12 Signs He's Not In Love With You — He's Obsessed

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obsessed man staring into the camera

Thanks in large part to Hollywood, we're taught to mistake the signs he's obsessed with you with signs he's in love with you.

In the weird world of TV and movies, obsession often sounds oddly romantic. Many well-known "romantic" comedies revolve around a storyline in which a moderately attractive guy shows his "love" for a woman in what we're meant to think are simply awkward ways that continuously backfire. But when you really consider his actions objectively, his behavior looks far more like an unhealthy obsession than they do a healthy expression of sincere love.

To be honest, horror movies probably offer a more realistic take on obsession than most rom-coms do.

Obsession isn’t cute. It’s not charming, it’s terrifying, And while someone who is obsessed with you rather than in love with you may not be any more likely to end up wearing your skin as a suit than he is to become your plucky, adorable husband, letting him get too close could come with some devastating potential consequences.

Obsession vs. Love

There is a definite difference between obsessive and healthy love, as noted by Dr. Susan Pazak, Clinical Psychologist & Relationship Coach, "New love and obsessive love are different yet many get the concepts confused. They both start out the same when we initially meet someone and there is a mutual attraction and connection. We feel happy, content and excited to get to know this new person and build a relationship. New love will expand upon those happy, content, excited and positive emotions. The relationship will feel healthy and balanced.:

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"Obsessive love begins to take a negative turn and becomes different from new love," Pazak continues. "Obsessive love begins to trigger jealousy, possessiveness, anxiety and insecurities. Thoughts of the person become frequent, intrusive and obsessive. It will feel smothering and overwhelming yet maybe still exciting in a negative way. It is wise to be aware of the differences as a new love relationship will have the potential to grow and be simple. Obsessive love will remain stagnant and be complicated."

It can be difficult to recognize the difference between obsession vs. love when you don't know the signs.

A man can definitely be obsessed with a woman in real life. You know your boyfriend is obsessed with you if you feel like you can never get time to yourself.

Sometimes it's difficult to tell if you're obsessed or in love. But being in love feels good long-term — being obsessed over, however, does not.

If you want to avoid falling for an obsessive, dangerous guy, here are 12 signs he is obsessed with you.

1. He knows things about you that you've never told him.

Does he know where you were with friends, despite you never telling him? Red flag.

It doesn't take a relationship expert to tell that that's the foundation of an obsessive relationship, rather than a healthy relationship.

If he’s regularly stalking your social media or reading your emails without your knowledge, it’s an obsession. Normal people do not need to know every little detail of your life.

2. He tries to intimidate other guys to keep them away from you.

Sometimes, guys are overt about this. Other times, the only reason you’ll know is that the guys he tried to scare off will approach you in private or suddenly bail.

If he’s doing this, you need to stay away from him. It’s clear he’s looking to control you, and that is never an indicator of love.

If you're unsure what to do, consult your friends and family members. They might have spotted these warning signs of obsession too.

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3. You’ve caught him lingering around places you go, without any reason other than to see you.

Acting like a stalker who sees you as a subject of surveillance is a violation of healthy boundaries. This is a sign of obsession — unhealthy obsession — and it is not cute.

Is this one of the signs a guy is obsessed with you in a good way? Absolutely not.

If he wants to see you, he should be capable of saying that and making plans with you like a mature adult. You deserve healthy love, not an obsessed person.

4. He doesn’t seem capable of taking no for an answer.

If you’ve repeatedly told him that you’re not interested, but he doesn’t seem to get it, he might just be a jerk.

If he keeps trying, despite months of disinterest, he might be obsessed with you.

5. He tries to make it impossible for you to leave him.

This is one of the signs he is dangerously obsessed with you. If you secretly want to get a restraining order against this obsessed man but are terrified of how he might react, that's a sign you need to start talking to someone else.

Yep, this is a form of abusive obsession. But a lot of people have been in this situation. You're not alone, and it is okay to ask for help.

If you need help making a safe plan to leave, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or by texting LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

Photo: ProStockStudio / Shutterstock

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6. People you know regularly call him "your stalker."

This might be a joke, but there’s no laughing matter in the message they’re sending you. What they’re saying is that he obviously has obsessive behavior and it's concerning.

A man is obsessed with you if you feel like you can never spend time with your friends without him showing up unannounced. You also don't need to know what causes obsessive love in order to know that it's happening to you.

7. He seems to know you, but you don’t really know him.

A guy who’s genuinely in love with you will give you the chance to know him well, too. You’ll know he has a thing for anime, or Game of Thrones, or sushi. You’ll know where he works and where he hangs out.

This is because he took the time to know you and fall for you as you were also taking the time to get to know and fall for him.

A guy who’s obsessed with you, on the other hand, will likely know a lot about you while you may not know much about him at all. In fact, it’s more than likely that you only may know him as "that weird guy."

8. He showers you with attention even when you ask him not to.

Even when you’ve made a point of telling him you're not interested, he’s sending you daily love notes, calling you all the time, and basically trying to monopolize your time.

If you notice he's doing this along with other behaviors mentioned on this list, it may not be plain infatuation, it may be an obsession.

Are there signs he's obsessed with your body in a way that doesn't sit right with you? That's one of the other signs of an obsessed man. Your mental health deserves better.

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9. You get the feeling that he’s in love with the idea of you rather than the real you.

From personal experience, I can tell you that a man who’s into the idea of being with a Manic Pixie Dream Girl-type is more likely to be obsessed than he is to actually be in love with the real you.

10. You feel like he's suffocating you.

He’s decided that he must be with you, he must be near you, and he must treat you a certain way, regardless of what you've said you want.

You feel trapped because he doesn’t seem to feel like he’ll be okay without you. It’s surprisingly scary and smothering to be the subject of someone's toxic obsession.

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11. He’s irrationally jealous.

If he gets explosive and snippy when he hears you talking to other guys, it could be because he's obsessed and doesn't want anyone else to have you.

If he loves you, he should respect you and trust you to decide who you want to spend time with.

12. He's actually quite delusional.

Most of the stuff he tells you he's thinking doesn’t seem to make sense — and if it does, it's only in a warped, weird way.

This is another sign he’s delusional and obsessive about you, rather than actually in love with you.

Remember, obsessive love can be an indicator of other mental health concerns and is a definite warning sign.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. She writes primarily about lifestyle, food, finance, and relationships.