you’re out with friends because he wants to know who’s there and what you’ve been doing. His infatuation means he has to know about every move you make.
Guys who text excessively are usually desperate and needy, and while a guy should occasionally text you, blowing up your phone when you can’t respond is a huge red flag.
4. He crosses your boundaries.
Another sign that he’s obsessed with you is that he frequently crosses your boundaries and guilt trips you into doing what he wants. He violates your privacy and doesn’t take “no” for an answer. More on that later.
Right now, you should know that a man who is obsessed with you might violate your boundaries by showing up at places where you didn’t want him to go.
For instance, if you weren’t ready to introduce him to your friends yet—but you told him where you’d be—he would show up unannounced and introduce himself to everyone as your boyfriend.
He might also visit you at your office even if you explicitly said that your workplace is off-limits.
In the same way, he could show up at your place unexpectedly and say that it’s a surprise visit. Sounds stalkerish to me.
5. He has no life and doesn’t want you to have one.
You’ve probably got a feeling that he has no friends and no life outside of the relationship—and you’d likely be right.
Obsessive people rarely have friends because they make their entire universe revolve around you.
The bigger problem is that he expects you to do the same and focus only on your love life with him. He will try to isolate you from your friends and family and make you prioritize him over them much more often than you’d like.
He’ll be jealous of your other loved ones and he may even forbid you from doing your hobbies and other activities with friends.
6. He doesn’t take “no” for an answer.
A man who is obsessed with you will do anything to turn a “no” into a “yes,” and he might guilt you into agreeing with him.
He will keep pushing your boundaries no matter how clearly you state them.
This is a clear and major red flag that means that you should run for the hills. A man who won’t take “no” for an answer will manipulate you into doing whatever he wants.
7. He disrespects your privacy.
Your man is probably going to snoop through your phone when you’re not looking and disrespect your privacy in other ways.
He will want to know everything about you and will not hesitate to find things out without you knowing.
This is the type of man who would read your diary and go through your drawers if you left him alone in your room. He might convince you to put a tracking app on your phone or he’ll do it without you knowing.
8. He is overly jealous.
It’s not just that he’ll be jealous of other attractive men in your life, he will be jealous of the love you show to your close friends and family members regardless of their gender.
He will want you all to himself and is likely to forbid you from spending time with some of your friends.
Because he is possessive and controlling, an obsessive man will try to isolate you from the other people in your life to have you all to himself. His jealousy knows no bounds and he wants to be the only person in your world.
9. He tries to scare other men away from you.
If there are attractive men around you at work or during social events, he will scare them away to make sure that they don’t approach you.
He will tell everyone that you are a couple, and he might even spread some fake rumors to keep the men away from you.
He’ll probably forbid you from seeing your male friends and going to lunch with male coworkers. He will try to intimidate the other men and might even threaten them without you knowing.
10. He must always know where you are.
An obsessed man needs to know where you are, what you’re doing, and who’s with you, every second of every day.
Because he is controlling and jealous, he will text you the entire time you’re apart.
He’ll need constant reassurance and validation. Whenever it takes you a while to reply, he will freak out and assume that you’re cheating on him.
He will keep track of your routine and may even start showing up at places that you frequently visit.
11. He tells you what you can and can’t do.
Steer clear of any man who tries to tell you what you can and can’t do. An obsessed man will tell you where you can go, who you can hang out with, and even what you can wear.
While it’s okay that he gives you suggestions and offers his opinion, he can’t set rules for how you’re going to live your life.
Don’t let him have that much control over you and what you do with your life.
12. He stalks you.
What if you suddenly see him at your favorite coffee shop or at your local grocery store?
If he suddenly starts popping up at places that you frequently visit, he could be creating opportunities to run into you… which is just a nice way of saying that he’s stalking you.
A relationship with an obsessive man can end in a restraining order, especially if he starts stalking you after you end the relationship. But even if he does it while you’re dating, it’s definitely more creepy than cute.
13. He stalks your social media.
You suddenly have the biggest fan on social media, and it’s your boyfriend.
He likes and comments on everything you post and even posts romantic things on your profile. He’s added you to all his social media accounts and set his relationship status to “in a relationship” with you.
He’s generally very public about being with you and wants everyone to know that you’re his.
