The first level is the attraction phase. This is the beginning, so it is most important that you note it. Basically, the person comes on way too strong. They may send flowers, text immediately after the date, and talk about being with you constantly. They are already beginning to fantasize about you, and it is usually with a focus on one aspect of you while ignoring your whole person.
The second phase is what Moore refers to as the anxious phase. This is when they become more controlling as they are worried you will leave them. They may begin to experience intense feelings of mistrust which is why they will text, call or email you numerous times each day. They also may want to isolate you or limit your meeting with others in this stage.
The third phase is the obsessive phase. The obsessed person begins to break the law or make impossible demands on their partner’s time and life. They begin calling their partner’s place of work or their home frequently. They cannot get enough. They become demanding of constant and total attention. If they don’t get it, they may become enraged. Control tactics are used: they may be having you followed, traced, and watched continuously. Most likely, at this point you will have to get the law involved as the obsessed person is out of control with himself or herself. They are busy trying to control you.
The final phase is the destructive phase. In this stage, the obsessed person realizes they are losing their partner. They will be filled with so much self hate that they often will have suicidal thoughts and may kill the person and/or themselves. They have a very low sense of self, and also may project the hatred they feel for themselves onto the person they cannot have. This causes rage, and possibly revenge. It is very dangerous and if you have someone like this in your life you should call the police.
If you see signs of this after a couple of dates with someone, it is important that you act immediately. If it is allowed to continue, you may not be able to get out.
Here are 5 things to do if you find yourself going on a second date with someone who has overdone it on the first.
1. Be direct with the person and tell them you cannot date anymore. The truth is the best, but if you are worried about hurting their fragile self esteem, then change all of your numbers and email accounts, and don’t answer texts, or voicemails.
2. Don’t frequent any of the places the two of you may have gone in the past.
3. Don’t accept any gifts or requests sent to your home address.
4. Tell your closest friends and family about your concerns so they can be aware.
5. Obsessed people have a way of knowing what you will respond to. No matter what excuse they give you, do not get involved with them. If they tell you they will kill themselves if you don’t see them, call the police or 911 and tell them this person has told you they will kill themselves. Suicide must be taken seriously, but professionals who deal with suicide will be able to handle it more effectively than you.
Obsessive love may feel flattering the first time you experience the incredible attention they afford you. However, after 24 hours when the adornment is continuing non-stop, it becomes too much and many times frightening. The Obsessed is trying to hook you into loving them, but their concept of love is control, and you will end up feeling like you are on a scary, twisted ride if you join them. –Mary Jo Rapini
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