Psychological insights on relationships: rejections, breakups, making relationships happy, unhealthy dynamics, and general psychology.

What Causes Obsession With a Certain Person

Why it’s hard to stop obsessing with a certain person and how our brain works when we’re obsessed with someone: psychological and practical explanations.

A beautiful woman

We become obsessed with someone because:

  1. We made them special and declared them unique to justify our choice—ego reasons.
  2. They are special because of what they give or provide to us.
  3. We have imagined their many qualities. The emphasis is on the imagined (even if they have many).
  4. For our ego’s sake, we must keep that person significant and important.
  5. They have truly become better versions of themselves with us.
  6. We don’t want to change our plans. Changing plans is painful and devastating.
  7. We keep hoping, which is part of human nature.

2 Psychological Reasons Behind Obsession After Rejection

The way we see the person

It’s crucial to understand that when we choose someone for ourselves, we elevate them to a significant position in our minds, lives, and affections. So, if we desire that person, it means they have stood out as the best among all others we’ve encountered.

A beautiful woman obsessed with man

We perceive them as a unique specimen, the best person we can imagine for ourselves (or at least significantly above others). Their qualities surpass those of other people. They laugh more beautifully, speak more intelligently, are more elegant, more interesting, etc. That is because not everyone can earn such a high place in our lives. Only special individuals.

We’ve labeled that person the best, and now they are exactly that for us.

And the best (or worst) part is, of course, that there aren’t many people like them in the world. Finding another great person like them will be challenging or even impossible.

This is a polished version.

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But realistically speaking (and we’re going to need reality to get out of this problem), this is a natural need that comes from our drive to match and belong. There are obviously hormonal and psychological reasons behind that, but ultimately, they result in us declaring the person we choose to be unique and special—even if they aren’t to anyone else.

Traditionally, we call this love, but it is a natural need for belonging, extension of the species, and closeness, which manifests itself by finding someone and giving them special qualities – in order to satisfy this natural need with someone.

So the first reason why we are obsessed with someone is because we made them special and unique.

Essentially, we declare a person special in order to justify to ourselves why we chose them.

Additionally, that person becomes special because of what they offer us

Perhaps they genuinely provide us with something we need (attention or money, good conversations or understanding), making them special in our lives.

Our needs dictate how we evaluate people. The more someone can give us what we need, the more special he or she becomes.

The Best Way To Make Someone Regret Leaving You

Man in love with woman

For example, if someone needs financial assistance, they will value people who can provide it more than others. Therefore, if the person you’ve chosen has something that ranks highly on your list of priorities, they become significant. The more they have, the more special they become to us.

However, that’s not all someone can give us.

  • We’re attracted to people who possess universally appealing traits, such as confidence, attractiveness, high education, and wealth, so we want such people to belong to us. In fact, we like the idea of having someone everyone desires because it would make us special. The person everyone wants has chosen us.
  • We’re attracted to people who behave in ways familiar to us. For example, someone may have a similar gaze to our father or a similar sense of humor to our mother. Or they may be as decisive as our father, etc. We recognize this as our first love in life, so we are inclined towards them.

So another reason why we are obsessed with someone is what that person gives or provides us.

It can be something that a person gives us in reality; something that everyone wants; a trait that we wish we had or that reminds us of our childhood.

Of course, this assumes you know the person. Now, many wonder why I fantasize about someone I don’t know.

A man and a woman lie next to each other

Why We Are In Love With Someone – Psychological Explanation

Since we don’t know them well enough, we attribute great qualities to them

Simply because your imagination is at work, without information about someone you don’t know, you can attribute whatever traits you want to them. You can idealize them or tear them down.

If you’re attracted to someone you don’t know, you’ll give them attributes they may not even possess – to justify your attraction. You’ve likely been drawn to them because they remind you of a love object from your childhood (an unconscious need) or because they can provide you with something you need (a conscious need). Later, you’ve attributed epithets to them to create reasons you want them above all others.

Basically: I want him because he reminds me of my dad, but I rationalize: he’s so smart, that’s why I want him.