He also wants to keep up with everything you do, and if you actively use Instagram, Facebook, or other platforms, it gives him the opportunity to do both things at the same time.
14. He knows all your friends and family.
Maybe he knows all your friends and family. Even if you’ve only been dating for a short period of time, it’s not necessarily odd if he’s encountered your loved ones.
But what if you never introduced him to them?
He could have found a way to meet your friends and family without you knowing or by surprising you. For instance, he might have shown up at a family gathering that you mentioned to him or at your best friend’s office.
Even if your boyfriend hasn’t met your family and friends, he probably knows a lot about them and can’t wait to meet them, even if you’ve only been dating for a week.
15. He knows things about you that he didn’t hear from you.
Maybe you’re unsure if your boyfriend talked to your friends or family members, but you’ve noticed that he brings up things about you that he didn’t hear from you. He probably spoke to people you know and also researched you online.
Your boyfriend might be invading your privacy by going through your phone, reading your diary, or checking your search history.
Basically, if a guy knows things about you that he didn’t hear from you, you should be worried.
16. He wants to know your passwords.
Maybe he demands to know all of your passwords. He wants to be able to constantly keep up with your online activity and read all of your messages. This is scary, especially if you’ve only been dating for a short period of time.
He’ll also be jealous if you post pictures with other men and if other men like your photos or message you. This is probably why he’s demanding to know your social media passwords.
17. He calls all his exes crazy.
Never trust a man who badmouths all his exes. If he says that all of his exes were crazy, odds are he’s the crazy one.
Don’t trust him if he’s always the victim in his relationships according to his side of the story.
If he has nothing nice to say about his exes, yet he still talks about them a lot, he will badmouth you the same way once you break up. And those exes were only crazy for tolerating him for so long.
18. He threatens you.
When a guy threatens you, it’s a huge red flag to run for the hills. And rest assured, an obsessed guy will threaten you to make sure that you stay his and under his control.
He will threaten to leave you, but if that doesn’t work, he will threaten to reveal your secrets or do anything else that could hurt you.
If you tell him you are thinking of leaving him, he might threaten to hurt himself in an attempt to stop you.
19. He makes it hard to end things.
He doesn’t let you break up with him. Maybe he threatens to hurt himself or he suddenly showers you with affection and changes his bad behavior. Then he’ll return to his old ways once he’s sure that you’re not considering ending things anymore.
He will frequently use phrases like, “I couldn’t live without you,” “I’m nothing without you,” or “My life would be over without you.” While these phrases might sound romantic, they are also very toxic.
20. He’s suffocating you.
Your man simply doesn’t leave you room to breathe. He is needy, clingy, and constantly around you.
Even though you see each other every day and spend hours together, when he’s not next to you, he’s texting you. He’s constantly thinking about you and needs your full attention 24/7.
Dating an insecure man means you constantly have to reassure him that you love him, that you’re not cheating on him, and that you’re not going to leave him.
Basically, he smothers you and acts like a needy toddler.
21. He’s manipulative.
An obsessed boyfriend might use manipulative techniques such as the silent treatment or guilt trips to get you to do what he wants.
He is likely to be manipulative to get you to stay with him when you try to leave. He’ll turn a “no” into a “yes,” as already mentioned, but his manipulation won’t end there.
If he has an unhealthy attachment to you, he might say things just to keep you from ending the relationship. He might say he doesn’t deserve you—and he may even believe it if he puts you on a pedestal and doesn’t see the real you, flaws and all.
22. He makes you owe him.
Sure, he does nice things for you, but he always expects something back. He constantly makes you feel like you owe him something, and it’s like he’s doing nice things for you just so you can repay the favor.
This is a manipulative technique similar to guilt trips, and he will use it to stop you from breaking up with him.
He will want you to entirely depend on him. When he says that he can’t live without you, he wants you to feel that way about him too. So when he does little things for you, he’s doing them to make you feel dependent on him.
He will help you with chores and tasks and come to your rescue whenever you need him… But he’ll always make it clear that he expects you to reciprocate in some way.
23. Your loved ones are worried about you.
In the end, if your loved ones know that you’re dating him, they might be worried about you.
Maybe they’ve said that they don’t trust him or that they think he’s a stalker. Perhaps they told you that he approached them to find out more information about you behind your back.
Trust the people who love you when they say that someone is bad for you. Usually, they just have your best interests at heart, and they’re often right about bad boyfriends.
Is It Obsessive Love Disorder?
Obsessive love disorder is a condition that makes a person want to possess and protect another person. This desire is overwhelming, and the person can’t accept rejection, which sometimes leads to stalking.
While it’s not currently recognized as a standalone disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), it is a mental health issue that should not be ignored.
Sure, it’s nice when your partner is constantly thinking about you, showering you with affection, and making you a priority. But if they have an obsessive love disorder, they will show the signs listed above.
In addition, they will have low self-esteem, they’ll have obsessive thoughts about you, they will feel the need to protect you, they’ll feel an overwhelming attraction to you without knowing you that well, and they’ll be extremely jealous.
What Steps Should You Take?
Here’s what you can do when you find out that your partner is obsessed with you:
1. Consider ending the relationship.
If your boyfriend is obsessive, it might be best to end the relationship, especially if you haven’t been dating for very long.
Obsessive love disorder symptoms typically start early on in a relationship because the person doesn’t need to know you well to fall madly in love with you.
This enables you to spot the issues early on so you can end the relationship before things get worse.
Sure, if you care about your partner, you might want to work on the relationship. However, you should seriously consider the downsides of being with someone who is that possessive and controlling.
He is probably not going to change, so if you intend to stay together, you are going to need to work on accepting him the way he is.
It is well worth reading our article on how to leave a toxic relationship because it contains further vital information to keep you safe.
2. Set boundaries.
You can try setting boundaries, but the important part is sticking to them. Don’t let your boyfriend manipulate you into ditching your boundaries.
Come up with some consequences for when he tries to push your boundaries. When the situation arises, point out to him that you were clear what would happen if he disrespected your wishes and feelings.
For instance, the next time he doesn’t accept “no” for an answer, you can simply leave the room and stop talking to him for the rest of the day. While this might be manipulative too, he isn’t going to learn unless you somehow correct the bad behavior.
You could also try setting ultimatums, but don’t forget that you actually need to stick to them. So if you threaten to end things, you will need to do it if he crosses your boundaries.
3. Talk about the importance of independence.
It’s important that both of you have some alone time with your friends and family. You can’t depend on each other for everything, and you should learn to be more independent in the relationship.
Have a conversation and let your boyfriend know that he can’t only depend on you for his emotional support. Encourage him to broaden his social circle and reconnect with his old friends or forgotten family members.
Don’t be the only person in your partner’s life, and encourage him to enjoy some time and space doing his own thing too. Help him learn to love himself so he can make himself happy instead of relying on you for everything.
4. Encourage him to have a life outside of the relationship.
Both of you should be entitled to a life outside of the relationship. Go out with friends, and don’t spend the entire time texting each other. Have hobbies and interests that you do separately
Importantly, encourage your partner to have a more fulfilling life instead of obsessing over you.
He could work on improving all other aspects of his life. Help him understand that it’s okay to have a life outside of the relationship. In fact, it’s recommended for a healthy relationship.
Don’t always ditch your friends to be with him, and tell him that he should go out with his friends too.
He could find a hobby to meet new people, which would allow him to fill up his schedule with something that makes him happy—other than your relationship.
5. Talk to someone about it.
Last but not least, it’s very important to tell someone you trust that you have an obsessive boyfriend. People like him can become dangerous, so you need to let your friends and family know about the problem.
It’s also advised to talk to a therapist who can help you deal with the issue, whether you want to stay in the relationship with an obsessive boyfriend or not.
You could also encourage your boyfriend to talk to a therapist alone. They can help him realize and overcome his problems, but this will take a lot of time and effort.
If you want to end things with him, don’t hesitate to talk to someone about it. Also be sure to implement safety measures so he doesn’t bother you.
While a relationship with an obsessive man won’t necessarily end in abuse, bear in mind that many of the behaviors listed above are in fact abusive by themselves. So remain vigilant at all times.
If you experience anything that concerns you, seek the advice of a professional. And don’t hesitate to get the police or authorities involved if the obsession ever escalates.
Be smart. Stay safe. And don’t approach this situation alone.