Man and woman breaking up

The problem, of course, is that this can go very far and wide, and the person can acquire incredible attributes: that they’re brilliant, special (but others don’t see it), everyone wants them, and they even have superpowers (knowing how to read others, intuition bordering on clairvoyance, etc.).

Imagination is endless, and we love to use it with people we like. We declare ordinary people exceptional to keep them high in our heads.

The third reason why we obsess over someone is because we have imagined their many qualities.

We turn unconscious needs into rational reasons.

We don’t want to knock that person down in our heads

Bringing that person down to a more realistic position is very difficult because it requires admitting to ourselves that we’ve made a mistake.

And if we’ve made a mistake with this person, how do we know we won’t make a mistake with the next one? Or how do we know we haven’t made mistakes with many other people and things before them?

Our ego needs to maintain a good image of ourselves because everything depends on our judgments. If we make the wrong assessments, it means we’re not leading our lives well.

Black couple breaking up

That is why we are not happy to demote people whom we have already chosen and declared great. It threatens our self-image and makes us someone who makes mistakes and poor judgments. And that, as I said, is very dangerous for us.

This explains why people stubbornly stick to their decisions and choices. It’s tough to admit to ourselves and the world around us that we’ve made a mistake.

The fourth reason we obsess over someone is because we have to, for our ego’s sake, keep that person significant and important.

Otherwise, we will admit that we make mistakes, and mistakes are not allowed for many rational and irrational, ego and emotional reasons.

However, it’s not just that.

The person we made significant was practically given free fuel for their ego

Whatever they think of themselves, we’ve told them we think highly of them. As a result, their value increases for themselves and others.

You can recognize this dynamic when you remember that many people think they can have more partners once they find one. That one partner gives them enough of an ego boost to create a better opinion of themselves than before.

Black couple breaking up

Because of our opinion of them, that person becomes more confident, more beautiful, better, etc.

Also, in our presence, they begin to behave in line with our opinion of them. If we believe they’re exceptional, they truly become more exceptional. If we think they’re smart, they try to sound brighter, (which is easy because we already think about them and look for evidence). If we believe they are beautiful, they adopt different poses and mannerisms to confirm that they are. They dress better, put on makeup, etc.

So, in our presence, that person becomes the best version of themselves because we’ve told them they’re better than they really are. And, of course, this isn’t limited to just our presence. With that newfound confidence, they become the best versions of themselves everywhere.

Therefore, the next reason why we are obsessed with a person is that they have really become a much better version of themselves with us.

We had plans with that person

We’ve imagined our entire lives together and how wonderful it would be with such a person. And now, none of those plans can come to fruition. We need to change plans, and nobody likes to do that. Try changing much less significant plans, like not going where you wanted for the weekend.

A beautiful proud woman in love

But the plans with that person didn’t just involve the weekend; they encompassed an entire lifetime.

Changing plans is hard for people because they like to predict the future; that way, they have control over things.

But making plans also consumes some mental energy. Destroying those plans means that energy is wasted, and now, to achieve the same thing with another person, new energy must be created and used.

  • Also, when it comes to plans, people don’t like others controlling their lives (changing their plans) because it completely takes control out of their hands.

The sixth reason we’re obsessed with someone is because we don’t want to change our plans.

People want their plans to come true and that the time and energy invested is not wasted.

Hope dies last

Hope exists so we can continue with life. It contains the optimism that things will turn out well for us. We need that optimism when things aren’t going well, so we don’t give up moving forward. Because stopping would be a certain death for us. A person must move forward, and to move forward, they have their invented goal: hope that things will happen/solve/ succeed/ turn out well.

Man after toxic relationship

That’s why people hope and don’t give up hope; it pushes them forward.

And as good as hope is overall for life, it’s bad when it comes to giving up things. People spend their entire lives hoping something will happen or change. It’s especially hard to give up hope when we think that person is ahead of us because of all the reasons mentioned above.

And that’s the last reason we obsess over someone: we keep hoping, which is part of human nature.

The hardest thing is to give up hope.

If you want to read more about why we become obsessed with the person who rejected us, read this article.


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